efficiency deficiency

‘It isn’t what you drive, it is how you drive it.”

The articles and topics on fuel efficiency never stop in this day and age because there is a growing concern about human impact on the earth. When looking into articles and posts about fuel efficiency my knee jerk reaction was to find something on how to creatively conserve on fuel but I think the answer better came in this Top Gear video about fuel efficiency. Instead of only looking at how much fuel your car burns, it is important to look at how your car was assembled and the imprint that may have left on the earth as well. Many times looking at the direct result and its effects we forget to look into the process of how something came to be. The same way we are looking at the earth and wondering how we can make a change to our impact now a lot of the habits created in the past are a direct result of what is going on in the present.

How can we be more efficient with our cars?

Drive better.

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3 Responses to “efficiency deficiency”

  1. Hey Megan. Awesome video, a real eye opener. It did a great job of making me think about this whole subject differently. I have a couple of ideas about being more efficient with our automobiles. First, I’m a big fan of ride sharing. There are a bunch of sites out there that function to connect people who share the same routes to work or school, helping them save money on gas and live more sustainably. I am a frequent user of one site in particular, zimride.com. I’m from Chicago and am constantly making trips back home. Zimride is a safe and legit site that allows me to connect with other michigan students making the trip. People “sell” spots in their car for pretty low prices and you contact with them directly to figure out the details. It sure seems better than me driving there and back every time alone.
    Another thing people can change is their choice in automobiles. I have a vespa-like scooter. It gets over a hundred miles to the gallon. I fill it up once a month on pocket change. I understand this isn’t that practical for many people, but if it suits your needs, go for it. Low emissions, low cost, super fun. It’s fantastic!

  2. Hi Megan,

    I think you picked a really fun video to demonstrate efficiency deficiency. It was really interesting to be told that the BMW is actually more efficient than the Toyota Prius when driven in a certain manner. That gets me thinking – can we judge how fuel efficient a car is just by relying on what we’re told?

    However, I wish that this video provided more information. For example, how did the Prius compare to the BMW in a speed race? Did the Prius do better? Etc. I think there were a lot of questions that the video left unanswered.

    I wanted to learn more about how these cars are manufactured. I think it would’ve been extremely helpful if you also posted a video or a link to an article that mentioned how much it takes to cost to create a BMW or a Toyota Prius. Then it would have been easier to make a comparison regarding how much fuel it takes to manufacture and run a car.

    You asked a very broad question: how can we be more efficient with cars? Based of the information from the video, I think it’s important to pick a car that suits your lifestyle. To be more specific, if you lived in an area where you drove in a city in a slow limit, it might be more beneficial to both you and the environment to get the BMW rather than the Toyota Prius. However, if you drove more on the highway, you should look into other options.

    My dad owns an airbag and seatbelt designing company, and because of what we hear from him, my family buys cars based on safety rather than fuel efficiency. My next question is, how can environmentalists reach out to consumers that are not too worried about fuel consumptions? This video leads to many more interesting questions. Thanks so much for posting this video!

    Allison

  3. I agree with Charlie: awesome and interesting video, Megan. I always love the “experiments” or test runs Top Gear guys do. However, I think the BBC was correct in their letters to the show: neither of these experiments are extremely informative for the average automobile user. While the second test run led to a surprising result, we weren’t really given much information about how fast these cars were going, or really any of the specifics. A car like the Prius is not built for 100 mph speeds (In fact, Priuses do best in city driving, in stop and start traffic, where the engine can rest). However, the M3 is built specifically for speed, so I’m assuming that was the reason for the difference in recorded mpgs.

    Like you and the Top Gear hosts mentioned, when talking about hybrid, electric, and “green” automobiles, one must not only take into consideration the low emissions and low cost, but also how it’s made and the carbon footprint produced by its manufacturing. After viewing the video, I was curious about the carbon footprint of the Prius and thus did some of my own research. While it is true that the manufacturing of the Prius (specifically the hybrid battery) does, in fact, require more energy to produce than the average, conventional car, the overall long-term benefits of driving a “green” or hybrid automobile still out weight those of a conventional car. Most websites and articles I looked at estimated that within 45,000 miles, the Prius “pays off” its initial energy cost. In addition, considering that more people are keeping their cars for longer due to the steep increase of automobile prices, the fact is that ultimately, the Prius will provide car owners overall better fuel economy, lower emissions, and a smaller carbon footprint.

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