fuel economy

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How Many Priuses Would Offset the Gulf Oil Spill?

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

So how much oil is escaping each day from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico? According to estimates late last week, that could be One Million Gallons a day. That’s a lot of Oil, Brother…priuses

Whats an altruistic way to maybe compensate for the problem?  How about, how many  Toyota Prius Hybrids would need to be sold in order to offset the oil loss?

  • Looks like there would have to be almost 1 million Priuses sold globally to conserve enough gasoline to offset the amount wasted as the escaping oil pours into the oceans and damages our beautiful beaches.

Here’s what the Math is based on to calculate what it would take to compensate just for the lost gasoline related to the daily oil loss.

  • Anonymous oil-industry experts suggest one gallon of unrefined light crude, the kind the Deepwater Horizon produced, provides half a gallon of gasoline, or perhaps a little more.
  • So that’s 500,000 gallons a day we need to save.
  • If the average U.S. car drives 10,000 miles a year at 25 miles per gallon (to make the math easy), then the 50-MPG  Prius saves 200 gallons of gasoline per year. Or 0.55 gallons per day.
  • So you’d have to sell 912,500 Priuses, each of them saving a little over half a gallon of gasoline a day, to offset the loss of half a million gallons every day.

But Toyota doesn’t make anything close to that number of Prius Cars right now. In fact, in 2009, the Company sold 139,682 Priuses in the United States, out of a total of approximately195,000. 

Until the end of this year, the total annual  production is capped at 500,000 by constraints in the supply of nickel-metal-hydride battery packs used by the cars to store energy.

This is too bad. After all,…  we wouldn’t want Obama’s enemy from a few months back to be the source that saves his new found enemy today, now would we?


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Do You have some of those “Pieces Of Advice” stored in the back of your head that GrandPa passed along to you about gas mileage when driving  in used cars?gas mileage myths

Well, some of what you think you know about car mileage may be wrong, and it might cost you money when you get behind the wheel of that used car fuel saver.

The EPA offeres some informative information called  “the top 10 misconceptions about fuel economy.”

Here are some of the misconception myths about gas car mileage:

  • Using premium gasoline will improve your gas mileage –If you had a dime for every dollar people have squandered pumping premium into cars that don’t need it, you’d never worry about gasoline prices again. Using a higher fuel grade than the automaker recommends will almost certainly have no effect on your gas mileage. However, pumping a lower grade in the fuel tank than recommended can damage your engine and will probably increase fuel consumption and cost you money and gas mileage.
  •  Smaller vehicles always get better fuel economy, gas mileage – Hybrids, diesels, new technologies and smart engineering like Toyota Prius can create vehicles that combine fuel efficiency, gas mileage with room and comfort. Chevrolet will market its 2011 Cruze as a compact, but its interior room qualifies as a midsize by EPA standards. Despite that, the car’s 40-m.p.g. highway rating may be impressive. 
  • A manual transmission will give you better fuel economy than an automatic – Maybe so in used cars…But, Modern automatic transmissions often provide better gas mileage than a manual, thanks largely to extra gears and electronic controls. The 2011 Ford Mustang V6’s EPA rating of 19 m.p.g. in the city and 31 m.p.g. on the highway is 1 m.p.g. better on the highway than a Mustang with the same engine and a manual transmission. The same thing is true for cars ranging from the compact Honda Civic to the $85,550 BMW 650ci luxury convertible.
  • Vehicles need to warm up before you drive themElectronic engine controls mean a modern vehicle is running at or near maximum efficiency as soon as you start it. Letting the car warm up for a few minutes simply wastes fuel.
  • Aftermarket additives will dramatically improve your fuel economyForget it. They’re more likely to damage your engine or increase your tailpipe emissions. For more information on this, go the Federal Trade Commission’s Web site and look up Gas-Saving Products: Fact or Fuelishness?
  • It takes more fuel to restart the engine than let it idleThis was true when inefficient carburetors metered fuel use in used cars, but modern fuel injection means that you save energy by turning the engine off. This does NOT mean you should shut the engine off at every stoplight or when you’re waiting in line. That can wear out your starter and slow all the other drivers, irritating them and leading to wasted fuel in all the vehicles. However, stop-start systems that efficiently shut the engine off are a key part of how hybrids save fuel. Nearly every new vehicle will have a fast and efficient automatic stop-start feature in a few years.
  • The window-sticker mileage figures are a guarantee of the mileage you’ll getNot even close. How you drive has a massive impact on your car mileage. However, the window-sticker figures are the only way to realistically compare fuel economy, gas mileage, and operating costs when you shop for a new vehicle. The numbers are generated in lab tests, so every vehicle is held to the same standard. “Your mileage will vary” as the fine print says, but you can trust that a higher EPA rating will save you money.