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Why MPG is a Stupid Measurement

We tend to have bad measurement systems here in the buy real viagra online US. We've got a temperature scale where water freezes at 32 degrees and buying cialis boils at 212 (it's zero and 100 for the rest of the world.) And none of our measurements are compatible with our base10 numbering system. Twelve inches in a foot? 5280 feet in a mile? I mean...come on...

So it should come as no surprise to you that measuring vehicle efficiency in miles per gallon is about as effective a city's population density in square miles per person.

The reason is simple. What we want to know is how many gallons we'll save. But what we're getting is how many miles we can go. This might seem like a small difference, but displaying miles per gallon in gallons per mile immediately shows some huge flaws in our current system

15 mpg = 660 gallons per 10,000 miles
20 mpg = 500 gallons per 10,000 miles
30 mpg = 330 gallons per 10,000 miles
45 mpg = 220 gallons per 10,000 miles
60 mpg = 160 gallons per 10,000 miles

Now, obviously, the most fuel efficient car here is still the 60 mpg car. And that's fantastic. But increasing the mileage of a 15 mpg car to 20 mpg, saves as much gasoline (and carbon) as doubling the mileage of a 30 mpg car to 60 mpg.

But to the consumer's eye, the difference from 15 to 20 might not seem all that important. One might even go so far as to say that they would see it as insignificant. If they're going to buy an inefficient car, what does it matter if they get an extra five miles for every one gallon of gas.

This, in short, is why the cialis drugstore number one shop Chevy Tahoe Hybrid won Green Car of the Year this year. And while it may seem like the best way to save gas is to make small cars more and more efficient, it's obviously much more important to work on the big cars first.

Not only is a gallons per 10,000 mile system more accurate in terms of efficiency, it's better for the consumer. It shows them exactly how many gallons they'll be burning. And, from there, it's only a quick multiplication to get yourself a big scary number for your gas bills.

Of course, if history is any guide, switching the units will be no easy task. But the next time you're at a dealership, maybe you should bust out your calculator and figure out how many gallons per mile you'll be getting.

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Comments (121)Add Comment
I disagre
written by Clinch, July 14, 2008
Efficiency is usually in terms output per input, and MPG is easy to understand, because it's the same way (the output being miles traveled, and the input being the gallons of fuel [imputed to the car]).
And comparing how far two cars can go on one gallon of fuel seems easier to understand, because you can put a gallon of fuel in your car, but comparing over 10'000 miles, who drives that distance in one go?
written by haichen, July 14, 2008
No, what you really want to know is: How much does it cost driving to work or somewhere else. You can calculate it in your Brain if it is gallons / 10000 miles or in Europe liter/100km. Try this with mpg.
More Confusion
written by Techfrog, July 14, 2008
How is that more accurate? at any given moment, we know what a gallon of gas costs. We now know that figure will take us 15, 30, or 40 miles.

10,000 miles takes about eight months to a year for most, so whats the the best site viagra discount point of that calculation? Fuel prices vary over that period, so to do a long term calculation is meaningless. In your linear way of looking at it, you've actually managed to make it more difficult. 40mpg is easy. Buy a gallon, go 40 miles. End of story.
written by EV, July 14, 2008
You can calculate it in your Brain if it is gallons / 10000 miles or in Europe liter/100km. Try this with mpg.

Easy. Miles/mpg*($/gallon).
As opposed to your way of Miles*(Gallons/Miles)*($/Gallon).

I'm not seeing what the big difference is other than a division in place of a multiplication.
Why so great?
written by neilgx, July 14, 2008
If the MPG measurement is so bad, why is the inverse (GPM) so great? Why not use the MIN and MAX amount of fuel used per revolution of the engine as a measurement of efficiency?
Treehugger had an article about this
written by allie, July 14, 2008
Here's a link:

The gist of it is that the relationship of miles to gallons is curvilinear, not linear. So replacing a car that gets 12 mpg with a car that gets 14 mpg gives you greater savings than replacing a car that gets 28 mpg with one that gets 40 mpg. Since it isn't linear, it confuses a lot of people, and it isn't a realistic measurement. Gallons per mile gives you a better, more realistic representation of how much fuel you'll be using on any given trip.
who cares?
written by lennie, July 14, 2008
I think is that most of the big car and light truck makers could easly pump out 2 two 4 times the MPG that thay get now.
RE:More Confusion
written by lo, July 14, 2008
No, it's not more accurate, it's just a MUCH BETTER WAY to represent the same number.
It's not "more confusion", nor is it difficult to understand why this is a better way as it's spelled out right in the post:
people do not regard a 15MPG->20MPG increase as anything significant, even though it is an 3 increase, and actually reduces the absolute amount of fuel consumed over a certain distance the same as going from 30MPG to 60MPG.

Again, the data is the same, the relations are just being shown different. But this is a SIGNIFICANT IDEA and one in which I was happily surprised to find.

I always find it interesting how difficult it is for humans to compare and contrast differing amounts and percentages... something in the brain.

written by Ken Roberts, July 14, 2008
Perhaps both numbers could be displayed on automobile stickers. Easy compromise that gives more information to the mathematically inclined and doesn't confuse your grandmother.
written by Lloyd Alter, July 14, 2008
the problem is one of comfort and custom. We have had the metric system for 25 years, buy our gas in liters, and measure fuel economy in liters per 100KM, yet the first thing everyone wants to know is, how much is that in miles per gallon, even though we have not driven miles or pumped gallons in years. Habit it tough to beat.
written by Clinch, July 14, 2008
The reason the treehugger linked graph is curved, is because you've comparing a unit of measurement to its inverse. If they put the graph as x=GPM, against y=distance traveled on a gallon of fuel (in miles), the graph would also be non-linear.

And you can just as easily use the inverse argument.

Comparing two change;
A-Changing from 30GP*M to 20GP*M
B-Changing from 300GP*M to 200GP*M
It may seem that B is a better option, because you save 100 gallons compared to only saving 10 in A.
But if you put it in to MPG
A- 333MPG to 500MPG
B- 33MPG to 50MPG
You see that A can do an additional 167 miles per gallon, compared to B, only 17.

And in the end, when are you ever going even consider buying, for example, an 20MPG SUV, because the increase in efficiency compared to its previous model is five times that of the efficiency increase of a 70MPG hybrid compaired to its previous model?
I am Agree
written by Daniel, July 14, 2008
I am agree with you!
RE:RE:More Confusion
written by Clinch, July 14, 2008
You may save the same amount of fuel when changing from 15mpg to 20mpg, as you do when changing from 30mpg to 60mpg, but using GPM gives no indication of the overall change in efficiency.

Saving 50 gallons wouldn't be that big of a deal to someone who uses 600GPM, as it's only an increase of efficiency by 8%, but to someone who gets 100GPM, saving the same 50 gallons, would be doubling their efficiency.
Don't forget US Gallons are different to
written by litsl, July 14, 2008
If you need another reason to be concerned about MPG it's also worth remembering that US MPG is different from UK MPG. A US Gallon is 3.785 litres whereas an imperial gallon is 4.55 litres. Not great for making comparisons.

Just a quick heads up from the UK where gas is $9 dollars per US Gallon.
Metric / Imperial debate
written by Fox, July 14, 2008
Never forget that a very expensive NASA Orbiter to Mars crashed because of a imperial/metric measurement confusion !
Speed limits
written by Daniel Rossi, July 14, 2008
Why we still make cars that run above the speed limits. Of course if you give me a car that goes above 100 m/h sooner or later I will push the gas to test it, which is cool and boost my adrenaline but I dont want a car like that even electric. Speed limits should not be above 55 mpg.
written by EV, July 14, 2008
Why we still make cars that run above the speed limits

A few reasons, really.
One is that the peak efficiency of an engine is below it's max power. This is true for any engine that I know of.

