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7 March, 2007

Raise awareness

This article is about 'hypermilers' who obsessively, even competitively wring extreme fuel economy from standard cars, but a more general point is worth promoting:

It was driving his wife's Acura MDX that moved Wayne up to the next rung of hypermiler driving. That's because the SUV came with a fuel consumption display (FCD), which shows mpg in real time. As he drove, he began to see how little things – slight movements of his foot, accelerations up hills, even a cold day – influenced his fuel efficiency. He learned to wring as many as 638 miles from a single 19-gallon tank in the mdx; he rarely gets less than 30 mpg when he drives it. "Most people get 18 in them," he says. The FCD changed the driving game for Wayne. "It's a running joke," he says, "but instead of a fuel consumption display, a lot of us call them 'game gauges'" – a reference to the running score posted on video games – "because we're trying to beat our last score – our miles per gallon."

If people could see how much fuel they guzzled while driving, Wayne believes they'd quickly learn to drive more efficiently. "If the EPA would mandate FCDs in every car, this country would save 20 percent on fuel overnight," he says. "They're not expensive for the manufacturers to put in – 10 to 20 bucks – and it would save more fuel than all the laws passed in the last 25 years. All from a simple display."


What a wonderfully obvious point. As soon as you gauge anything people naturally look for ways to cut down on whatever is it they're using. Just look at water metering.

Posted by AKALucifer at March 8, 2007 08:42 PM
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