Fuel Economy in American Automobiles

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Fuel efficiency in automobiles has become a topic of much discussion in recent years in the United States. This is due largely to the environmental devastation that fuel emissions cause, but it is also sparked by the rising fuel costs. Making cars with high fuel efficiency not only saves consumers money, but also will drastically reduce the pollution that is caused by emissions. Today automakers are putting a tremendous amount of effort into making their cars more fuel efficient, both to meet government regulations and to make their car more appealing to the consumer.

During the late 1900’s, fuel efficiency was given very little thought by automakers. Instead, they competed with each other by coming out with larger and more powerful vehicles each year, and by doing so they sacrificed fuel efficiency, because each new vehicle that they built got fewer miles per gallon. Americans craved bigger and more powerful cars, so to comply with the car buyers, that is what the automakers built (Surowiecki 25). However, “polls show that, given an option, some three-quarters of them vote for dramatic increases in fuel-economy standards” (Surowiecki 25).

Since there were no fuel economy standards established by the government until 1975, the fuel efficiency of automobiles steadily declined. In the early 1970’s, the average American vehicle got less than 13 miles per gallon. However, in 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries placed an embargo on all the oil that was sent to the United States as a way to get retaliation for America’s support of Israel in the Six Days’ War. The long lines and gas rationing that this embargo initiated made many Americans realize how dependent they were on foreign oil. The thought that they reli...

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...ed into the atmosphere.

Works Cited

Barry, Patrick. "Thinning Fuel Before Injection Boosts Efficiency." Science News 174.9 (2008): 9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

Bezdek, Roger H., and Robert M. Wendling. "Fuel Efficiency And The Economy." American Scientist 93.2 (2005): 132-139. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

Knight, Ben. "Better Mileage Now." Scientific American 302.2 (2010): 50-55. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2011

Murray, Charles J. "Automakers Find New Ways To Boost Efficiency." Design News 66.2 (2011): 28-32. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

Romm, Joseph J., and Andrew A. Frank. "Hybrid Vehicles Gain Traction." Scientific American 294.4 (2006): 72-79. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Nov. 2011.

Surowiecki, James. "Fuel For Thought." New Yorker 83.20 (2007): 25. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Nov. 2011

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