History of Fuel Economy {Infographic} & More

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The cost of fuel is something on a lot of people’s mind these days. And in these times, I think it’s worth looking back and noticing who pushed for great fuel economy standards in cars, efficient and useful mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities that you can actually use, and the rapid development of electric vehicles. Do you know who’s on your side?

For some fun history of fuel economy in the U.S., here’s a useful infographic:

Created by WellHome Insulation

Of course, more efficient cars only go so far when it comes to cutting our oil addiction and the pain we feel at the pump. 40% of trips in the U.S. are 2 miles or less — completely legitimate, easy distances for bicycling and some for even walking. While 12% of trips are currently made by bike or foot, a lot more could be. One reason they aren’t yet? Bicycling and walking only receive 2% of federal transportation dollars. But even without that funding, bicycling and walking are actually easy and enjoyable transportation modes that more people could be taking advantage of (not only saving thousands and thousands of dollars a year, but also improving their health, having fun, and helping the environment).

Mass transit can cover larger areas for most people and are legitimate, efficient transportation options when funded appropriately as well. And as I show from time to time, riding transit would save the average American nearly $10,000 a year.

And, of course, beyond bicycling, walking, and mass transit, we’ve got electric vehicles, hybrids, and biofuels.

Transportation accounts for 29% of our primary energy consumption in the U.S. No matter what our preference, we need to cut back on our oil consumption in some way (or in multiple ways) — through greater fuel efficiency, bicycling, walking, transit, or non-petroleum-based cars.

Related Story:

Funny Exxon Gas Station Sign, but…


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7345 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan