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.
Image Credit: Flickr – Chego 101