Two is that, occasionally, you need the power that can take you above 55mph when you are well below 55mph. It takes more power to accelerate from a stop to 20 in a reasonable amount of time than is used to maintain 55mph. Or say, you get into a situation where you need to accelerate quickly, say to avoid the idiot who is about to sideswipe you at an intersection.

Three, you also occasionally need to go above 55. Such as when the the best site order levitra canada car next to you on the interstate is trying to move into your front seat. Either that, or you slam on the brake real fast. Both things have happened to me in the past few years.

There are real, practical reasons for designing cars this way. Some of them are even safety related.
written by L/100km, like the rest of the world, July 15, 2008
L/100km. The entire world can do it, so can you.
a better way
written by Jacob, July 15, 2008
ok someone says that gallons per mile is better, so lets see:

15mpg = 0.07 gpm
20mpg = 0.05 gpm
30mpg = 0.03 gpm
60mpg = 0.02 gpm
120mpg= 0.01 gpm

No, not that helpful. What would be a better way of presenting mpg information to the car buyer? How about a graph? Like this one I put up:
Can the USA catch up?
written by Joe, July 15, 2008
How much energy is wasted in converting US exports to metric and vice versa for US imports? No doubt may tons of C02 are added to the atmosphere as a result of this wasted effort. A great challenge for the USA would be to go metric at last and join the rest of the world, the energy savings could be huge. Is there any support for this in the US?
At least we all agree on something..
written by Kevin, July 15, 2008
US definitely need to follow the crowd sometime.. It's stupid to have different metrics than the rest of the world.
Car Show
written by The Food Monster, July 15, 2008
There was a Car Show on the radio in So Cal, maybe it was Car Talk, or the Car Guys, but they took a half hour and explained this as well. Although, this sums it up quite nicely.

The rest ot the world uses litres per 10
written by Australian reader, July 15, 2008
Thanks for this Hank. In Australia we use litres per 100km as the take viagra efficiency measure and MPG always seemed to me to be an odd measure. Now I can understand why.
written by IamIan, July 15, 2008
It doesn't matter how many people drive non green overly polluting vehicles like tahoes... they are still non green and viagra soft generic overly polluting... a HEV Tahoe is better than the non HEV version , and is geenER... but even the HEV Tahoe is overly polluting and non green... that is why allot of people do not like the award going to it... The award gives the confusing message that the HEV Tahoe is a greener vehicle than something like a Prius... that somehow the world would be better off if everyone driving a Prius would trade it in for a Tahoe since it is the greenest vehicle.

I do not believe in lowering the bar like they did with that Tahoe Award... people who trade in a small compact lower polluting vehicle for a large Tahoe should not be given any false ideas that they are driving the greenest vehicle or that they are greener than they were in the smaller car.

also, going from 30 MPG to 60 MPG might save the same amount of gas as going from just 15 MPG to 20 MPG... but the 60 MPG should seem more impressive... because the 60 MPG car will use less than 1/4 the fuel of that 15 MPG car... while the 20 MPG car uses 3/4 the fuel of that 15 MPG car...

Any increase in MPG is good... and to me how you measure it is the same kind of thing as a favorite color... there is no really wrong way... they all give you the same information... it is just a personal preference.
written by Curaitis, July 15, 2008
Good article! I never thought about the disadvantages of the mpg measurement system before. We have the liter/100 kilometers system here and it works quite well. Ironically one problem is the same: It would be more helpful if a larger car needed 10 liters instead of 12 liters on 100 km than a smaller car to need 5 liters instead of 6. But people tend to see the procentual savings which are the same in this case. Otherwise it is of course better to buy the more fuel efficient car ;) .
written by Craig, July 15, 2008
IamIan hit the nail on the head, while i do agree it is a better way of looking at efficiency, and going from 15-20MPG saves as much gas as going from 30-60MPG. The point is you are still using way more gas if you are driving that 20MPG SUV v the 60MPG vehicle. Giving the Green award to a SUV is ridiculous - for anyone not using it for work purposes or towing, give me a good reason for needing an SUV like that? In every other country in the world, mum's and Dad's manage to ferry the entire family, including the dog, pick up grocery's and carry other stuff without the use of an SUV. So making a wasteful, unnecessary vehicle slightly "greener" does not make it award worthy nor any more ok to drive.

Great article about a new way to look at MPG though, count me in.
Are we looking at the wrong thing?
written by Adam, July 15, 2008
I've heard (maybe at ecogeek, or maybe somewhere else) that it takes far more energy to manufacture a computer than the computer will ever consume in its lifetime. So what's the energy required to make a new car? IF, and only IF, the computer energy-use argument holds for cars, I wonder if, big picture, it'd be worth continuing to drive the 15 mpg thank until its run into the cialis super active ground rather than buy a new 60 mpg pimp ride? I'd love to see at what point it becomes worthwhile to scrap the used F-150 and pick up a new hippie mobile--but I have no interest in doing the math.
written by Jacob, July 15, 2008
Look. As a matter of public policy: if we want to reduce greenhouse gases then we'll get more bang for our buck by getting all cars up to 30mpg. Pushing from 30 to 60 is more expensive and much less of an improvement. At which point it might be more effective to push in other directions with the money (like building efficiency).
written by Jacob, July 15, 2008
If it takes far more energy to manufacture a car than it will ever use in its lifetime, then let's see: it would be really expensive. Energy isn't free. You pay for it. So, compare the dollar cost of fueling a vehicle for 20 years and the cost of buying the vehicle. I don't care if its
written by Clinch, July 15, 2008
That's why people shouldn't take MPG (or GPM if you've already converted) as a judge of how green a car is, but rather how green it is cradle to grave, but car companies are reluctant to release this information, as many "green" cars (e.g. the prius) would be shown to not be as green as they want people to think they are, and therefore lose the aspect with which they use to sell their cars.
My rebuttal
written by Danno, July 15, 2008
While this is an interesting observation, I played with some numbers to see how this really affected the cost of owning a car and how much it made a difference. The answer will surprise you. (Hint: It doesn't.)

Please check out my blog article at

danno tha'ts fine but
written by Jacob, July 15, 2008
1. you missed the point. the point is that most efficient gains are made on the lower end.
2. It is not always the case that more fuel efficient cars are more expensive than less fuel efficient cars.
3. There are other reasons beyond $$ for why people choose particular cars. For some, efficiency (or environmentalism) is an end in itself.
4. Your conclusion (that we ought to just wait for technology to save our ass) is not warranted by your argument.
5. Your argument assumes that gas won't keep going up. Up or down, which is more likely?
6. Economies of scale can drive down the cost of fuel efficient cars as it is. Your argument doesn't account for the non-technological reasons cars have the fuel efficiencies (and prices) they do.
Plastic or Paper
written by Souptik Gupta, July 15, 2008

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written by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , July 16, 2008
The dealerships that I've been to recently have the price of gas for one average year of car ownership pasted to the car's window. I don't know if that's just a California thing, or a national thing, but it has the same basic impact.
written by Ken Roberts, July 16, 2008
To me, it's a matter of perspective. Implicit in the two measurement systems is a set of assumptions. The GPM system (or L/100km) has an implicit assumption that you'll be traveling 100km anyway, and want to know how much it will cost you. The MPG measurement assumes that you'll buy X gallons of gas, and then drive around until you run out.

In reality, both are misleading. Our driving habits are heavily impacted by our automobile's fuel consumption, especially if it is significant in relation to our wallet size. A jump of 15 MPG to 20 MPG won't save you as much money as you would expect from the GPM measurement. Since the marginal cost of driving additional miles will be less, you will drive more, and thus consume more gasoline. This is standard economics.

