Fuel and Driving Habits, Version 2.0

 In Electric Vehicle News

Over the past couple of months, our blog posts have danced around two main topics – fuel and driving habits.

A recent article from GM brings these two concepts into perfect harmony. Using OnStar data collected from two different drivers piloting the same model Cruze, GM demonstrates how driving habits can truly have a significant impact on bottom line fuel economy. The following is an excerpt from GM’s Media website:

10 Tips Could Save You $100 a Month at the Pump

With Americans paying an average of $1 more per gallon of gasoline than a year ago, many drivers are looking for ways to improve their fuel economy during the Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of the summer driving season.

To demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that hurt their fuel economy, Chevrolet recently drove two identical compact cars on a typical workday commute. The results show that sweating the small stuff could save drivers as much as $100 a month at the pump.

For the drive, GM fuel-economy engineers Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs, which the EPA estimates get 24 mpg city, and 36 mpg highway. For the route, they drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving as well stopping for coffee.

Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze. Driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance, Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon.

The difference means Nunning would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Wenzlick would save $100 a month – or $1,200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas:

Ann Wenzlick drive 37 mpg 575 mi per tank $1,621per year
Beth Nunning drive 21 mpg 325 mi per tank $2,857 per year
Savings 40 percent 250 mi per tank $1,236 per year

“Ann and Beth’s results support data from OnStar that shows the fuel economy of drivers in identical cars can vary by 75 percent,” said Roger Clark, manager of the GM Energy Center. “With a well-maintained car, the best drivers get up to 25 percent more miles per gallon than average. When you combine a poorly maintained car with inefficient driving habits, the fuel economy of the worst drivers can be 50 percent below average.

The fuel economy of every vehicle is greatly affected by how you drive, and how you care for your vehicle,” Clark said. “Often, relatively small changes to your driving habits and vehicle maintenance can make the difference between being on the bottom, or the top, of the fuel-economy scale.”

Speaking of Onstar, stay tuned because Talking TCO’s next blog post will focus on telematics. Until then, drive smart and pay less at the pump!

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