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Posts Tagged ‘saving gas’

Autonomous Driving May Help Save Fuel

U-M teaming with two labs to conduct study.

by on Nov.19, 2015

By 2017, the Cadillac CTS will be equipped with V2V technology. Might that technology not only improve safety, but also save fuel?

Adding autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability is expected to make driving safer and shorten commuting times.

But now the University of Michigan and the Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago and Idaho National Laboratory are teaming up to see if the V2V technology also can help motorists save fuel.

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The university and two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories plan to collaborate on a study to determine if connected and automated vehicles could help people drive more efficiently. (more…)

How to Save Fuel in Hot Weather

by on Jun.19, 2014

You can save fuel driving in summer - if your're careful. Photo courtesy: DenverExpressCare.

It was a long, cold winter for much of the U.S., and if you live in one of those Snowbelt states you might have noticed that your fuel bills rose whenever the mercury sank, your car working longer and harder to get both the engine and passenger compartment up to temperature. The good news is that hot weather actually can reduce your fuel consumption – at least if you follow some basic tips.

While your engine warms up faster – requiring less fuel – you need to think about ways to keep the passenger compartment cool without putting the air conditioning on at full blast, cautions the Department of Energy (DoE) and other automotive experts.

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“Under very hot conditions, AC can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%,” notes new guidelines posted on And the impact of running your air conditioning in a hybrid, plug-in or battery-electric vehicle “can be even larger on a percentage basis,” it notes.


Index Shows New Car Fuel Economy Still Improving

Emissions levels take a step back due to truck sales.

by on Apr.04, 2014

FCA's Ram pickup enjoyed its best March sales total ever. Trucks are more fuel efficient than ever, helping to improve new vehicle fuel economy.

The fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. continue to improve reaching its best mark ever last month, according to a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), but new car emissions took a step back.

Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, the UMTRI researchers who prepare the report, estimated the average fuel economy of window-sticker values for fuel economy on cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in March was 25.4 mpg. The figures represented a 0.3-mpg increase from a revised February figure and 5.3 mpg from October 2007, the first full month of monitoring by UMTRI.

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However, Sivak and Schoettle issued a monthly update of their national Eco-Driving Index, which estimates the average monthly emissions generated by an individual U.S. driver. The index shifted into reverse and fell back slightly as Americans continued to buy more trucks and utility vehicles. (more…)

Americans are Driving More, But Using Less Fuel

Study shows vehicles are more fuel efficient than ever.

by on Aug.05, 2013

Americans are driving more, but using less gasoline due to improved fuel efficiency.

Americans continue to drive more as the economy recovers but even so, they’re using less fuel according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

In addition, despite a surge in pickup truck sales keyed to the upturn in the housing market, the average fuel economy of model year 2013 vehicles sold thus far (October 2012 through July 2013) is 24.7 miles per gallon.

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“This is up 1.2 mpg from model year 2012 vehicles,” U-M’s Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor, Mich. noted in its monthly Eco-Driving Index (EDI). (more…)

Saving Gas Over the Memorial Day Holiday

It’s easier than you think to stretch out a tank-full.

by on May.26, 2011

A few simple steps and you'll save enough on fuel to pay for a nice family meal.

An estimate 30.9 million families will head out on the highway over the long Memorial Day holiday, the traditional start of the U.S. summer season.

The figure is down about 100,000 for last year, according to a survey by AAA – and that’s no surprise considering the current, near-record price of gas, which the organization pegs at around $3.91 a gallon.  A full 40% of those who might consider a trip of at least 50 miles say that fuel prices are influencing their plans for the long weekend, though nine in 10 who will be going somewhere say they are planning to travel by car.

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If you’re among the many who’ll be heading out on the highway, you can rein in your fuel costs with some surprisingly simple steps that will also help when you’re back home and commuting to work.

Indeed, Chevrolet just completed a test to see just how much it could improve the mileage of its Cruze LT.  The compact sedan is rated by the EPA at 24 City, 36 Highway.  But one fuel economy engineer, Ann Wenzlick, was able to squeeze out an average 37 mpg, while her colleague, Beth Nunning, only managed to get 21 mpg.


Finding America’s Most Fuel-Efficient Automobiles

No, they aren’t all hybrids.

by on Mar.11, 2011

America's most fuel-efficient vehicle, the Toyota Prius.

The following story has been revised to include the Ford Fusion Hybrid in the Top 10 list.

If recent weeks are any indication, many American motorists are rethinking what to drive.  Last month’s sales numbers saw a spike in demand for small cars and hybrids (though there was also a bump in demand for pickups and bigger SUVs, despite rising fuel prices).

While there’s a law of diminishing returns, increasing your fuel economy from, say, 20 to 30 mpg can add up to savings of hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year, no wonder why so many motorists are thinking about downsizing or at least opting for alternative powertrains.

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The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to switch to a battery car or hybrid to achieve big improvements in your fuel economy.  Nor do you need to swap that family van for a minicar.

True, vehicles relying on at least some form of battery power – whether hybrids, plug-ins or pure battery-electric vehicles – top the latest mileage charts, the latest crop of internal combustion engines are yielding respectable numbers – often at substantially lower sticker prices.