From a logical perspective, I prefer the MPG measurement. If I'm low on gasoline, I want to know how much I will need to get me home. If I'm less than 20 miles away and there is no traffic, I may be able to do it with a single gallon. Compare this to a GMP measurement. If your car uses 500 gallons per 10,000 miles, you'd first have to divide 500 by 10,000, giving .05. Then you'd multiple this by the number of miles, giving 20*.05 = 1 gallon. This is simple enough with whole numbers, but I don't want to have to do this kind of math on the highway.

Just some thoughts. As I said before, it would be a good idea to present both numbers. There's never such a thing as too much information.
So big efficiency gains at the low end..
written by Ed, July 16, 2008
So a 5 mpg gain at the low end of the fuel economy continuim yields a big gain in gallons? People can probably achieve that (on the highway) just by driving 55 mph instead of 70 mph.
written by Konrad, July 16, 2008
Thank you Hank!

I always wanted to shout it out to the world: get rid of you crabby measure system!!!

liters per 100 km is the easiest way. you can calculate how long you can drive with x liters left in the tank AND you can calculate what it will cost you to drive somewhere as the gas price is always given.

now THAT'S what I call a measure system.
written by Danno, July 16, 2008
1. I didn't miss the point. I acknowledged it. My intent wasn't to argue that Ecogeek was wrong, I'm saying that in terms of economics it's something that doesn't have as much an impact as we'd wish. I wasn't trying to pick a fight, I was just trying to make a point about the economics of car buying and how much MPG fit into that.
2. Very true. And that's why the Prius is a hot seller. I was making the observation that all other properties being equal, if two models are differentiated by efficiency and cialis c 50 the cost is more for the more efficient vehicle, it will not like provide incentive to buy the more efficient vehicle.
3. Also true. Many people buy green vehicles to "save the planet". Not everyone is so chivalrous - most people are driven by the Almighty Dollar. Which is why it's hard to change people's minds when buying cars if being green costs more.
4. How else do you propose that we create greener vehicles? Magic? If being greener costs more, there's no economic incentive to do so. Technological innovation leads to greener vehicles that are also affordable and price competitive.
5. I clearly stated that I believed that prices were more likely to go up. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. I also stated that the only way for people to have economic incentive to buy greener cars was to allow the price of gas to continue going up.
6. Good point. But once again, I was assuming "all other things being equal", which included economies of scale.
written by Logy, July 16, 2008
Why should I care when water freezes or boils? I know that I personally freeze at 0 Fahrenheit and boil at 100. That is a temperature scale that I can relate to.
Great Article
written by Monica, July 16, 2008
You're right, measuring how many gallons per 10,000 miles is a lot more clear than MPG. It's a lot easier to see how much money you will save on gas over the course of a few months or a year. As a student struggling with loans, this is Very Important Information! :-)

Not that it really matters, since I don't have a car...but still. I agree with the article.
written by Ray Peacock, July 17, 2008
Units aren't stupid, regardless of your rabble-rousing rhetoric. Do something useful instead of wasting my time to follow a Google News lead to this frivolous nonsense that you wasted your time writing and expounding.

So much trivial crap, so many real things to be done, like improving health care, our government, our education systems, getting people to vote, preventive health care, affordable health insurance, improving thermal energy efficiency throughout the country (Did you hear Clinton's speech to the National Governors' Convention and the challenge he set before them on FREE energy savings in State Buildings and how it can work- There's something you might want to get your teeth into).
Operating $'s spent
written by Bill Lorch, July 19, 2008
OK here is the real deal. Fill the tank,record the miles! drive where you are going to . Fill the tank record the mileage!! How many mpg did you get? now divide this in2 cost per gallon!! Walla you have much it costs u in fuel to go 1 mile. How many miles do you drive a yr.?? You can now accurately get the cost of fuel a yr. Now please don't forget the amt. of engine oil u used, Did you buy tires? All this adds to the operating cost . Don't forget the insurance. A car is an extremely expensive proposition...
displays in cars
written by Dan Leithauser, July 20, 2008
I think the most useful display on the dash of a car can be the instantaneous MPG measurement. I have an 2007 Chevy Impala. Having this display on helps you understand and learn how to optimize fuel usage. The most revealing? On a level portion of highway.. at 75 mph the car is getting 23 MPG, at 55 mph--28 MPG, at 45 mph--37 MPG! (AC running). Overall fuel economy would improve simply by driving more steadily and viagra for cheap slower, but of course, that is not how people *like* to drive is it?
Standardization of terms.
written by EvanB, July 20, 2008
GPM tends to be too small a ratio for vehicles in the 10-40 MPG range for it to be easily understood by the general population. Gallons per 10,000 miles is too large a number, and similarly is difficult. I propose GPCM (gallons per 100 miles, C being the roman numeral for 100) as the standard. The numbers are small and easily understood, as the average travel per work day is near 60 miles? That could be totally wrong, but whatever, the figures you get from thinking about mileage in this framework are easy for everyone to understand, and easy to fit in forms/convert from existing numbers. It may also be easier for testing agencies to design tests for GPCM. I've thought about this a lot, and I'm more excited about it than anyone to whom I have described this idea. Good idea/bad idea? I'm open to whatever.
kwh per dollar would be more meaningful
written by Bruce Hamilton, July 21, 2008
Looking at the larger picture where you want to compare the efficiency of different fuels, all this "per gallon" (or liter) stuff is pretty meaningless, because different fuels have different amounts of energy per volume. So it seems to me that something like BTU per dollar or kilowatt-hours per dollar would be a much better general measure of fuel efficiency.
If you can't do the math...
written by theirritablearchitect, July 31, 2008
I guess doing more than moving a decimal around is too much work or something.
My fuel costs per mile are the same as i
written by Doc Rings, October 02, 2008
Back in 1978, I drove a '71 Chevy that got about 10mpg. Now I drive a car that gets 27mpg in town.

For 10,000 miles in each vehicle in its era:

71 Chevy would cost $1250 (at $1.25/gallon)
Current car would cost $1296 at $3.50/gallon)

After inflation (today's dollar worth less than 1978 dollars), I'm actually spending much less adjusted dollars per mile. Plus the fact my salary is 10x higher today than 1978, fuel costs make a tenth less portion of my take home pay.

Let's just hope the vehicle efficiencies keep up with fuel costs. The Volt will take us up another 5x in efficiency.
written by hyperspaced, October 03, 2008
US really needs to reconsider it's metric systems and join the rest of the world. It's not only MPG instead of lt/100Km, it inches-feet-miles instead of Km, gallons instead of lt, pounds-oz instead of Kg.. Everywhere else units are compatible to base10 numeric system.
Even the paper sizes are different: Legal, letter size instead of A3,A4,A5
I really don't understand why this remains in the era of globalization. It's not convenience. It's just a habit that can easily change in a couple of years.
written by hyperspaced, October 03, 2008
Oh did I mention the date system? You go from something specific to something more generic e.g. DAY -> MONTH -> YEAR
or vice versa: from something generic to something specific:

MONTH -> DAY -> YEAR doesn't follow the previous concept.

C'mon. Everybody else is doing it, so can you!
I prefer imperial over metric...
written by Eric, October 03, 2008
While I agree that MPG does not give a true impression of the fuel savings, I have to disagree about the metric vs. imperial argument.

There is a reason that a foot is based on 12 inches, a clock has 12 hours / 60 minutes and a circle has 360 degrees. It's because those number have more factors than 10 does.

You see, metric is based on 10 and you can only divide 10 by 2 and 5 but 12 can be divided by 2, 3, 4 and 6. 60 and 360 can be factored similarly. How many minutes are in 1/3 of an hour? Having trouble? Look at an analog clock and the answer will jump out at you.

With the Imperial system, it's about being able to divide measurements in as many ways possible. So if a dimension was given in feet, It would be a piece of cake to tell you what 1/2 was, 1/3 or a 1/4.

