AutoblogGreen is always great for Green/Auto industry news, but occasionally they have really insightful stuff on what it truly means to be environmentally friendly. Like this article, for instance.
While we’ve already covered how improving a low-mileage car into a middle-of-the-road-mileage car is more of a substantial impact than taking your 50 MPG Toyota Prius up to 100 MPG, ABG puts it into visual and numerical terms that makes the concept really easy to understand.
First off, imagine a 10-inch piece of paper. Now, cut the piece of paper in half. Again. And Again. And Again. While at first you were slicing off 5 inches at a time, now you’re slicing off less than an inch each time. Mileage works in a similar manner- not only does the difference in size (or efficiency, in this case) get smaller and smaller, it also gets harder to cut.
Now for the numbers that put things into perspective. By taking 2 million 15 MPG cars and turning them into 2 million 24 MPG cars, that would save 13.7 million barrels of oil per year. By turning 2 million 33 MPG cars into 42 MPG cars, you only save 4.9 million barrels of oil per year.
So that little bit goes a long way.