There are over 40,000 electric vehicles in the United States, with more being made and sold every day. In most situations, the limited range and speed of light electric vehicles are acceptable. Several automakers are targeting 2010 to sell electric vehicles in the United States that you can charge in your garage and other places. If you live in a household with more than one car, the EV may be perfect for one of your cars.
Tom Hanks has supported improving the environment for years both with words and actions such as driving electric vehicles. “I still have a Toyota RAV4 EV and never spent a penny on gasoline for it,” he said. Happy with his Toyota EV, he added a second electric car. Many other people are experimenting with conversions to electric. The most notable are hybrid owners. Hundreds own electric vehicles in this university town. The city’s parks and recreation department saves money using EVs that displace expensive gasoline cars and trucks. The university is a major user of electric vehicles.
Being aerodynamic and using low rolling resistance tires are reasons that the Toyota Prius achieves good fuel economy. When you buy your next vehicle, look for cars with better miles-per-gallon due to use of advanced powertrains. There are more than one hundred car models that offer over 40 miles per gallon. An increased number of these models are being made available in the United States. People are often surprised by the excellent safety of some lighter vehicles with excellent fuel economy.
Americans spend an extra $3 billion on fuel because vehicles are heavier than they were in 1960. Cars need to go on a diet. Vehicles can be better designed. Minor reductions in weight and drag can improve fuel economy up to 50 percent for a cost of a couple of hundred bucks. With the growing use of aluminum, composite materials, and aerodynamic design, we will see diesel cars delivering 100 miles per gallon and more if they are hybrid.
Over half of all car sales in Europe use diesel engines not gasoline. Diesel fuel contains more energy per gallon than does gasoline. Diesel engines are far more efficient than gasoline. Should your next car be a hybrid or a diesel? The answer depends on the type of driving you do and if you want a car, truck, SUV, or minivan. Why not have the best of both with a hybrid diesel?
Millions of hybrids are now on the road, saving fuel and making driving more pleasant. Most cars are only powered by an internal combustion engine fueled with gasoline. Electric vehicles are powered by electric motors that are often three times more efficient than a gasoline engine. Hybrid technology is improving the fuel economy of some SUVs. The Ford Escape Hybrid, for example, offers over 30 miles per gallon.
There is no one correct answer for the best vehicle, or even type of vehicle, to best save gas and save the planet. People have different needs at different times of their life, and different driving conditions. Michael enjoyed living car-free when he went to the university but love, marriage, and parenthood meant getting a car. When the children are grown, Michael and Beth plan to return to one vehicle.
Many Americans are interested in ending the ridiculous amounts of money they spend at the pump. If all the vehicles are gas guzzlers, this is a great time to replace one. In the United States, there is tremendous innovation in plug-in hybrid technology, electric drive systems, advanced batteries, and fuel cells. Fortunately, there are many solutions.
The Eubank family was interested in replacing one of their SUVs with a fuel-efficient car. A typical SUV in the United States produces about 12 tons of CO2 emissions per year; a fuel-efficient hybrid only one-third that amount. Safety and storage were major concerns in their decision. Without sacrificing safety or vehicle needs, the Eubanks now live in better harmony with their values about energy security and being environmentally friendly.
You can make a difference. The first chapters of Save Gas, Save the Planet will help you consider what you want in your next car. There are also many ways to reduce miles and improve fuel economy with your current car. Your actions and your words will influence more people than you expect. None of these are all-or-nothing ideas. Consider realistic improvements for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.
We want to believe in magic but unfortunately, there is no one magical solution. Save Gas, Save the Planet captures over 120 different ways that people are making a difference by riding clean, riding together, and riding less. As you read Save Gas, Save the Planet, you will discover a number of ways to burn less fuel without needing a new car. When, and if, you are ready for a new car, you will make a better choice.
This excerpt from the book Save Gas, Save the Planet highlights the future of Transportation 2.0. During the next 20 years we will witness a major shift from vehicles that are mostly mechanical to vehicles that are primarily electronic. People share tips and stories about how they save by riding smart, riding less, riding together, and riding clean.
This excerpt from the book Save Gas, Save the Planet begins with the delights of a car free vacation. When fuel prices rocket; then fuel demand tanks. People are getting clever about getting around. They are rethinking their relationship with their cars, trucks, and SUVs.