The same is true of fractional measurements. If I have something that is 3/16 of an inch, it is easy to know that 1/2 of that measurement is 3/32 and to doubling it gives me 3/8.

Look at kitchen measurements. A cup is 8 oz, a table spoon is 1/2 an oz. or 2 table spoons are 1/8 of a cup. 3 teaspoons are 1 tablespoon, so doubling, halving or thirding a recipe would be a piece of cake.

All of the imperial measurements were built up of units were easy to work with in the head.

Metric just does not work that way. 3/16 of an inch is 4.7625mm. What's 1/2 of that? What is double that? 1/3 of a yard is 1 foot or 12 inches. What's a 1/3 of a meter?

Oh, yeah, about temperature. Farenheight was supposed to be based on human body temp being 100degrees, but the original measurement was off, so we have a temp of 98.6. Even with this mistake, I find it easier to know that temps over 100 are going to be uncomfortable real fast! With Celsius, room temp is 20, body temp is 37, so there is a very narrow range to remember as being comfortable...
this does make more sense
written by chris, October 03, 2008
As a person who recently traded in a 15-18 mpg pickup truck for a 32-36 mpg compact. These are the stats i want. I made the decision to switch based on my commute to work. I think that listing the amount of gas used per every 10k, 12k, and 15k is a great way to show people how much gas, and therefore cash they will save. I estimated that i will save at least $1,500 dollars in gasoline compared to my previous vehicle. and thats at an average of $3.75 per gallon for the year. If you want poeple to think green, show them how much green they could save in the long run. I put 190k miles on my pick-up truck, my new car will save me 5k gallons of gasoline over the same mileage. or at a conservative estimate: $20,000 dollars.
written by billfromgeneva, October 04, 2008
How come in 1990 honda made a car, the CRX, that got 50 mpg and everyone had them. I want one of those.
written by Lynn, October 04, 2008
Why would anyone buy a 15 mpg vehicle? Because, like me, they will never afford any car that costs over $6,000 dollars, and with a family, that will more likely put you in a gas-hog. When these new cars are 8 - 10 years old, then I'll be able to afford one.
Cost savings between 30 MPG and 20 MPG
written by A, October 04, 2008
Some people may look at gas cost savings (let's just use gas costs).

Comparing two cars each driven 10,000 miles a year and putting gas at a set cost of $4.00/gallon

Car A gets 20 MPG = Gas cost for 10K miles =$2,000
Car B gets 30 MPG = Gas cost for 10K miles =$1,333

Car B saves $667 each year (approximately $55 month).

If you drive 50,000 miles over a five year period the savings is approximately $3,333
Accurate comparrison really good and bal
written by Karl, October 04, 2008
This is the engineering way of looking at things and unfortunately most people can not think that logically. It is called a cost benefit analysis. When a hybrid costs $4000 more than a conventionalo car and you have to replace the batteries every 100,000 miles, you need to compare the costs. At 40 mpg vs 20 mpg over 100,000 miles you will burn 2500 gallons vs 5000 gallons. Take the difference in gallons, 2500, multiply by the cost $3 average and you can see that you save $3500 until you have to replace the batteries.
The use of this measure is too give people the concept that going from 15 mpg to 20 or 25 is more important than going from 30 to 40. The benefits are there for the larger percentile increases in the beginning, and less so at the higher ends.
MPG vs. Gas Tanks
written by Michael, October 04, 2008
You know, when you drive an SUV or Full sized pickup because you have to for your business. You shop around for new trucks all the time, mpg is one thing I look at. But this goes out the window when you start hooking up heavy trailers and, the one thing I have discovered, mpg is a bad management way to look at this due that not all gas tanks are the same size in every vehicle. Here is what I mean and trying to explain. You drive a Honda. 35 mpg hwy. You know how much fuel you use on a trip from Nashville to NY. So, the next year you hear about this 42 mpg hwy car. You buy it thinking your saving fuel money and that money you save you can use during your vacation, not so fast. The new car has a smaller gallon tank than the Honda you have. What does this mean? Depends...could mean no savings at all due your using the same amount of fuel or you could be dipping into your vacation money if the tank is that much smaller. So, lesson is, when looking and comparing, find out how many gallons your current vehicle holds to the one your about to buy...this is where the savings are!!

I drive a Dodge p/u trk. It gets 18 mpg hwy with a 35 gallon tank....I go to the Dodge dealer, they have a new 2008 model 26 mpg hwy but!!!, only a 25 gallon tank!!! so, where are the savings on this??? I am losing 10 gallons of fuel but gaining 10 mpg...hhhhmmmm sounds like I am rite at square one!!! I need to save. Not spend more or the same as I have been, but, they will push the DVD player on ya, haha....
written by Justin Case, October 04, 2008
Has anyone done any research into how many miles per year each model of motor vehicle is driven, and how many barrels of oil is consumed by each of those models? I doubt the Chevy Tahoe users together consume much of the total oil consumed by motor vehicles. Shouldn't we be targeting our energy efficiency efforts to the models that are used the most and consume the most oil?
All Factors
written by Mike, October 04, 2008
The MPG is a simple way to make a comparison. For the deeper thinkers, all factors do need to be considered. BTU per mile is one of the most important. A simple example is 85 Ethanol. One gal. of that may reduce your BTU output by 20% vs regular gas. Most gas today is blended with 10% ethanol and overnite tramadol has reduced all car MPG. Also, at different times of the year, there are different blends of gas for the cold weather. There are just to many factors to consider to be exact about measuring consumption and distance. Any standard that uses the same factors works just fine. The key words are "standard" and "factors".
MPG is simple and works.
written by Tony, October 04, 2008
MPG is not stupid. It's a very clear cut method of determining how far one can go for the amount of fuel one has. My Lincoln Town constantly measures "distance to go" and "average miles" It's easy to understand. Of course, trying to make yourself look smart by calling MPG stupid, is like proving that humans have an effect on global warming.

Just answer this question Greenies...If humans cause global warming...then why did we come out of the ice age and why did that global warming continue long after what ever event caused it and long before humans had cars, factories, coal, etc?
written by Jon Whitmer, October 04, 2008
MPG is great for calculating gallons consumed for a short trip or regular usage; gallons / 10,000 miles is a great bottom-line figure for estimate long-term cost. It's kind of like looking at the cost of electricity per Kwh to estimate the cost of running an electric appliance, versus the sticker in the store that gives an estimate of average cost for electricity per year for the appliance at an average Kwh cost. Both relationships are useful in differing contexts. We really should have both measurements on cars for estimate gas consumption for various needs.
No choice
written by Aaron, October 04, 2008
Some of us have no choice but to have an SUV. We have 5 kids. I'm in DC and catch all kinds of crap from these narrow-minded nutbag enviromentalist who can't see the whole picture. Meanwhile, their leaders (Gore, nObama, etc) fly around in private jets and leave a much larger "carbon footprint" (whatever that made-up unit of measurement is) than the rest of us could if we tried. One volcano spews more co2 into the environment than all of the human polution in history ever could. I swear, there is no common sense anymore.
written by Tony, October 04, 2008
Let me add, hybrids do need a "chart" of their own for the masses as how does accurately measure the true effects when on the battery. Maybe your chart works for this, but this doesn't equwate to mpg is stupid.
written by Kat, October 04, 2008
The argument about mpg seems kinda stupid. What I care about is the higher it is, the less gas used and the less pollution going into the atmosphere.
What you really want to know
written by Woodmark, October 04, 2008
How about cutting to the answer everyone REALY wants to know - "How many pounds of pollutents are added to the environment per distance traveled?"

