July 22, 2008

VIDEO: Reconsidering the MPG benchmark

Miles per gallon. In the US, it is the ubiquitous standard of fuel economy.
Expressed in the most literal terms possible, there shouldn't be any confusion.

And yet there is.

When it comes to making purchasing decisions that affect how much gasoline we use per capita, it can lead buyers to make false assumptions.

Which will save more gasoline: swapping a 10 mpg truck for a 20 mpg model?
Or trading a 25 mpg car for one that gets 50?

A pair of Duke University business statisticians cast a critical eye on the MPG benchmark and came up with some interesting conclusions. Check out the video below:

Viewed in real-world terms, the study makes a convincing case for using hybrid technology in heavy commercial vehicles. FedEx and UPS already employ small fleets of hybrid delivery trucks and plan to integrate more of them into their fleet.

In the long term, 50 miles per gallon is an admirable and achievable goal for our commuter cars. But any net fuel savings remains a goal worth pursuing, even when it comes from unlikely sources.

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