Better fuel economy: Billions and billions saved

Oct 16, 2012
Better fuel economy: Billions and billions saved

(Phys.org)—As fuel economy of new vehicles improved 18 percent over the past five years, billions of gallons of gas and billions of pounds of emissions have been saved, University of Michigan researchers say.

Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the U-M Transportation Research Institute collected fuel data on 61 million new cars, pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs sold in the U.S. since 2007—about a quarter of all light vehicles, both new and used, on U.S. roads today.

Using a recent estimate of the average annual distance driven in the U.S. (about 13,000 miles every year), the researchers found that new vehicles in the last five years saved about 6.1 billion gallons of fuel—equal to about two weeks' worth of gas consumption for all vehicles in the U.S.

They also looked at the current monthly savings in fuel use for and found that 293 million gallons of fuel were saved in September alone.

"The reductions in the amount of fuel consumed are important in themselves," said Sivak, a research professor at UMTRI. "However, they also represent reductions in emissions."

Sivak and Schoettle say that since late 2007, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by about 120 billion pounds. During September, the reduction was 5.7 billion pounds—about 3 percent of the average monthly consumption of fuel and of of all light vehicles on the road today.

"The improvements in over the past five years are noteworthy, especially in relation to the improvements during the preceding eight decades," Sivak said. "As a consequence, we have seen sizeable savings in fuel consumed and emissions produced. The new issued in August will accelerate this process."

Explore further: Solar-powered two-seat Sunseeker airplane has progress report

More information: deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/93781

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TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (20) Oct 16, 2012
Yay gasoline. U of Michigan is located in the midst of the US auto industry. Billions would be saved and retained if the industry was not forced to retool to compete with alternative energy vehicles.

Go wolverines.

I wonder if Detroit has any say in the particular composition of the stuff they spread on the roads to melt snow in MI. Car cancer is rife up there. Salt is used in similar amounts in NJ and PA but you don't see near the level of rust as in MI, which after all benefits most from selling new autos.
wileecoyote985
5 / 5 (1) Oct 16, 2012
I'm all for increased fuel economy. Unfortunately, if we get too efficient, the States will soon be squawking that gas tax revenues are down and they will act to raise taxes yet again.

We get to pay, one way or another. I guess lessening our dependence on foreign oil is far preferable to the alternative.

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