That way you can directly compare the solutions that each technology has to offer. The distance traveled can be put into whatever units are most applicable to the market served - miles, km, light years, whatever. Pollutents would probably require a short list of each type - hydrocarbons, greenhouse gasses, heavy metals, etc to put it into perspective.

Be sure to factor in the amount of energy used to produce the "fuel" and the amount of pollutents created during the production of the "fuel".
written by DAD, October 04, 2008
How many people buy a car just to keep up with the jones? How many people start up there car and drive a whole block to buy a Birthday Card. How many can't afford to maintain there vehicle to begin with. I love you Coconuts with heard mentality . No wonder your house went into forcloSOUR. It takes gas just to start up a vehicle . The hybrid saves gas doing that. It saves me gas when I am at the stop light, it runs on battery. Now,listen up Coconut when you put the pedal to the metal from stop sign to stop sign you doubled your gas consumption. The bottom line is how much does it cost me to operate my vehicle for a complete year. this includes maintenence , gas and time. IF I SPEND MORE THAN 20% OF MY GROSS INCOME ON A VEHICLE, GAS , MAINT.ECT. PER YR. THEN I NEED TO CALL MYSELF A COCONUT.
written by musicman, October 04, 2008
Is that all you can think about is"mpg". The real number is " total cost per mile " including maintenance and cost of replacing batteries, fuel cells etc.over the life of the vehicle. My 16 year old,6 cylinder,air conditioned, large sedan gets 32mpg.on the highway [60mph] and the only large maintenance cost has been an air-conditioning compressor.
written by Midnite Rider, October 04, 2008
How about we come up with a realistic sticker system. Since when have you Ever driven a car that actually got the MPG they have on the sticker anyway. The MPG they display on the sticker should be based on real life driving conditions. Not what a vehicle gets sitting still carrying no people and running on a machine treadmill. >:(
written by Stephen, October 04, 2008
This argument about greater efficiency gains is a non rational argument that I could see big US car companies making. Yes, going from 15mpg to 20mpg might show greater efficiency, and save as many gallons as going from 30 to 60, but we are behind the curve as far as where we should be. We need to jump from 15mpg to 45 or 60 mpg to really make a dent in carbon and less of a dent in our wallets.
You will not replace these super inefficient cars overnight. It will take 10 or 20 years to get most of them off the road. Convert one 15mpg car to 50mpg and it is like taking several monster cars off the road overnight. Winning a race by going from dead last to second to last isn't the way to win. If every two car family that REALLY needs a large car made their second car a high mileage car they would meet their needs to take a boatload of kids or go camping or haul a load, and save a lot of energy. Few of us really NEED 2 big cars. We could make a real difference in gas consumption if we all did that over the next 5 years. Converting from a 15 to 20 mpg car or even 20 to 25mpg for our second car will not get us to the finish line, will not cut carbon emissions enough, will still cost you more than it should to drive, and will still put more of our money in foreign oil.
bottom $
written by JB, October 04, 2008
If you are capable and live within several miles of your job you should seriously consider riding a bicycle. Your pocket book and health will be beautifully rewarded. The easiest way to save at the pump is look for the highest mpg. You should also consider purchase price to come up with a dollars spent per commute mile ratio. Get your commute cost down to increase your livelyhood.
Re: No Choice
written by PRC, October 04, 2008
You my friend are an idiot. It seems to me that you are calling names because you are the ignorant one. Why is it so nutbag to care about the future of our planet? The future of YOUR children? Not all enviromentalist are led by Gore or Obama. Most Real enviros aren't. So you MUST have a SUV? Did you also HAVE to have 5 kids? I hope you adopted some instead of adding to yet another world problem other than pollution. You say you live in DC? Don't you have a subway system there? I'm sure there are stores close to home you could walk to with your kids (walking is great exercise and good for the planet). Before you call out other people maybe you should look at yourself first!
reality check
written by fair game, October 04, 2008
People, let's be seriou. Nobody realizes that driving 60 miles per gallon would get you to work and wow it's great levitra online canada back. WIth one gallon. How much do you pay? One gallon's worth. Consider now a 30 MPG. How much do you pay for the same trip? Double. What if you have a 20 MPG? Triple. How 'bout 15 MPG? Four times. Which car would you get? The 20 MPG or the 60 MPG? Cause based on the prior comments, whether you switch from 15 to 20 MPG you save about the same for the envirnonment as you would switching from 30 to 60 MPG. I would take a the 60 MPG in a heartbeat.
written by d. rock, October 04, 2008
how about all you idiots learn how to solve a forth grade word problem. Then it won't matter how they word the sticker on the window!!!!!!!!
stupid article
written by Drill B Drill, October 04, 2008
stupid article, waste of my energy!
Think about this
written by G-Man, October 04, 2008
You can figure it anyway you want, but if The Fed Govm.wants to put their nose in everything else, let them mandate that by 2012 all cars sold in the U.S, must get 35 mpg, have a controlled acceleration rate and must not be able to exceed 60 mph, and each state must provide inspection facilities to test for all the above. Emissions, oil comsumption,fatalities all reduced.If this makes too much sense, please consider I'm middle class, blue collar,& linear thinking
It's the same thing!!!
written by Brian, October 04, 2008
The gallons per mile is just the reciprocal of the miles per gallon. One is not more accurate than the other. One can go from one measurement to the other with simple pre high school math and a calculator. To say one is more accurate than the other is silly.
mpg claims are always exaggerated
written by jeremiah, October 04, 2008
The only way to really know what you are going to be paying to go from point a to point b is to figure out your actual mileage by dividing the amount of miles traveled since your last fill up by the number of gallons you had to put in to refill your tank. I have never had any one of my cars achieve the mileage stated
Go Electric Cars
written by Yoshi, October 04, 2008
Why use gas, for speed..? Just to go point A to point B. Go Electric Cars and ask how far you go. This we can kill the gas company.. Remember the 'light bulb vs candle' I came here to America not just to admire the inventors but to see a better world to live.
It should be total cost per mile driven
written by will, October 04, 2008
By the time your done adding up your yearly car payments, insurance payments, excise tax payments, and dealer repair service you'd better off buying an older car with worse mpg. I bought my truck for $1000. It gets 14 mpg. I repair it myself since it's an older vehicle and does'nt need A computer to hook up to, to tell me what's wrong.
Econ Instructor
written by Juan, October 04, 2008
So many people here missed the basic point of the article and I understand that when Mr. green writes "more accurate" he muddles up his point. Obiously mpg vs g/10k miles are mathematicaly equivalent and thus cannot be more accurate. However, the latter expresses the same information in a manner more relavent or accessible to the "average consumer". Because of this car manufacturers prefer to display mpg over g/10k miles.
So, if the "average" American drives about 10K -12K miles a year a sticker that shows expected yearly consumption will allow consumers to quickly see yearly expenses/savings. This is the same idea as refrigerators displaying what the average anual operating cost would be. When a consumer realizes that he will use ~160 gallons/year less (~$600) by buying a vehicel that gets 20mpg over 15mpg this creates an incentive to buy the 20mpg vehicle.
Also realize that a car like the Prius ~50mpg vs the Yaris ~35mpg seems like an extreme difference. Yet there is only a difference of at most 80 gallons/10K miles or a savings ~$320/10K miles. The $9K pricing differnece between the two cars may then be put into better contrast.... That is if you buy the Yaris and put away the $9K for gas money you'll be able to buy almosty 79K miles worth of gas or about 6 years worth of driving.
written by Juan, October 04, 2008
So many people here missed the basic point of the article and I understand that when Mr. green writes "more accurate" he muddles up his point. Obiously mpg vs g/10k miles are mathematicaly equivalent and thus cannot be more accurate. However, the latter expresses the same information in a manner more relavent or accessible to the "average consumer". Because of this car manufacturers prefer to display mpg over g/10k miles.
Much Ado about nothing!
written by Pablo, October 04, 2008
Does it matter whether its MPG or GPM? The bigger the vehicle, with a bigger engine, is going to get less MPG and more GPM!

