It should come as no surprise to people with any common sense that fuel-conserving hybrid cars were very popular when gas prices were high last decade, but aren’t as popular now that gas prices are closer to $2 per gallon than $4. The premium that customers must pay for a hybrid vehicle offsets the fuel savings nicely when gas prices are high, but takes longer to recoup when they fall. [More]
People have been wondering how the EPA would rate the Nissan Leaf. The normal “miles per gallon” didn’t make sense because the car uses electricity, not gas. The results are finally in, and the vehicle has scored a 99 MPGe. That stands for “Miles Per Gallon equivalent.”
Sure, switching from a gas guzzler to a highly efficient (and probably much smaller) car is best for the environment, but it’s not a realistic solution for large families or people who can’t afford it. But don’t let the fact that you can’t buy a 40 mpg car turn you off of a trade up in efficiency anyway. A couple of economists have pointed out that “using ‘miles per gallon’ as a measure of fuel efficiency leads people to undervalue the benefits of replacing the most inefficient automobiles.” Their point: if you’re driving a gas guzzler, even a small improvement in fuel efficiency can generate significant savings.
Congress will require American automakers to achieve fleet-wide fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The deal struck late last night by Congressional negotiators and hailed as “an historic advancement,” would put America on the slow track towards meeting the same efficiency standards that Europe, China, and most of the developed world already enjoy.
ForbesAutos interviewed Wayne Gerdes, a “hypermiler” who can squeeze 84 miles per gallon out of a regular Ford Ranger pickup truck, or 180.1 mpg from a hybrid electric Honda Insight. Here are 10 of his techniques for achieving startling fuel economy: