Go Back   EcoModder Forum > EcoModding > General Efficiency Discussion
Register Now
 Register Now
 

Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-11-2008, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Dartmouth 2010
 
SVOboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hanover, NH
Posts: 6,427

Vegan Powa! - '91 Honda CRX DX
Team Honda
90 day: 66.52 mpg (US)
Thanks: 92
Thanked 113 Times in 82 Posts
Send a message via AIM to SVOboy Send a message via MSN to SVOboy Send a message via Yahoo to SVOboy
Why SUV fuel economy is so much more important than small car fuel economy...

...and why any truck owner who wants to increase their mpg is a friend of mine!

Disclaimer: I drive a small car, I love my compact, and I always encourage everyone to do with the least they need (when it's feasible I much prefer my bike to my car). This is not about slamming people for buying a Civic Hybrid or a Civic VX for better economy; this is about contextualizing the issue and understanding why it is so important for the ecomodding community to embrace people with all sorts of vehicles.

Take a look at this picture:

From the thread inspiring article found here.

Just from this image, you can see that the MPG is a bad mark of measuring fuel consumption. Numbers like 60MPG and 70MPG sounds impressive (and they are), but their distance from, say, 30MPG is much less important than something like 18MPG.

Because of the steep slope of the graph in the lower MPG range, each MPG is "worth" a lot more than the MPGs on the higher end of the graph.

The original article demonstrates this point thusly:
Quote:
I'll use some rough numbers to illustrate. You trade in your Civic, which averages about 32 miles per gallon, and buy a Prius, which gets a whopping 47 mpg. You've bumped up by 15 miles per gallon -- a big deal, right?

Sort of. Over the next 15,000 miles of driving, you'll have reduced your fuel consumption by 150 gallons. That's fine. But consider what happens when you upgrade your SUV. That's where the real action is.

You swap out your Dodge Durango (16 mpg on average) for a Toyota Tacoma (23 mpg). It's an upgrade of just 7 miles per gallon. It seems tiny. But consider that over the next 15,000 miles, you will have saved 285 gallons of fuel
Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that the European L/100KM system is much more useful for direct comparisons. However, as long as most of us are using the US system (I wouldn't forget our members in other parts of the world), please do keep in mind that the improvements people with "guzzlers" make are very important to moving away from an oil based society.

And perhaps, just perhaps, if we're always remember to wear our kind and helpful hats, those SUV drivers may end up in a compact one day, taking an even bigger step away from fuel consumption!


  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 01-11-2008, 09:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
bondo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 279
Thanks: 90
Thanked 237 Times in 89 Posts
Interesting perspective, gallons per mile. The distance will always be there, it is the fuel that is the biggest variable. One thing we must overcome in America, and I have encountered this posting messages on sites like www.fordf150.net, is that some people think that by conserving we are giving up our prosperity, which has no logic at all. Too many SUV and pickup truck drivers drive like they are in a compact car. They accelerate fast, drive over the speed limit and then wonder why they make frequent stops at the gas pump.

The big three marketing has been SUV's and pickups for many profitable years but those days are over. As China and India increase the demand side of things, the overall supply will not be able to keep up. Just look at SUV and truck sales these days, way down.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2008, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
Awesomeness personified
 
AndrewJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 642

Harold - '94 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 54.51 mpg (US)

Margot - '08 Surly Big Dummy
Thanks: 0
Thanked 27 Times in 17 Posts
Send a message via AIM to AndrewJ
yep, I was just doing some calcs.

If you've got a Hummer H2, you get 10mpg, and like the average American you drive 15,000 miles per year.

So lets say you hypermile the thing and manage to get 11mpg out of it.
That's only a 1mpg improvement, 10%.

But it'll save you over 136 gallons of fuel in one year, that's over $475 here in California.
__________________
"I got 350 heads on a 305 engine. I get 10 miles to the gallon. I ain't got no good intentions." - The Drive By Truckers.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
Pokémoderator
 
cfg83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,864

1999 Saturn SW2 - '99 Saturn SW2 Wagon
Team Saturn
90 day: 40.49 mpg (US)
Thanks: 439
Thanked 527 Times in 354 Posts
bondo -

Quote:
Originally Posted by bondo View Post
Interesting perspective, gallons per mile. The distance will always be there, it is the fuel that is the biggest variable. One thing we must overcome in America, and I have encountered this posting messages on sites like www.fordf150.net, is that some people think that by conserving we are giving up our prosperity, which has no logic at all. Too many SUV and pickup truck drivers drive like they are in a compact car. They accelerate fast, drive over the speed limit and then wonder why they make frequent stops at the gas pump.

The big three marketing has been SUV's and pickups for many profitable years but those days are over. As China and India increase the demand side of things, the overall supply will not be able to keep up. Just look at SUV and truck sales these days, way down.
I *think* I understand this thought process when I look at changing societal attitudes toward obesity :

Fat once revered as sign of health, wealth
And being scrawny was viewed as a symbol of a struggling life

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation...oorthin09.html
Quote:
... Only the rich had access to enough food to gain large amounts of weight during most of human history, said Dr. David Cummings, an obesity researcher at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare System and the University of Washington, who incorporated the slides into his talk. ...
If you don't live long, pigging out makes sense :

Life expectancy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy
Quote:
Life expectancy at birth in the United States in 1900 was 47 years.
In a way, they're right. I would agree with them and say that our prosperity *is* diminishing. The difference is, I think we can conserve today on the road to a new era of prosperity :

A Solar Grand Plan
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-plan
Quote:
By 2050 solar power could end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and slash greenhouse gas emissions ... High prices for gasoline and home heating oil are here to stay. The U.S. is at war in the Middle East at least in part to protect its foreign oil interests. And as China, India and other nations rapidly increase their demand for fossil fuels, future fighting over energy looms large. In the meantime, power plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas, as well as vehicles everywhere, continue to pour millions of tons of pollutants and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, threatening the planet.
The above article may be pie-in-the-sky on some levels, but I think there are solutions "out there" to be (re?)discovered and applied.

