My Geo Metro: 47 miles per gallon
My Geo Metro: 47 miles per gallonCourtesy Art Oglesby
Guess the answer to this word problem before doing the math.

  • Car A (a compact) gets 34 mpg
  • Car B (a hybrid) gets 54 mpg
  • Car C (an S.U.V.) gets 18 mpg
  • Car D (a sedan) gets 28 mpg

Which would save more gasoline?

  • (a)replacing Car A with Car B
  • (b)replacing Car C with Car D
  • (c)both would save the same

Can you do the math?

I drive my car about 10,000 miles each year. One way to look at this problem would be to calculate how many gallons of gas each of the four cars would use to go 10,000 miles. Can you do the math? If gas costs $4 per gallon what is the cost for each car to go the 10,000 miles?

Show me your answers in the comments

I will do the math for my Geo Metro as an example. It now has over 100,000 miles on it. Until recently it got 50 miles per gallon. Two gallons would take me 100 miles, 20 gallons would take 1000 miles. 100,000 miles would take 2000 gallons. With $4 gas that 2000 gallons would cost $8000.

Save the world's gas

I once owned a Ford pickup truck. If it got 20 mpg and if I drove it 100,000 miles I would need 5000 gallons which would cost me $20,000. By replacing my pickup with the Metro I use less than half the gas and save over $1000 a year. I used to commute to work and put on 30,000 miles per year. That figures out to a $36,000 saving over 10 years.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

A Match Keel Kiwi's picture
A Match Keel Kiwi says:

well replacing car A with Car B really is the most of the options provided, realistically, car B is the obvious choice...i'm not going to do that math because quite frankly, i just got out of high school and i'm sick of math for the time being. At anyrate, with rising gas prices and diminishing oil reserves. the hybrid is not only your best choice for savings, but also, given that you live long enough to see the end of oil reserves, you'll still have a car that runs. (incase you're wondering, by the way, my name's an anagram, and i'd like to keep it that way :))

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 8:43am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

To do the math, you can use a calculator. The question of which choice would save the world the most gas is still unanswered. Anyone up to trying this challenge?

posted on Mon, 06/23/2008 - 9:03am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Here is the answer to the "Gas Math" challenge. I waited a week, but no one was up for doing math out of school I guess.
Based upon driving 10,000 miles:

  • Switching from Car A (34 mpg) to Car B (54 mpg) would save about 109 gallons of gas.
  • Switching from Car C (18 mpg) to Car D (28 mpg) would save 199 gallons of gas.

The point I wanted to make was that a modest 10 mpg improvement of a gas guzzling vehicle saves more gas for the future (almost twice as much) than improving the efficiency of medium gas efficiency vehicles by twice as much (20 mpg).

posted on Sun, 06/29/2008 - 8:04pm
tis-chick-s0-fly's picture
tis-chick-s0-fly says:

I wanted to make was that a modest 30 mpg improvement of a gas guzzling vehicle saves more gas for the future than improving the efficiency of medium gas efficiency vehicles by twice as much (10 mpg).

posted on Fri, 10/24/2008 - 12:46pm

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