Wondering what might be dragging down the mileage on your sporty new SUV or crossover? Look no further than your roof. According to a new study, roof racks may cost drivers as much as 25% more in gas usage.
Researchers in the first-of-its-kind study discovered that in in 2015, these popular add-ons were accounting for nearly 1% of all light-duty vehicle gasoline consumption. On the surface, it may not sound like much, but it equates to more than 100 million gallons of gas annually.
“I’ve always been intrigued by energy consumption that was somehow overlooked or ignored because, for example, it wasn’t in the test procedure,” said Alan Meier, who co-authored the study with Yuche Chen of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “In this case the fuel consumption of vehicles with after-market accessories isn’t captured in the test procedure.” (more…)