Slower Pace Bigger Payoff

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 3:23 PM

What’s the hurry? Do you feel that our lives are just moving at two fast a pace? Or maybe you like the fast pace? All and all when it comes to driving that fast pace is costing you at the gas pump. It’s true, if you drive faster than the optimal speed for your car it is having to work much harder resulting in using fuel. More air builds up in front of the vehicle and the low pressure “hole” trailing behind us gets bigger as well. Together, these create an increasing suction that tends to pull back harder and harder the faster you drive. All your car needs to do is maintain its speed by overcoming the combined friction of its own moving parts. The optimal speed for most cars that is around 55-60 mph. Kind of reminds us of the old days when the speed limit was 55. And there was a good reason for that back then. It was to reduce gasoline consumption by 2.2% in response to the 1973 oil crisis. Well here we find ourselves in pretty the same scenario. Resources are being depleted and we could have another crisis on our hands. Roger Clark, a fuel economist from General Motors, goes on to say that for every 10 mph faster you go it reduces your fuel economy by 4 mpg. That’s a significant amount if you add it all up.

So it breaks down like this.

How much?
According to studies backed by the department of energy, the average car will be at its advertised MPG at 55 mph. But as the speed increases:

- 3% less efficient at 60 mph
- 8% less efficient at 65 mph
- 17% less efficient at 70 mph
- 23% less efficient at 75 mph
- 28% less efficient at 80 mph





Vickie Wheatley

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