Fuel Economy

Fuel economy and our use of fuel efficient vehicles in the U.S. is one of our most critical needs, specifically because it can reduce our oil dependence the most. Fleets and individuals can shop for and select more efficient vehicles that fit their needs; this has become a more common action in fleets in the last few years with petroleum prices increasing significantly from years before.

Transition to Smaller, More-Efficient Engines: Using smaller engines and improving horsepower can help fleets meet operational needs without downgrading vehicle class. Some fleets choose to switch from 6-cylinder to 4-cylinder engines to help reduce fuel use and emissions.

Choose Lighter Vehicles: When purchasing new vehicles, look for opportunities to reduce vehicle weight. Lightweight materials and smaller components can improve fuel economy by up to 2% for every 100 pounds of weight reduced. Also try to avoid unnecessarily large body configurations and heavy accessories.

Hybrids: Using hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) both combine an internal combustion engine of a conventional gasoline vehicle with a battery and electric motor of an electric vehicle. Thus, both types of vehicles offer lower emissions and better fuel economy.

Rightsizing: Fleet rightsizing is a management practice that can help vehicle fleet managers build and maintain sustainable, fuel-efficient fleets. Fleet inventories often grow over time to include vehicles that are highly specialized, rarely used, or unsuitable for current applications. By optimizing fleet size and composition, managers can minimize vehicle use, conserve fuel, and save money.

Driver Behavior: Fleet managers and drivers can improve the efficiency of their vehicles, conserve fuel, save money, and reduce emissions through simple changes in driving behaviors. Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (PDF) shows that improving driving behaviors can reduce vehicle fuel use by 10%. Savings can be up to 20% for aggressive drivers.

Fuel Economy Guide: Find and compare vehicles, trip planner and more.

Strategies for Fleet Managers

Learn about strategies for vehicle fleet managers to conserve fuel. Coming soon...

Techniques for Drivers

Find techniques for fleet drivers to conserve fuel. Coming soon...

Source: US DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center


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