Who the heck gives a fig?

Boy, what a waste of the human mind! How about finding a cure for Cancer? Instead, your banter about MPG and GPM. Get constructive! Get a Life!
written by art, October 04, 2008
What you think we can't calulate the amount of fuel we use with MPG and you must do it for us ?!! you full of it! global warming is a big hoax follow the money mr green here is probably so invested in it if he doesn't convince everyone else he will lose his ass.
Pablo: Much Ado about nothing!
written by Juan, October 04, 2008
If it doesn't matter to you why write?
If cancer (which both my parents and my aunt died from) is your one and only priority then focus on that. But it seems silly to ask people to be constructive without giving constructive feed back. :D
written by mastadson, October 04, 2008
This is an amazing discussion and not one of you seems to have a clue about the truth. I can blow a hole in every one of your arguments with little effort.
1.We are not killing "our" planet. The planet will go on with or without us until its natural or supernatural end (whichever you may believe in).
2.People are not forced to buy inefficient cars based on their level of income. In the end it all balances out. You can spend the money upfront for a new or newer car with better efficiency and pay less long term in fuel and maintenance or you can buy a $6000 car and constantly feed it gas, oil, spare parts, etc. Since this discussion seems to be ultimately about math do the figures of cost per year for both and I am positive that based on the distance traveled you will pay more in a year for the $6000 car. I do not know how far you travel in a year so I cannot do the math for you.
3.The argument of the author of this article seems to me to support the purchase of the less efficient SUV over the similarly priced more efficient Prius, Altima, Malibu, etc. I do not care if it is a more significant improvement to go from 15 to 20 MPG than moving from 30 to 60 MPG. If, as I stated in my last point, you cannot calculate a savings per year between the 30 & 60 MPG and come up with a positive number you are not doing the math correctly. The level of savings in that situation needs to be weighed by the consumer to determine if the savings would make up for the increased cost that would be expected from the change.
4.It does not matter how large your gas tank is. The only impact that the size of the tank will have is on how often you need to fill up at the pump. I have a motorcycle that has a two gallon tank and I fill up more often than I do my Nissan Sentra with a 12 gallon tank. So based on one of the arguments made in this discussion I should not ride my bike? The efficiency is what it is no matter what I just have to fill up more often. But I only buy two gallons rather than 12.
5.We do not all speak the same language and only today how to buy cialis in canada come from vastly differing cultures so why should we expect a culture to change their unit of measure no matter how strange others may find it. If the US wishes to use their current system because they are comfortable with it why change? We have translators to help with communication and there are several conversion programs available to translate measurements so use them. It is easier to translate measurements than it is language.
6.I drive a Nissan Sentra that gets 35 MPG and my wife drives a Toyota Prius that gets 45 MPG. I pay less in a year for gas because we drive the more efficient Prius when we both are going somewhere. This does not make my Sentra better though. It is a great car and has served me well for about eight years now but it cost less to drive the Prius. If we drove the Sentra more it would cost more and that is my main concern. I am not an environmentalist and you can check point #1 if you doubt me. I just like to save money. I am smart enough to realize the cost to benefit ratio of vehicle choices. I advised my brother recently based on economics to switch from his older Chevy Cavalier to a new Chevy Malibu Hybrid. He weighed not just fuel cost but also maintenance cost, depreciation of his Cavalier, and how well the Malibu would hold its value over the life of the car and he found that the decision was obvious that the switch to the Malibu was his best option.
7.I have heard that one of people’s arguments against Hybrids and the like is the level of impact that replacing the batteries would have on the environment. The batteries are recyclable. We recycle batteries from our cars, cell phones, etc. so why would we not recycle our fuel cell batteries?
8.Stop relying on the government to advise you on what is best for you. All consumers need to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. I do not let anyone tell me that I do or do not need something. I put in the work to determine the value that the item would have for me before buying it. It should be common sense but most people seem to be lacking in that. I have known people that considered it more important to buy cigarettes than pay their electric bill or buy beer instead of medicine. If you truly believe that it is in your best interest to do this by all means do not expect me to be your conscience. I cannot think for you.
In the end everyone should think about what this article and the ensuing discussion has resulted in. People will not change their minds because you posted a message in this discussion but hopefully it will cause people to think about the comments made and the merit that they may have. There are no easy fixes and sacrifices need to be made in the name of progress. Remember that in 1886 when Coca-Cola was introduced it contained a wonder patent medicine many diseases, including morphine addiction, headaches, and even impotence (, 2008 The wonder drug that it contained was trace amounts of cocaine hence the Coca portion of the name. Just because someone tells you that something is better do the research to make sure that they are not causing you more harm than good.
written by Rich, October 04, 2008
How about who cares whether or not it is MPG or GPM. Lets just think about getting rid of all of the big polluting waste of space SUV's and the American car makers smarten up.They do not deserve loans, they were too greedy and uk cialis sales should have been making fuel efficient cars since the price of gas went above $2 a gallon. And as far as the English go and their $9 a gallon gas, that is because they all have healthcare, here in this country our people do not have health insurance. So if you want to compare Apples to watermelons, then stick to MPG VS GPM. Irrelevant information like this just wastes space, talk about producing cars that actually and truly get the mileage stated. No more execuses, just produce cars that provide what they were intended for, transportation, not to show off. We are paying because our lousy president and his friends know they could rob the American people and the American people are more concerned with how they look than conserving energy, and no I am not a tree hugger. I just feel that we created this mess, so lets straighten it out. Get rid of Bush and Come up with an electric car, instead of just talking about it. Most of us go less than 20 miles on our daily commute, so electric would work. Unfortunately OPEC and all the other greedy oil nations will lobby our crooked congresspeople to ensure that the electric car never comes to fruition. We need to throw all of them out of congress and elect people who will actually be concerned with our country. Our fore fathers must be turning in the grave watching these people run our country.
To Art...
written by Juan, October 04, 2008
and all those that seem to be against new "green" tech:
1) "Global warming" in the end is beside the point but an excelllent marketing point to increase US global economic dominance.
2)the US can NOT compete in old or common technology since all other countries basically have the same ability thus it becomes a cheap labor competition...
3) the US can NOT compete is basic services and old/common labor practices because other regions can do the same at a lower cost due to lower standards of living.
New "green" tech and industry will give our country and our future WORKERS a proprietary advantage over other countries that have caught up or are catching up to our current technical advantage. - Regulating and taxing old tech and giving tax incentives for new tech forces the market to adjust faster without direct government control seen in Socialist and Communists states.
Oh and yes as a econ instructor I have met many parents, senior students, and people in general who would be unable to understand how to affectively apply mpg to get the year gas expense...
written by Mark, October 04, 2008
Someone should write a a post about how THIS post is stupid, lol.
written by AL, October 04, 2008
Who give a rats ass the country and the world is going to shit anyways in a couple of years well have bigger things to worry about than mpg just drive slower.
Who cares... let's shut up and do someth
written by Ron, October 04, 2008
No offense to the contributors, but isn't all of this banter about whose measurement systems is better or who knows more about being green or who has a better way to environmental bliss a sign of what's wrong nowadays?! We, as a country and a world, seem consumed with out-talking or out-knowing one another and less consumed with taking meaningful steps towards solving problems. We ALL need to stop worrying about how things get measured and what EVERYONE ELSE does or does not do to help the environment. Why don't we all try doing we can (individually) to improve the environment AND do it with our boastful mouths shut?! Our actions will be a FAR GREATER inspiration to other people than endless yick yack ever will!
Gore does bad science
written by MidiMagic, October 04, 2008
Real scientists easily recognize Al Gore's use of bad science. He uses political science methods on physical science problems. His "concerned scientists" are political scientists and politicians.

