Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Little Things That Make Big Differences.

How about a retrofit for your jumbo jet's wingtips that saves 600,000 gallons of jet fuel, per year, per airplane? Consider how small a change this is, then have a look at half the reason your old pickup only gets 13MPG:

Even the vaunted Prius has about a zillion little drag points underneath it.

Mythbusters added 800lbs of dimpled clay to a Ford Taurus and got ~10% better fuel economy. That's not exactly a "little thing" but it does prove a point.

What's your point, VFD?

It took legislators bullying them to do it, but finally OEMs are budging a little. With two relatively minor changes, Ford bumped a heavy pickup's fuel economy ~10% and nobody died because the thing had to me made lighter/weaker so it crumples like a tin can to achieve the difference.

Next time you hear someone complaining about CAFE standards being increased by the watermelons in D.C. (to include ME being the complainer) remember: making a car lighter is not the only, and not even the easiest, way to dramatically improve fuel economy. With the frikken ridiculous new CAFE standards recently passed into law by the watermelons in D.C., I suppose this sort of thing will be increasingly popular with car makers.


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