Photo Credit: Bill Howard
There is a consistent, dizzying pattern emerging: When gas prices top $4 a gallon, Americans get religion about fuel economy. The value of big SUVs drops and Honda Civics get second looks. With $5 gallon gas in some states, the process is well underway. As of late March, regular gas has gone up 47% in price in the last year, to an average of $4.24. Premium gas is up 41%. Diesel is up the most in the past year, 62%. Diesel is similar to home heating oil and jet fuel.
The pattern has been that when the pain at the pumps subsided—even a little—consumers go right back to their big SUVs. Now, with credible EVs and hybrids on the market, things may be changing permanently. For motorists looking for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, look to the best fuel-efficient trucks, high-mpg SUVs and hybrids. Plug-in hybrids combine electric motors that go 20-50 miles on battery before the gas engine kicks in. The future for many is the fully electric vehicle. Cox Automotive reports that in early March, interest in EVs soared by 69% and hybrid consideration gained 32%. These are Forbes Wheels’ best EVs for range, the best SUV EVs and the best electric cars. With the goal of saving as much gas as possible from your existing car, here are 20 tips for fuel misers: