Posted by: COSI | April 6, 2009

Here’s How to Quickly Reduce Gasoline Consumption

I had the chance to drive a Prius last week. How phenomenal to be driving some highway and city and see a MPG rating ranging from mid-40’s to the 51 mpg I got on the 80 mile highway trip back to the airport! I also had a group of colleagues in the car for part of the time and they found the back seat space adequate as well—so it’s not like you’re driving a tiny little box around like some of those midget European cars are. prius

In the end, I drove the Prius around for four days, including almost 4 hours on the highway and I barely was able to squeeze 3 gallons into the tank when I was returning the rental car.

How fabulous it would be if all our cars could immediately be getting that kind of mileage! I’ve only driven a Prius just this once, but I hear that the Honda hybrid is good and there seems to be some positive advance impressions of the upcoming Ford Fusion to compete with these. I’d buy one personally myself right now except my car is in good shape, is paid off, and gets pretty decent mileage when compared to regular car mileage.

So I was intrigued to read several references to the “cash for clunker” ideas that have been floated around. I think they’ve been trying this successfully in some European countries.

So some stimulus funds go directly into peoples’ hands, they purchase high efficiency cars which drives demand at the auto companies, and the older cars get off the road (and hopefully recycled as much as possible to help the life cycle analysis). Auto efficiency goes up quickly and significantly for a good short term help to reducing our oil demand and CO2 production (this is not the end game though, we’ve got much more to systemically for the long term).

Seems if we are going to throw billions at the auto companies this would be money with a direct impact to help. Companies don’t turnaround because money is thrown into them—they do when the investment is done to produce/deliver more of what people want to buy as efficiently as possible.

Is there some flaw in this approach that I’m not thinking of?

Wouldn’t it be great to have some official COSI high efficiency cars?



  1. Wouldn’t it be great to have some official COSI high efficiency cars?

    Have you looked into vegetable oil conversions for the COW trucks?

  2. We have looked hard at the COW vans which take our programming to 5 states. I received the following as the latest update on what we’ve been able to accomplish:

    “I talked with our leasing agent (WE DON’T OWN THE TRUCKS), they said that as of July 2009 4 of our 7 trucks will have diesel fuel particulate filters on them that drastically reduces diesel emissions. He said that the exhaust that comes out of these trucks is actually cleaner than the air coming into the truck due to this filter.

    We do use 80/20 biodiesel when available. It is hard to find when on our journeys but we do use it. And we have a no idle policy with COSI On Wheels to reduce the use of fuel and reduce exhaust on the non filtered trucks. In 2 more years all of our 7 trucks will be equipped with the fuel filters.”

    A step, but if someone would like to donate biofuel based trucks (sourced correctly–not one of the questionable ones like corn ethanol), I’d love to talk!


  3. “Is there some flaw in this approach that I’m not thinking of?”

    What’s the environmental impact of producing and ultimately disposing of the batteries (which will eventually wear out) that these cars use? I believe it largely if not completely neutralizes the supposed environmental benefit that these cars are supposed to provide.

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