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Fuel Economy Benefits

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author photo by Autotrader December 2007

Increasing vehicle fuel economy benefits drivers by saving them money, the United States by making it less dependent of foreign oil, and the environment by releasing fewer emissions into the air.

Fuel Savings
The primary benefit of employing fuel economy measures is decreased fuel costs. Consumers and fleets can save $300 to $500 each year by driving the most fuel-efficient vehicles in a particular class. Over a vehicle's lifetime, fuel efficiency can add up to savings of thousands of dollars. Fuel-efficient models come in all shapes and sizes, so there's no need to sacrifice utility or size.

Consumers and fleets don't need to buy a new vehicle to increase their fuel economy. Proper maintenance and practical driving techniques can increase the fuel economy of their current vehicles.

The first thing to do is check your tire pressure. A vehicle running on tires that are properly inflated gets better gas mileage. Also be sure to keep your vehicle fluids up to standards. Next, consider your driving habits. Do you speed up to stop signs and hit the brakes hard? Do you make jackrabbit starts? If so, change your driving style and slow down sooner for stop lights and ease up to speed after the stop position. These simple changes can save you money and maybe even extend the life of your vehicle.

To appreciate these savings, try tracking your fuel economy for two weeks. The first week, check your odometer then drive as you usually do. At the end of the week, note the amount of gas you used that week and how many miles you got to the gallon. The following week, check your odometer again then employ the tips mentioned above. At the end of the second week, compare the mileage. Chances are you will see improved mileage during week two. To learn more about Gas Saving Products, go to this document provided by the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/autos/aut10.pdf).

For more information on improving fuel economy, go to:

Fuel Economy Strategies for Light-Duty Vehicles (http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/fuel_economy_light.html)

Fuel Economy Strategies for Heavy-Duty Vehicles (http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/fuel_economy_heavy.html)

Petroleum Independence
Improved fuel economy can also reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The United States consumes approximately 20 million barrels of oil per day—two-thirds of which is used for transportation. Half of the oil used to produce gasoline to power our vehicles is imported. These imports cost more than $2 billion a week. This money stimulates other oil-producing countries' economies.

By taking measures to improve the fuel economy of U.S. vehicles, drivers strengthen our country's national security, making us less dependent on foreign oil.

Environmental Protection
Burning fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel contributes to air pollution and climate change. In addition, spills from refining and transporting oil and petroleum products damage ecosystems and pollute groundwater and streams. Approximately 1.7 million gallons of oil are spilled in U.S. waters each year, and the Environmental Protection Agency has reported around 200 confirmed leaks each week since 2000. Therefore, reduced use of oil could help limit the number and volume of these leaks.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center
http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/fuel_economy_benefits.html

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Fuel Economy Benefits - Autotrader