Most calculators have a 1/x key, changing one measure into the other.

The real problem is the poor. They can't afford the new high mpg cars, so they have to buy the older low mpg cars.
written by tim, October 04, 2008
If you don't like the way we measure things here you can always leave and live someway they do things the way you like it done
2 stupid
written by john, October 04, 2008
we are all stupid for putting up with this Bullchit when are one of you braniacs going to develop a better way we are all being robbed until then by big brother looking out for its concerned bank bailouts
This too is adding more pollutants...
written by knowitall, October 04, 2008
All this banter including mine is adding more pollutants to the environment. We all know what the answer is... make the engine more effecient and cleaner burning until we get to pure water and oxygen as exhaust. I don't care what math formula you use...Just move forward. Just shut up!
interesting stuff or much ado about noth
written by dan, October 04, 2008
I drive two different cars that get two different mpgs and can figure them out easily when I go to the pump and fill up! I'm not too worried about saving the world for the future generations as they don't seem too interested in their own futures. I'm an educator and see too many of the new generation lost in the glamour of fame and the idea that they will be rich one day. The realizxation is that they will be driving cars that are fossil fueled as we are. Will technology make the mpg higher, one hopes, but from where will the technology come? China, India and other "developing" nations are running their factories at the level of our preworld war two efficiencies, spewing out crabon pollutions at a rae that we can't even imagine in the "developed" world! The idea that battery powered cars are "greener" is back assward. Front end or back end waste is still waste and the batteries that are used to power the cars use more energy to produce and recycle than they save. "Greener" by definition should account for all the energy to make, use and recycle products.
written by Roland, October 04, 2008
written by Matt, October 04, 2008
No matter which way the US did it, most of you would complain anyway. The US seems to be the root of every problem in the world, according to many of you whack jobs.
a better way...
written by Andy, October 04, 2008
the best measurement would be cost per mile. my dodge can run e85, but the cost per mile is higher than running 87 octane gas. I found the best alternative fuel is to ride my bibycle.
a better way my aXX!!
written by GreenIsGay, October 04, 2008
My dodge can run e85...which is SUBSIDIZED by the government, you jack-nut! The real cost of the corn-fuel is totally hidden by the fake-green governemnt. And riding your bike to work? Get a f*ing life, you moron! Most people can't. I'm in sales...on the road most of the day. F you and your bike, assnut.

As far as the original article goes, there is NO DIFFERENCE between the measurement of MGP or Gallons per 10000 miles. It is the SAME F*ing measurement, you freaking jckass morons!!!!!!

An x% savings is an x% savings NO MATTER which way you calculate it.

My god, the f*ing ignorance in this country is astounding!!!!! Pathetic...
written by Kevin, October 04, 2008
I'm an engineer [just for a little credibility] and I can assure you that it's easier to compare MPG than this article says. It is true that it is more accurate to compare Gal/10k miles, but when you want to calculate for commuter trips, are you ready for all the significant numbers that go with this? You'll be using the 10^n calculation which is confusing enough. (Example: .0001g/mile)

Now imagine calculating city/highway! Have Fun! =]

With MPG however, i agree that it may not be more accurate, but who needs to worry about .0001 of a calculation? The point is, I know this car is more efficient than that car. With MPG, I know I can get from LA to SD in about 4 gallons. LA to SD is about 100miles. So with 30MPG, just 100/30 and I get something about 3.3gallons. Simply right?

ALSO, with MPG, it's SAFER TOO! Let's say you're about low on gas, and you have an ESTIMATE of how much fuel you have left, you can easily multiply and find out how far you can go.

Final thing this, notice how I use a lot of estimation? It's because you can never get real-time calculations without the use of Calculas. Have fun for those that don't have a technical science degree from college cause I know all you political science, liberal, business majors don't really need Adv. Math for your fields.

PS: You are retarded for awarding an SUV some GREEN AWARD. That's like saying a mouse is smart for finding the cheese and monkeys are smart cause they can type. Personally, the dog is WAY smarter cause they can justify when to dial 911 to save their owner [if taught]. You don't see guide monkeys out there do you? If you do, stop smoking.
Just too Geeky calculations...not intend
written by Half Fish, October 04, 2008
If I tell Joe Blow over the phone that the car he's buying gets 60mpg and his car gets 15mpg he gets an idea right away if he wants the car or not. No calculation there, just decision making in seconds.
Now if I tell Joe Blow that the same car gets 160g/10000miles to his car that gets 660g/10000miles and then he goes, "What?" I just lost him.
So what's the point of being accurate if you can't get it across the intended person to understand it fast enough without resulting to some fancy calculations first or a Doctorate Degree in Math?
I like the engineer's point too but I don't agree you're retarded. I think you just have a better calculator than the rest of us. And... you use it very well... and too much.
Get a life, Man.
written by kevin, October 04, 2008
this stuff is pointless. if you cant figure out mpg go back to elementary school.breaking it into 1000s and 100s only makes you lazy. you dont have these conveniences in other means. if you measure in meters instead of inches you still have inconvenient adding subtracting dividing and multiplying. changing the system doesnt help that much. and it is true that working on big suvs first makes sense. stupid rich people are always gonna have their suvs.if you convince them to buy a hybrid suv to save them money we will save more gasoline overall compared to making a compact a hybrid. these suvs are always going to be there. so make them more efficient first and the effects are bigger. now having said all that, hybrids are not cost effective for you long term unless you are rich. you have to replace batteries consistantly. so unless you replace the gasoline engine in your car every ten years or less than your not saving money with the prius AT ALL!!! did you here me. until the price of the batteries go down you are losing money not gaining money. and the government wants lithium ion batteries. but they cost several times more. thank goodness for the american government.
written by Chris, October 05, 2008
while its true that making tahoes or other trucks hybrid wont make the world green, its a great start. take all the trucks and halve their emissions, thats better than halving the emissions of all cars... ive made my point...
What are you talking about Kevin
written by mastadson, October 05, 2008
I have a bit of news for you Kevin I have had a Prius for quite a few years and not replaced a single battery. I am not sure where you got this information from but it is flat wrong. And I am not sure what you are talking about with replacing the engine to save the batteries. Why would that help?
the best way
written by Theodore, October 05, 2008
The best way to express automotive efficiency is to use cents per kilometer. It works for all kinds of cars, not just those that use liquid fuel. It allows comparisons between cars that use compressed air, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, liquid hydrogen, compressed natural gas and peddle power. How do you measure miles per gallon (or miles per km) when you have a gas tank and a compressed air tank? You don't. Only cents per kilometer works in every case.
written by Bill, October 05, 2008
What's with all this green crap anyway? We are inexorably headed for the next ice age. Maybe a little global warming will hold that off for awhile. Don't beleve me? Check it out. Don't believe everything you hear from those that make big bucks from carbon credits and scare movies full of lies. Better gas mileage saves YOU $, plain and simple. Only thing that counts.
written by james, October 07, 2008
it seems the thrust of the article is clear. its about consumption of fuel. don't miss the point that we need to bring the vehicles with lower mpg up to a higher mpg or gpm. if we could increase all the suv's and trucks by 10 mpg the decrease in fuel consumption would be staggering. if we increase the mpg from 45 to 75 in a hybrid the decrease in fuel comsumption would be marginal in comparison
written by Pharm, October 07, 2008
"And none of our measurements are compatible with our base10 numbering system..."

