Monday, January 22, 2007

Thoughts on the US' dependency on foreign oil

Hi dear readers,
I've taken up an experiment again. For the last week, I have faithfully used my cruise control to set my speed in my car to the speed limit. Now, this is the second time I've done this, the first was in the Cavalier, this time in the Prius.

In the first experiment, I learned two things. First, NO ONE drives the speed limit. I was passed like I was standing still by practically every car. Second, My gas mileage increased by 20%. That was more than I expected... but it was a pleasent surprise.

When I did this last week in the Prius, my mileage went from 41 MPG to 47 MPG. Not nearly the increase, but still noticable. I was still passed like I was standing still by practically every other car.

Now, in the way this world is, we have been told by our leaders that we MUST break our addiction to oil. Yet the simplest thing that every single one of us can do is to slow down a little. We all seem to be addicted to going faster. I am VERY guilty of this, I love doing 80 in a 65, or 67 in a 55 (I know you do too Pebbles :) ). But there is no reason for this logically. In around town driving you are saving approximately a few minutes at most. Is it logical for us to burn up to 20% more fuel for a few extra minutes? My answer is no for myself.

I would encourage anyone who reads this to try the same experiment if you haven't done so already. Tell your friends and family to try it to. See what results you get. If we all did this, we'd reduce our consumption of oil by a noticable amount. Imagine what we could do if we did this across the country. I don't judge anyone who doesn't do this... but it's definately worth thinking about.

People have heard me bash H2 owners in the past... I am guilty of this. Now when I think about this, I realize the reasons for my animostiy toward that vehicle.

There are many reasons to own a truck. I beg to borrow trucks occasionally when I need one. They are most useful, and there are now many fuel economic models on the market. They'll never beat my Prius, but my Prius will never haul a load ov manure... we're even :).
Then there are the Jeep class of vehicle. These cars also have a HUGE amount of versitility and I love them as well. Nothing 4 wheels better than a Jeep. In snowy terrain and for recreation, there is NO better vehicle. Jeeps have also made excellent strides in fuel economy.
When I come to the H2 class of vehicle... the monster SUV class of car. What's the point? I can't think of anything that it does well. And they haven't even attempted to make these vehicles any more efficient. They are idols of consumption and excess... and THAT I dislike greatly.

Putting my soapbox away now,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, some of us do drive the speed limit most of the time ;-)

I have been running a similar experiment that I encourage people with a manual transmission to try - do not let your tach get above about 2k. Most people don't shift until they are close to read lining, often near 5 or 6k. The gas savings will impress you.

I got the idea from this article while looking for ways to increase the mileage on my Wranger. Some Jeep specific stuff, but a good, well thought out read all around.

- Robb

12:36 PM  
Blogger Danielle Alberti said...

i actually did do this... almost. I faithfully set my cruise control, but at a reasonable speed. Like you said, no one drives the speed limit, so in a 55, I did like 62. However, living faaaar out in the country, my drive to work was 23 miles of straight (mostly open) road. My mpg went up about 4 miles (a lot for a 1989 station wagon that only gets 20 to start). I was always under the impression that it wasn't the speed, but rather the cruise control. But more power to you, Voodoo. I just hope I'm not driving behind you sometime.

7:55 PM  

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Location: Thornton, Colorado, United States

I'm a geek, plain and simple. I used to fence, I play poker when I can, and am learning to play lacrosse. I also work WAY too much.

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