CarloSW2
__________________

What's your EPA MPG? Go Here and find out!
American Solar Energy Society
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
EcoModding Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 150

Silver Bullet - '02 VW Golf TDi
Thanks: 5
Thanked 16 Times in 11 Posts
Good food for thought.

I have a diesel Excursion that I use pretty much exclusively for work (hauling supplies and parts internally, or pulling a 24'x8.5' enclosed trailer). It gets nearly 25 mpg at 55, but only about half that pulling the trailer. I drive it about 10,000 miles a year, but those tend to be longish (300-4000 miles) trips at highway speeds where it would benefit the most from even modest aero mods.

I gotta put some thought into this.
__________________
Best tank ever: 72.1 mpg in February 2005, Seattle to S.F.
New personnal best 'all-city' tank June '08 ... 61.9 mpg!
Thanks to 'pulse-n-glide' technique.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 05:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 20,851

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
Last 3: 51.27 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.51 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,688
Thanked 5,597 Times in 2,873 Posts
Really well put, Ben.

"MPG" is a truly terrible metric for discussing fuel economy. When you consider how many people can't (or don't even bother) to calculate their FE, you just know that the finer points of the "MPG issue" are completely lost.

A giant pet peeve of mine is reading about people's changed MPG out of context. E.G. "I inflated my tires and got 3 mpg better last week!"

It's a meaningless statement unless you also tell me what your base MPG was. Yet you read that kind of thing, without the additional needed info, all the time.
__________________
Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2008, 05:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
Batman Junior
 
MetroMPG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 20,851

Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
Last 3: 51.27 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.51 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,688
Thanked 5,597 Times in 2,873 Posts
BTW, this issue is directly related to the Click and Clack puzzler I posted about a while back.
__________________
Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
mossman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Posts: 7

Shadow Fox - '94 Ford Ranger
90 day: 22.08 mpg (US)

Silver FoX - '00 Honda Civic EX
90 day: 36.31 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What a fascinating and mind bendingly mathmatical concept. It sure makes me feel good for driving my V6 Ranger at 22% over EPA. One thing I felt that the people commenting on the original article overlooked is the fact that all these trucks and SUVs are already out here. Even if you get all of the owners to switch to compacts or hybrids, what are you gonna do with all the trucks? Landfill them? And what about the impact of manufacturing all those new cars? Grand visions of a hydrogen or electric future are great, but in the mean time we need to get the most out of what we have now! I was gonna get a motorcycle to reduce my footprint a bit, but now I think maybe a dump truck driven carefully may have a bigger impact.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 05:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,202
Thanks: 225
Thanked 801 Times in 587 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman View Post
Even if you get all of the owners to switch to compacts or hybrids, what are you gonna do with all the trucks?
1) Park them until you have an actual need to haul a load, or drive on a rough dirt road or deep snow. I have a pickup ('88 Toyota) which gets driven maybe a couple thousand mile a year - and a lot of that is cutting firewood for my wood stove, so one tank of gas saves several hundred gallons of heating oil.

2) Sell the worst offenders off for scrap metal. One Hummer could yield enough recycled steel for several Priuses :-)
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 460

WonderWagon - '94 Ford Escort LX
Last 3: 51.52 mpg (US)

DaBluOne - '99 Ford Escort SE
90 day: 48.97 mpg (US)

DaRedOne - '99 Ford Escort ZX2 Hot
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 4 Posts
I find it most intuitive to think in terms of larger intervals like Gallons Per 100 (or 1000) Miles. (Least amount decimal shifts and divisions, mostly just plus, minus and multiply.)

Conversion Table: GP100M to MPG in 0.5 gallon increments.
(GP100M = Gallons Per 100 Miles & MPG = Miles Per Gallon)
GP100M MPG
-----GP100M MPG
0.5
200.0
5.5
18.2
1.0
100.0
6.0

16.7
1.5
66.7
6.5
15.4
2.0
50.0
7.0
14.3
2.5
40.0
7.5
13.3
3.0
33.3
8.0

12.5
3.5
28.6
8.5

11.8
4.0
25.0
9.0

11.1
4.5
22.2
9.5

10.5
5.0
20.0
10.0

10.0

  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to calculate MPG / fuel economy formula MetroMPG DIY / How-to 29 11-25-2013 06:47 PM
[Article] Better Fuel Economy with Ethanol? SVOboy General Efficiency Discussion 62 04-02-2010 11:31 AM
Acceleration and Fuel Economy Tested SVOboy Hypermiling / EcoDriver's Ed 7 01-09-2009 12:06 PM
When you can't get good fuel economy... SVOboy General Efficiency Discussion 3 01-05-2008 10:37 AM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com