Fuel Argument - WVU Parkersburg.rtf

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					                                      Saving Money

       Increasing oil and gas prices are creating an economic strain throughout

the world. When people spend more money on gasoline, they retain less money

for consumer spending which is the force that drives national economies.

Furthermore, oil and gas price inflations cause prices of consumer goods to

increase leading to less consumer spending. Many people are considering ways

to reduce personal fuel consumption to save money. This would greatly benefit

the economy because if people spend less on fuel expenses, they will have more

money available for consumer spending. There are a number of ways to reduce

fuel consumption, including driving less, changing driving habits, and purchasing

fuel efficient vehicles (Autohaus).

       Driving less is an obvious way to spend less money on fuel. Car pooling is

one way to drive less. Instead of five employees traveling to work in five different

vehicles, the same five could travel in one vehicle cutting fuel expenses and

consumption by eighty percent. “Many cities have even created car pool lanes on

their freeways and highways” (Autohaus). For some people, carpooling may not

be feasible; however, there are other ways to reduce fuel expenses.

       Many people who live in large cities could reduce fuel consumption when

traveling to and from work by utilizing public transportation wherever it is

available. If more people are using public transportation, then the energy used to

power that transportation is not wasted or lost. Public transportation mediums

operate at maximum energy efficiency when they are filled to maximum capacity.
Unfortunately there are thousands of people who live outside of the major cities

and do not have access to public transportation.

       For those who reside in suburban or rural areas, a great way to reduce

fuel consumption is to combine errands (Autohaus). Because cars are generally

more fuel efficient once they are properly warmed up, instead of running errands

on separate days, people should attempt to complete grocery shopping, pet

supply shopping, pet grooming, prescription refills, and any other common task in

one trip to allow their vehicles to run at maximum efficiency. Beyond driving less,

there are other possible ways of reducing fuel consumption and expenditures to


       People should consider changing their driving habits to allow their vehicles

to operate at higher fuel efficiency. One habit that many people would have

trouble changing is how fast they drive. “Most cars are designed to operate at

peak fuel efficiency between 35 mph and 60 mph” (Autohaus). Unfortunately

maximum speed limits on most interstates and highways exceed 60 mph, making

it easy to travel faster. “Statistics show for every 5 mph over 60 mph you drive,

you lose almost 10 percent of your fuel efficiency” (Autohaus). Also, avoiding

excessive acceleration and using cruise control whenever possible can greatly

improve the efficiency of vehicles. These are excellent ideas for improving fuel

efficiency when driving on highways, but what about city driving.

       People who constantly drive in cities can improve the efficiency of their

vehicles by avoiding unnecessary idling. An idling vehicle uses gas without
moving, causing every drop of fuel burned during the idle time to be wasted. One

great way to reduce idling time is to avoid “rush hour” traffic. Government

employees can benefit from flex scheduling and alter their arrival and departure

times at work. Many businesses are also beginning to allow flex scheduling for

their employees (Autohaus). Because changing driving habits is difficult for many

people to do, there is another possibility for them to consider.

       People who are looking to purchase new or pre-owned vehicles should

consider purchasing alternative fueled, hybrid, and other fuel efficient cars.

Alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles may be more expensive to purchase, but they

can save drivers hundreds of dollars on fuel. An alternative fueled vehicle like

GM’s flex-fuel cars and trucks can operate on E85, an 85 percent ethanol and 15

percent gasoline mixture. This fuel has a higher octane level and therefore allows

the vehicle to perform better and at higher efficiency. Unfortunately, E85 is not

available everywhere. People who do not have access to E85 should consider

purchasing gas-electric hybrids or another fuel efficient vehicle.

       Gas-electric hybrid vehicles typically achieve double the gas mileage of

traditional vehicles. By driving a hybrid vehicle with twice the mileage, the owner

can cut fuel consumption by half; therefore reducing fuel expenditures also by

half. The higher purchase prices of many hybrid vehicles may deter most car

buyers, but owning one can save enough money in fuel expenses over the

lifetime of the vehicle to accommodate the higher initial cost. After the consumer

saves enough money on fuel to recover the price difference, future savings would

make the purchase more valuable. Because some people cannot afford a new
hybrid vehicle, people should consider small, compact cars that have high

mileage ratings.

      There are several options to consider when purchasing a new or used fuel

efficient vehicle. Volkswagen and Toyota are two companies that produce highly

efficient cars. The Volkswagen Beetle and the Toyota Yaris are two of the many

cars these manufacturers produce that are rated well above the usual 30 mpg

mileage rating. People who own and drive these vehicles use approximately

thirty percent less fuel than people who own mid-sized sedans.

      In conclusion, there are several ways to reduce fuel consumption and

expenditures. People should consider these and other fuel saving ideas when

they want to save money on gasoline. If more people would drive less, change

their driving habits, and purchase fuel efficient vehicles, the global economy

could benefit because the money these people save on gasoline would translate

into consumer spending and stimulate economies everywhere.
                                     Work Cited

Autohaus Arizona. “Auto Repair #14: Top Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency.” 2007.

 30 Apr 2008. <>.

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