What is Fuel-Efficiency?
You’ve probably heard of the term “fuel efficiency”? To answer the question of what is fuel-efficiency, we need to think about the relationship between fuel and energy.
Everything requires energy to move or perform a certain task.
Whether it’s electricity providing the energy to heat your kettle, or whether it’s the energy needed to heat your toast – everything requires energy to perform a task.
Similarly, cars need energy to move. That energy comes from fuel.
But even though that energy comes from fuel, some vehicles can harness that energy better than others. In other words, they use that energy for better, for longer.
And that is – at it’s most fundamental level – what fuel efficiency is; the ability of a vehicle to extract energy from fuel.
Vehicles that extract energy from fuel in an efficient way can use that fuel longer. In other words, a fuel-efficient car can use 1 gallon of fuel longer than a non-fuel efficient car.
What makes a vehicle fuel-efficient?
But what makes a vehicle fuel-efficient? Is it the model? Is it the engine?
The answer is – it’s dependent upon a wide variety of factors. These factors include:
- Smaller engines that turbocharge faster
- Hybrid and plug-in electric cars – reusing energy otherwise lost in braking
- Lighter vehicles are more fuel-efficient than heavier vehicles
- Reducing aerodynamic drag through specified body shaping
Driving style matters, too.
Drivers who accelerate slowly but who also plan ahead are more likely to maximize the efficiency of every gallon of gasoline.
The above factors are just some of the principal factors you should consider. There are others – such as the use of diesel engines, which are far more efficient on highways compared to standard vehicles.
Advantages of Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
At this stage, you might be wondering what the point of fuel-efficiency is. Yes – it utilizes energy in a more efficient manner, but what practical difference does this make to the motorist?
The answer is – it makes all the difference.
First, there’s the environmental benefit. True, not everyone is interested in the environment, but many people are. Studies show that fuel-efficient vehicles reduce pollution and smog by as much as half compared to non-fuel efficient vehicles.
That’s a big difference.
Second – better fuel economy means you need less gas at the pump. Less gas means more savings. That being said, do remember that fuel-efficient vehicles often cost much more than standard vehicles. It may take many months or years to recoup the initial loss.
However, for many people the loss is worth it. Even if they don’t gain financially from the vehicle, they are benefiting the planet in some appreciable way.
With the advent of electric and plug-in cars, the net environmental benefit is augmented many times over.
Is a fuel-efficient vehicle right for me?
With these facts to mind, is a fuel-efficient vehicle right for you?
That depends, of course, on where your interests lie.
If the concept behind fuel-efficiency – that of maximizing energy output from fuel – is something that appeals to you, both from a financial and environmental perspective, a fuel-efficient car sounds right for you.
But even if you’re not sure, this is something to keep in mind the next time you visit a used car dealership.
By learning that little bit extra about 2-3 interested vehicles, it may sway your interest one way or the other. It may have no impact at all, but at least you now understand why.
Vegas Used Cars is the leading used car dealership in Las Vegas. Check back to our used car blog soon for even more great articles on automotive technicalities as well as all the latest trends and news in the motoring world.