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Submission + - Why US Gas Mileage Advances Don't Help Consumers a (inhabitat.com) 2

greenrainbow writes: "The average, fuel efficiency for US vehicles actually increased by 60 percent between 1980 and 2006 but at the same time cars in the US got bigger (by 26% on average) and their horsepower increased (by 107 hp on average), which, when factored in, means that the average fuel efficiency of American cars only increased by a mere 15%. Almost all of the new technology went into making cars more efficient per pound of weight so that the cars could get bigger and still fit within average mile per gallon expectations."
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Why US Gas Mileage Advances Don't Help Consumers a

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  • The Toyota Camry LE (gas-only) costs $25,900 with a fuel efficiency of 8.0 l/100km (35 mpg) and average annual fuel cost of $1,600. The Toyota Camry Hybrid costs $32,000 with a fuel efficiency of 5.7 l/100km (50 mpg) and annual fuel cost of $1,140. According to the above numbers, it would take 10 years of driving (200,000 km) to recoup the initial price difference between a Camry Hybrid and Camry LE. On the other hand, a Toyota Prius costs $29,500 with a fuel efficiency of 4.1 /100km (57 mpg) and annual fu
  • A bigger engine doesn't use more power necessarily. As long as new engines are running LEAN OF PEAK mixtures, they can use the same fuel flow for more power output.
    But a full time lean of peak engine limits power output, however it results in an extremely clean combustion output, with no carbon, no carbon monoxide and even some oxygen going through unburned.
    I know this from studying aircraft gas engines, which are similar to car engines, and in many respects, less advanced, but same principle.
    As long as you

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