Glenn Reynolds has been advocating the adoption of flex-fuel technology for our cars. The basic idea is that if our cars could run on ethanol and methanol as well as gasoline, we’d reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The cost to convert our cars would be about $100 per.
Leave aside the ominous suggestion–on odd one coming from the good professor–that the technology be government-mandated, and it may well be a fine idea. But there’s another option that would be simpler to implement and would cost a whole lot less.
I first read about it in this article about hypermiler Wayne Gerdes.
Hypermilers try to improve their gas mileage by changing the way they drive.
Gerdes has taken the idea to an extreme–including doing things that are arguably unsafe.
But there’s still something here for the rest of us those of us–stuff like not accelerating so quickly at green lights, using cruise control for highway driving, and coasting to stops when possible.
The upside: according to this article on CNN.com, adopting some of the hypermilers’ techniques could reduce our national gas consumption by 35 percent.
It would help, of course, if we could get immediate feedback on how much gas we’re using, as we use it. And we can: according to Gerdes, it would cost only $10-20 to install fuel consumption gauges in our cars.
Personally, I don’t want our politicians mandating any auto upgrades–too much potential for mischief. But I’d gladly spend an extra $20 myself to be able to monitor my gas consumption in real time.
And hey, if that 35 percent figure is anything like correct, the gauges would about pay for themselves by the time we get home from the new car lot.
[tags] hypermilers, flex-fuel, gasoline consumption, foreign oil [/tags]