Despite Efficient Cars, Savings at Pump Elusive

GasPrices

Despite reduced gasoline consumption, higher prices at the pump mean Americans are finding themselves with less money to spend elsewhere. That's according to a pair of reports issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy group.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Energy Department's report showed that U.S. households spent an average of $2,912 — or nearly 4% of their pretax income — on gas in 2012. That's the highest percentage in 30 years, even as Americans have cut down on fuel consumption through more efficient driving habits and higher-mileage vehicles, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported that Americans are likely to spend as much on gas over the life of their vehicle as their vehicle originally cost. For example, the report states if a driver bought a car in 2011 and drove it for 15 years (the average lifetime of a vehicle), the owner would spend more than $22,000 on gas.

"You're basically paying for a second car every 15 years," Joshua Goldman, a policy analyst for the Union's clean vehicles program and author of the report, said in a statement. The report also noted that major oil companies posted near-record profits last year. "The only thing really benefiting from your oil use is oil companies' bottom line."

Although Americans' efficiency efforts haven't yet paid off financially, at least on average, the Union insists that higher-mileage vehicles will yield savings in the long run. For example, a Ford Fusion Hybrid SE costs more than its base model but consumes $9,000 less in gas over its lifetime.

Related
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Comments 

WTF

Good reason to go with a Volt or Leaf or eFocus.

Tony

WTF, you must be kidding me. Thanks to people who thinks like you, we're going to pay more and more.
See, when you consume less gas, you pay less in taxes on which state governments rely. So, next step, you will be either, paying mote tax per gallon or have an additional tax for the car ownership.
After all, Ray LaHood was right - Stop driving your Toyota (hybrid).
Ironically, when these new taxes will be imposed, there will be no chance for Prius owners to recover their cost by consuming less gas. Ah... 4 states already working on these laws, so it is not too long untill all of them copy. Good luck, electric people!

WTF

Big deal.

Rockaby

Because the ever efficient ICE (20%-30% efficient) is OBVIOUSLY the way to go just because of the way our current tax system is set up...

CC

4% of pre-tax income? Look how much Europeans and Asians are paying? Probably 10% of their pre-tax income. That's why many V6 model cars being sold here are not even available elsewhere in the world. Out base 4 cylinder model is typically their top end engine choice.

Max

Then go live in Europe or better yet China with your little 1.0 liter turbo. Liberals naturally think scarcity instead of abundantly.

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