Efforts to improve fuel economy of cars maybe be cancelled out by the expanding waistline of drivers.
According to an infographic developed by car insurance firm Allstate, in collaboration with Cars.com, in the US, 39 million gallons of extra fuel is used per year for every pound gained in average passenger weight in the country.
With more than a third of US adults now obese and self-reported weight at new highs in 2011, it seems that efforts to increase the country’s fuel efficiency through the new CAFE standards could be hindered by additional driver weight.
While carmakers reduce the weight of their cars to improve economy and meet the new 54.5 MPG standard set for 2025, every extra 100 pound in passenger weight will cut MPG by up to 2 per cent- or one mile less for each gallon of fuel.
Quoting a 2010 report by Consumer Reports, the insurance firm refers to research that suggests that almost 1 billion gallons of gasoline per year is attributed to passenger weight gain in non-commercial vehicles between 1960 and 2002.
That means that when cars reach an official 50+mpg rating, many drivers may find that they only achieve high 30s. See the infographic for more details.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
Yes we all know that weight has to be paid for in fuel efficiency which is why I have taken out the rear seats in my Cmax and only put one in if I actually need it! Normally there are only 1 or 2 of us in the car, with any extra passengers being the rare exception. OK its a bit more noisy without the sound deadening provided by the rear seats, but my radio gets turned up and I visit the fuel station less often. My fuel mileage is between 57 & 59.8 mpg per tankful
October 16, 2012
Ironically, in this day and age of political correctness, obesity is all to often looked upon as an alternative "body style" instead of the abnormality it is. Obesity not only means reduced fuel economy for all aspects of our overall transportation system (i.e. aircraft burn more fuel transporting 100 passengers weighing 200 lb. each, than would be the case for passengers weighing 160 lb each) but also, more public funds expended as a result of medical problems that obesity leads to. This is important in this day and age of government-provided health care, i.e. "Obamacare" here in the States.
October 10, 2012