WTF are you talking about? All of our measurements are stated in base10, and they are just as compatible as if were were to use binary or hex.
just buy old
written by randy, October 07, 2008
you talk about better millage theres cars on the road that get 50 to 60 miles mpg ive had 2 2 cars a geo storm that avg 45 mpg best ever got was 54mpg and geo metro that avg 55mph and best i got was 61mpg so why dont they improve from that you cant tell me that old school is better then new school lol
written by Me, October 07, 2008
as long as the car gets me to point a to point b and i look good in the car im fine.
written by Nate, October 07, 2008
Fantastic post, he's absolutely right.


6 people are going on a road trip. Should you take the 60 MPG car and the 35 MPG car, or the 20 MPG SUV? You should be able to answer this in 10 seconds or less.

Replace your 17 MPG w/ one that gets 21 MPG, or replace your 35 MPG car with one that gets 65 MPG? Again, 10 seconds or less plz.

NOW try the exact same thing in L/100 km:

6 people are going on a road trip. Should you take the 3.9 L/100km car and the 6.7 L/100km car, or the 11.8 L/100km SUV? You should be able to answer this in 10 seconds or less.

Replace your 13.8 L/100km truck w/ one that gets 11.2 L/100km, or replace your 6.7 L/100km car with one that gets 3.6 L/100km? Again, 10 seconds or less plz.

I absolutely love the people who come on here thinking we don't know how to do math. You're COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT. We're not stupid, but please, before you open your mouth, explain to 10 non-scientific people why going from 20-25 mpg is better than going from 90-95 mpg. It took me TEN MINUTES, and I only had to do this ONCE before realizing that L/100 km (or gal/100 mi, don't really care) is far superior.

The people who don't get it aren't stupid, they're victims of POOR DESIGN. Read The Design Of Everyday Things, then comment.
just disclosure your Formula and your Un
written by JV, October 18, 2008
Miles per gallon is a positive, optimistic statement HOW FAR can I go on a 1/4 tank?

gallons per mile, or (gallons per 10K miles) is nice if you're measuring the 3-year return on investment or total cost of ownership.

I don't care as long as you give me the 8th grade algebra formula in the body of your article so I can follow along at home...

Reasonably college educated and scientific people can go back and forth between USA and metric units without skipping a beat. Stop making it a "tribal thing" to root for one side or the other as if its a moral imperative.

But I agree with the comments here that COST (in dollars for me) PER UNIT OF DISTANCE TRAVELED (in miles for me) is a great way to evaluate a potential car purchase or new transportation option. Ultimately that's the one I stuck with.

written by Munter, October 30, 2008
We use a L/100km system and it has the opposite problem. As we get to lower and lower numbers the improvements become more significant and so it tends to understate the benefits. An example Efficient Car A uses 4L/100km, Efficient Car B uses 3L/100km. The difference seems small (1L/100km) but Car B will travel and additional 25% further on the same fuel. A big difference! Compared with standard cars using 10L both the efficient cars seem much the same even though they are very different. The bottom line is that we just need to become more familiar with the measurement systems we have and educate others to their shortcomings.
written by William W. McGraw, June 24, 2009
It is not MPG that counts unless fuel is severely rationed. Cost per mile over the life of the car (new, used) is the actual cost, including the original purchase price, taxes, insurance, fuel, maintenance and extra repairs divided by total miles. You could add any interest lost on the purchase price and you should deduct any from sale of the car.
written by Justin, April 27, 2010
Even if you are good at calculating logarithms in your head and visualizing non-linear graphs (and actually enjoy doing this!) a fuel-per-distance measurement of fuel economy still makes more psychological sense than the rediculous reciprocal distance-per-fuel convention. When deciding to go on a road trip, most people already have a destination in mind. Then they are interested in knowing how much that trip will cost. Very few people look in their wallet, count their money, then look on a map to find the farthest destination to which they can drive before going broke! The more meaningful variable is the fuel consumption, not the distance travelled! Keep the more meaningful variable in the numerator!

Kudos to the author for recognizing just how dumb the american system is, but really, he should just tell people to abandon the mile and gallon altogether and use the defacto standard L/100km (or more correctly, cL/km) used everywhere else in the world.

(If americans really love their non-metric nonsense that much, he should propose "fluid ounces per league" as the standard american measure of fuel economy! I guarantee even the dumbest of rednecks, who fight to their death to avoid metric, will understand litres and kilometres better than fluid ounces (in the context of fuel economy) and leagues! Maybe then people will realize just how stupid the american system is and smarten up to something the rest of the world recognized over a century ago.)
A story
written by Tyler, July 13, 2010
I go to the gas station to fill up my car, I tell the worker I want $30 on pump 5. Now the reason I did this is cause I know that the cost of gas at that time is $3 a gallon, and I can get 10 gallons for my $30. I know my car gets 30 MPG, so now I know I can go 300 miles, and the trip I am about to go is 280 miles.

Now, lets look at this in 2 different ways:

First, is MPG. I know I need to go 280 miles, and I know my car gets 30MPG, so 280/30=9.33 gallons, we round that up, cause we need enough gas, not end up short, and gas is $3 a gallon, so $3*10 is $30. simple

Second is GPM. So, my same car, gets .033 GPM (1gallon/30miles), so we will round that to .034, cause again we need enough gas. so again I need to go 280 miles, so 280*.034=9.52.

No one walks into a gas station and says, "I need 10 gallons of gas" and no one walks into a gas station and says "I need 300 miles of gas"

We buy things in units, be it gallons or liters, that is the unit being paid for, that is the unit we need to be looking at. If anything, the rest of the world is messed up for one reason, the smaller the number the worse it should be, but not in this case.

What looks better?
25MPG .04GPM
30MPG .034GPM
50MPG .02GPM
60MPG .0167GPM

It is a pointless topic, endless, and will end up tossed out with all the other trash.
written by Kevin, March 20, 2011
Just keep in mind that the old Imp gallon is larger
than the US gallon
written by Nico, September 06, 2012
Since the "average American" drives 10,000-12,000 miles per year it would be really nice if they displayed the mileage like this. They could even do both just for the heck of it. Why not?
Stupid Article
written by Bob Goose, February 07, 2013
The writer of this article appears to be mathematically challenged. 12 inches in a foot. Duhh I don't know how many that is since its not 10. So your water freezes and boils at nice round numbers. What about all the other elements that have a different freezing and boiling point? Ya its nice that the temp is 28.3 degrees. Nice to have a system in decimal points! Check your math in your examples near the top. Also check your math re 15 to 20 compared to 30 to 60. Its not the same!!! Measuring in 10000 miles is retarded. I have a show car that doesn't get driven much. What kind of mileage does it get? Oh I won't know for another 50 years!!! And GPM. What are you running a 2000 HP drag racing car?
written by Amici, February 27, 2013
Bob Goose, the article is not stupid. It asks a valid question and gives some points to support one answer.
Now, someone can go in favor of same thinking or go the opposite way, but that's not the measure of writer's stupidity. Actually from clearly presented personal view I would call the author anything but stupid.
And speaking of that, you were a bit more vague and extremely objective, while giving worse examples than the original author (much worse than some other people here, that were also pro-MPG) - which again - speaks only of you and not about the original author.

Speaking about the degrees - C or F, it's pretty easy to look up and read how did one and the other came into usage. Then figure out what is most usable for you.

I'm in Europe, so not used to mpg, but it doesn't meant that I can't understand good pro-mpgs arguments or that i should call anyone a *#@@$ yankee or something similarly stupid..
Pence per Mile
written by Jimmy, June 21, 2013
I'd rather just know how many pence each mile will cost me. I find that stat far more useful.

I can then easily work out how much each journey will cost me. I have just nearly halved the price of my work commute, (£15 down to £8.60) Not bad eh!
I see the problem is...
written by James Smith, July 30, 2014
Most people really don't care about hydrocarbon emissions. They see that as the government's problem. What most people want to know is, "How much will it cost me to drive this car?"

SO mpg can be more easily converted to cocts per day.

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