Energy Saving Transportation Practices

Fri, 2013-03-01 09:52

With constant price fluctuations at the gas pump, it is more important than ever to engage in energy saving transportation practices. While the type of vehicle you drive is important in determining the amount of fuel your vehicle uses, there are various methods that drivers can take to save both energy and money. The following tips are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.75/gallon. 

"Think before you sink."

Reduce Aggressive Driving Tendencies

          Drive the speed limit, period. Not only is it safer, but it can improve your vehicle’s fuel economy to save both energy and money. While the temptation to drive over the speed limit may be overwhelming for some, doing so can have significant consequences to your finances and the environment. In fact, according to, every five mph over 50 is equivalent to paying an additional $0.26-$0.53 per gallon of gas. Additionally, driving aggressively (including rapid acceleration, speeding, and braking) can lower your fuel mileage by up to 33 percent at highway speeds (equivalent to paying an extra $1.24 per gallon at the pump), or by five percent around town (equivalent to $0.19 per gallon).

      Good Fueling Practices

            Unless your vehicle specifically requires a higher fuel grade, use regular unleaded gasoline. According to, there is no noticeable difference in fuel economy or performance between regular and premium gasoline. Find some relief at the pump by switching to a lower grade gasoline. Also, engaging in energy saving fuel practices can significantly extend the life of your fuel. These include not topping off gas tanks (which can lead to spilling) and by filling the gas tank before it reaches below half a tank when in colder weather in order to prevent gas freezing.

      Avoid Car Idling

            Leaving your car idle can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on the engine size and air conditioning use. Turning off your engine while parked can save $0.01-$0.03 per minute with the AC off or $0.02-$0.04 per minute with the AC running. Restarting your engine once you are ready to drive again will only use a few seconds worth of fuel in comparison to the amount wasted by idling your car.

"Check your car before you wreck your car."


Ensuring that your vehicle’s tires have the recommended amount of air pressure can alleviate fuel economy issues. Make sure to check tire pressure monthly and to especially inspect your tires before and after long road trips. Moreover, keeping up-to-date on tune-ups, including oil changes and emission control system checks can ensure that your car runs more smoothly and utilizes less fuel to operate.

Excess Weight Issues

One of the easiest ways to reduce gas consumption is to remove unnecessary heavy items from your vehicle. For every extra 100 pounds in your vehicle you can reduce MPG by 1-2%. Ensuring that your vehicle does not contain extra weight can provide a savings of $0.04-$0.08 per gallon. However, it is important to note that due to weight dynamics among automobiles, it is strongly suggested that smaller vehicles reduce the amount of excess weight more so than larger ones.

"A walk a day keeps the carbon away."

Lifestyle Changes

To ensure that the maximum amount of energy is being saved, opt to reduce your carbon footprint through healthy, alternative options. One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint (and improve your health) is by walking or biking rather than using your vehicle to move about. This is especially true in larger cities where access to amenities is within walking or biking distance. Although these methods work great to reduce carbon emissions, it is largely not a feasible option for the majority of individuals. In that case, utilizing public transportation options such as trains and buses, or ride-sharing options can significantly reduce the amount of energy used and money spent on transportation. If driving is an absolute necessity, choosing to purchase and drive vehicles with high MPGs or that use alternative energy sources such as electricity or natural gas can decrease energy consumption and costs.

By Peter J. Bock

Forward to a Friend

Related Blogs

Request Information

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.