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The 100-Year Search For A Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

The 100-Year Search For A Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

The best place to start saving fuel? Choose a fuel-efficient car.

Fuel prices are up–way up, and drivers are desperate for a way to avoid what feels like highway robbery at the gas pump.

Despite the fact that this is the second time gas prices have been over $4 in less than four years, Americans still aren’t buying fuel-efficient cars. One reason might be that most people believe high fuel prices are only something that must be tolerated temporarily. Another might be that they just don’t like the small, weak reputation that American’s associate with super-efficient cars.

As Brian Merchant of TreeHugger points out, “we figured out how to produce cars that get 40 or so mpg some 60 years ago. And only in the last few years have we really started improving on that.”

Why? “Fuel efficiency never really needed to improve as long as gas was cheap — the pollution they emitted was poorly understood early on, and there was no real reason to spend too much time and energy on increasing a cars’ gas mileage.”

Well gas isn’t cheap anymore. And as we wave goodbye to peak oil in our rear-view mirrors, it’s probably safe to say that our days of inefficient, gas-guzzling SUVs and luxury cars are numbered as well.

Click to expand the infographic below, and scroll through the timeline to see the most promising advances in fuel-economy for the past 100 years.

Created By WellHome Energy Audits and Insulation

Image Credit: Flickr – Chego 101

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


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5:33PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

.....a bicycle?....2 legs.....

2:02PM PST on Jan 19, 2014

You could also try driving less, even with a fuel-efficient care. Thanks.

8:08AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

11:37AM PST on Mar 10, 2012

One of the car companies bought out the carb. that got 40-50 mpg. Do you think they couldn't do better? I think they are still buying out the rights to make money!
The greed will bring this country to it's knees! And then I listen to politicians say how the rich need to pay less in taxes than the middle class!

9:43AM PST on Mar 10, 2012


4:20AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:37PM PST on Dec 4, 2011

I hope that things can change, soon.

9:01AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

Thank you

6:57AM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

Finally overcame the obstructionists who prevent us from even having the OPPORTUNITY to purchase fuel efficient vehicles, and imported a 2004 Toyota Echo RS 5-door hatchback from Canada: Snappy performer, excellent condition - and 45 mpg at posted speeds of 65~70 mph (40 mpg @ 80 mph - I just HAD to check!)....

6:47AM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

It is very important that we are becoming more aware of what we are doing to our enviroment and our pockets when it comes to cars. An energy efficient car may be more pricey now but will save you a lot of money in the end. For more energy saving tips check out

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Thank you so much ! Be all blessed as all your loved ones.


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