Fitter, Healthier And More Mileage?

How much does the driver's weight affect gas mileage.This infographic created by Allstate and Cars.com is pretty interesting and self-explanatory. Holy nuts – 39 million gallons of fuel is consumed per year for every pound added to the combined vehicle/driver weight!

We would’ve shown the full infographic but it was obese so we trimmed it by 70%. [MNN]

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New World Record: Driving 1,626 Miles On One Tank In A Diesel-Powered Volkswagen Passat

John and Helen Taylor - Hypermile their way to 1,626 mile trip on one tank of gas.Inhabitat posted an article about Helen and John Taylor’s record breaking 1,626 mile drive from Houston TX to Sterling VA on one tank of gas. Their 3-day trip went from May 3 – 5 and to make it as real-world as possible, they also carried 120 lbs of luggage and only drove during daylight hours. The clean-diesel running 2012 Volkswagen Passat they drove is EPA rated at 43 mpgs but the Taylor’s hypermiled the heck out of it and managed to squeeze 84.1 mpgs during the trip.

The Taylor’s story has been reported on other websites but we wanted to dig further and see if they broke any other records and it turns out they did.

Other records set (on a 1,626 mile, 1-tank of gas trip)

  1. Longest argument for missing an exit.
  2. Longest awkward silence after arguing about missing an exit.
  3. Most times “we can’t stop, we’re hypermiling baby!” is said.
  4. Fullest pair of Depends.
  5. Longest argument over a radio station choice.
  6. Most times “I’m never doing this again” is said.

Congrats to the Taylors and we hope they can one day re-break all of their hypermiling world records! [Inhabitat]

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Decided What Car To Get By First Asking Ourselves, WWABD (What Would Andy Bernard Drive)? Got A Prius.

Andy Bernard - The OfficeAs of 3pm on Sunday April 15th, we became proud Toyota Prius owners. It sure is a nice ride and the user interface tells you more than everything you’d want to know about how your car is performing. The UI can be a bit overwhelming but it does help the driver adjust their technique to maximize fuel economy in real time. My kids sitting in the back calling us out every time we switched to using the gas engine wasn’t ordered but could be an option on future models.

Being a new Prius owner does come with responsibility.Pious - Toyota Prius vanity license One big one is that we will not put any smug, pro-Prius bumper stickers on our car. Our motivation to get the Toyota Prius wasn’t to be better than anyone; it was simply a decision borne out of cheapness. Compared to our 2002 Honda Odyssey, the Prius gets nearly 3 times the gas mileage and that’s basically all it took. And ours isn’t a plugin model so we won’t be attending any National Plug In Day events but then again, we wouldn’t go even if it was.

So thank you Andy Bernard, the Nard-Dog, for inspiring us to act. We un-piously love our Prius so much that we can’t wait to not drive it!

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The US Is Getting Fatter And So Are Our Cars

SUV or Smart Car - Who'd You Rather?Since 1980, the innovations implemented in cars should’ve increased our fuel efficiency by 60%. So why did it actually only go up 15%? A study by MIT economist Christopher Knittel pinpointed the problem and it’s simple – we countered the gains in fuel efficiency by increasing the size and horsepower of our vehicles at an even higher rate. Mr. Knittel’s research paper, “Automobiles on Steroids” (PDF), outlines the results of his study.

According to the study, adjusted for inflation, gas prices fell by 30% between 1980 and 2004. During this period, sales of light trucks/SUV’s increased from 20% of all vehicles purchased to 51%. Manufacturers were building larger cars to meet the demand.

Mr. Knittel’s conclusion is that the best way to increase fuel efficiency is through the creation of a national gas tax. President Obama’s new CAFE standard that requires automakers to reach a fleet average of 54.5 mpg by 2025 will get us there but Mr. Knittel fears a “rebound effect” of the law where people would buy more fuel efficient cars and would then drive more. A gas tax would not only lead consumers to purchase more efficient vehicles but it would also encourage people to drive less.

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