Sonja here, with another weekly post!
Here at the Compass we've been talking a lot about cars and fuel economy this week, so I thought I would continue with the theme. But while so much of the talk about greening our transportation centers on hybrids, electrics, and hydrogen fuel, vehicles can be made more fuel efficient simply by lowering their weight. It seems that American cars, like many Americans, could stand to lose a few pounds.
Green Energy News explains that “for every 10-percent in weight reduction there’s an 8-percent increase in fuel economy.” From a physics perspective this makes a lot of sense: the greater the mass of the vehicle, the more energy is needed to accelerate and decelerate. Therefore a heavier car will be less fuel efficient and have a lower MPG rating. This is one of the most obvious reasons why the tiny cars so popular in Europe are far more fuel efficient than your average SUV.