• Fuel Efficient Cars: Understand The Benefits

    Fuel efficient cars provide numerous benefits over their non-fuel efficient counterparts. Whether it’s a choice between hybrid cars or high fuel economy non-hybrid vehicles (including fuel efficient trucks), consumers gain a lot – and so does the environment. Here are just a few of the benefits.

    Fuel Efficient Cars Get Better Gas Mileage

    Compared to the gas-guzzling cars of years ago, today’s cars, trucks and SUVs get increasingly better fuel economy. In the most current (2009 and 2010) models, the fuel economy gains are substantial. What this means for consumers is that you’re using less gas and getter better miles per gallon (mpg).

    • The 2010 Toyota Prius Hybrid gets an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy rating of 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined. The 2009 Prius achieved EPA numbers of 48/45/46 mpg.
    • Honda Insight for 2010 achieves EPS numbers of 40 mpg city/43 mpg highway/41 mpg combined.
    • The 2009 Toyota Yaris 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine has EPA fuel economy of 29/36/32 mpg for 5-speed manual transmissions and 29/35/31 mpg for 4-speed automatics.
    • In terms of fuel efficient trucks, Chevrolet’s 2009 Silverado 15 Hybrid 2-wheel drive Pickup gets 21/22/21 mpg EPA ratings.
    • The 2009 Dodge Durango HEV SUV achieves EPA numbers of 20/22/21 mpg.

    Fuel Efficient Cars Produce Lower Emissions

    With a smaller gasoline engine, fuel-efficient cars release fewer pollution emissions. Hybrid vehicles can reduce air emissions of smog-forming pollutants by up to 90 percent. In addition, hybrids can cut emissions of carbon dioxide in half.

    • The benefit to reduced tailpipe emissions is helpful in minimizing the harmful effects of global warming.
    • Every mpg you save with fuel efficient cars means a big difference in helping to curb global warming.

    Benefits of Electric Vehicles

    Electric vehicles are the most fuel-efficient cars. Their electric motors convert 75 percent of the chemical energy from the vehicle’s batteries to power the wheels. Compare this to conventional gasoline-powered engines which produce only 20 percent of the energy stored in gasoline.

    There are no tailpipe emissions with electric vehicles. True, power plants that produce the electricity may emit pollutants. Wind-, solar-, nuclear- and hydro-electric power produces no emissions.

    Since electricity is a domestic source of energy, electric vehicles are not dependent on foreign oil. According to the EPA, electric vehicles also require less maintenance than conventional gasoline-powered engines.

    Fuel Efficient Cars Reduce Dependence On Foreign Oil

    As a nation, we are over-dependent on foreign oil. The EPA and other experts warn that our dependence on oil makes us vulnerable to market volatility due to manipulation and price shocks. In 2007, the annual cost of oil imports was about $300 billion.

    Fuel Efficient Cars Make Us More Energy Sustainable

    While research into new technology is underway, use of more fuel efficient cars today helps the U.S. to buy time for the more sustainable fuels and alternative technologies of tomorrow. Oil is a non-renewable natural resource.