Fuel Economy & Emissions Talk about the mileage database, EPA, hypermiling, gas and driving strategy.

Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

  #1  
Old 08-18-2005, 04:17 PM
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Default Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

It's safe to say that most of the people on this site care about reducing oil (gasoline) consumption. But we tend to only discuss one of the variables - efficiency per mile. The other is the number of miles driven. I could argue that a Hummer driven 5 miles to work is preferable to a Prius driven 100 miles to work (from strictly a gas consumption view). Ideally, we should address both variables.

So, in addition to mpg, I'm curious about how many gallons of gasoline the GHers use in a month. Have you done anything to reduce the number of miles driven? I used to track average mpg, but now I set gas consumption goals for the household and try to come in under them. It's fun to see how many weeks you can go on a tank.

Mike
 
  #2  
Old 08-18-2005, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

Good point.

I've quit taking short lunch trips mostly to keep my MPGs high but that also reduces total miles driven and total gas used. Of course my boat will burn more gas this summer than my Honda will burn all year....
 
  #3  
Old 08-18-2005, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

I'd like to report that my main goal is to reduce fuel consumption but that would be flat wrong.

I do my best to keep my better half out of the HCH driver seat (Shhhh) and try to reserve it for my daily 96 mile commute. Yes, I'm selfish.

As far as my commute is concerned I take a highway the first 24 miles that parallels the main freeway. While I add a mile or so in the end I save 7-10 MPG, vs all freeway.

The Grand Caravan goes out on most everything else including shorter trips and family outings, even if it's just the wife & me tooling around.
We could take the HCH for many of these trips but she doesn't like my pace with reduced or no AC. (Can't figure out why, there's an ice water bucket and rag right there to use )

In cooler weather we'll use the HCH more but not now.
 
  #4  
Old 08-18-2005, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

I went without a car for almost five years, so when I purchased my house two years ago, distance from work was the presiding factor in my decision (well, after price that is).

Obviously, I've since bought an HCH. My brother/roommate finally got sick of me asking for rides to here or there

My work commute is 5.2 miles by bicycle or my choice of 4.9 or 5.2 by car. Since I've bought the HCH, I've wished I lived further from work, as my oil is barely warmed up by the time I get there.

One the scale of "Techie, Greenie, Cheapo", I'd rate myself 60%, 25%, 15%. Yes... I'm one of those who'd describe his recent driving experience as similar to a video game... and I'm not in to video games as it were.
 
  #5  
Old 08-18-2005, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

Having just come home from a 45 minute drive in the Prius, I'd have to say that I actually tend to drive the hybrids more than our other cars. I find myself often going for longer trips just to play with the mileage over a distance. If I had taken the Minivan or my old sedan, I probably would have gone to my destination and come directly home, about a 5 minute trip one way, 7 min. if hypermiling. But since tonight I was lucky enough to have the Prius, my return trip turned into a 3/4 hour hypermiling Pulse and Glide session. Yes, even in the Insight I have a special route for when I'm not in a hurry that takes about 30-40 minutes extra. But when short trips are necessary we usually take a non-hybrid, preserving current personal-best tanks for longer jaunts. If I lived in an area where bike-riding was practical for daily errands, I'd enjoy that more. But since a car is necessary, it's sure nice to have 2 of the best ones to hypermile with.

Despite savings over past cars, our gas consumption is through the roof in summer fueling a thirsty boat, jet-ski, lawn equipment and now a third driver.


-Justin Fons
-Part-time hybrid pilot
 
  #6  
Old 08-19-2005, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

Originally Posted by solar dad
So, in addition to mpg, I'm curious about how many gallons of gasoline the GHers use in a month. Have you done anything to reduce the number of miles driven? I used to track average mpg, but now I set gas consumption goals for the household and try to come in under them. It's fun to see how many weeks you can go on a tank.

Mike
Since I started commuting long distances to work I have cut all uneccessary short journeys. Like Lakedude there's no more 'popping out' at lunch time on a pointless food trip just to get out of the office. I bring my lunch with me and go for a walk. Much nicer.

At the weekends if I need to take a trip into town on my own I take my bicycle.

If I get a job nearer to home I will trade my car for something older but hopefully just as economical and will self propel myself to work any distance less than 10 miles on two wheels - just like I used to
 

Last edited by stoner; 08-19-2005 at 05:17 AM.
  #7  
Old 08-19-2005, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

Since you asked Solar Dad, I use about 13 gallons of gas a month. I drive 34 miles a day (short drive by some accounts) round trip to work.
 
  #8  
Old 08-19-2005, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Saving Fuel - The Ultimate Goal

This is a disturbing trend. The more efficient we make cars the more we drive, to the point where we're using more gas and causing more pollution than we used to. I think having EVs with somewhat limited range would be good at getting the number of miles driven down quite a bit since it's more difficult to drive as far.
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005..._burden_f.html
This CO2 emissions level...represents net growth of 64% from 1970 and a 25% increase from the 1990 level, a common base for climate policies. Nevertheless, the 64% growth in carbon emissions is much less than the 160% jump in vehicle miles of travel from 1970 to 2003 because of the rapid improvement in new vehicle fuel economy between 1974 and 1981.
 
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