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Car Makers Lightening the Load to Save on Fuel

Balloon Car
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We've written before on PumpTalk about how lightening the load in your car (but not in your fuel tank) can help increase your fuel efficiency. Cleaning out your vehicle can definitely help you make the most of your gasoline dollar! But short of removing essential items, like the seats, there's only so much weight you can remove from your car.

Fortunately, lightening the load to increase fuel efficiency has become a top priority for many car makers lately.

This auto show season, several car manufacturers are unveiling lighter weight vehicles, created by incorporating new materials and technologies into their upcoming models. The goal? Doubling the average vehicle's fuel efficiency over the next decade.Check out this Wall Street Journal article for some of the innovations in lighter vehicles coming down the pike.

Naturally, finding a balance between making a lighter vehicle and meeting safety standards can be a challenge - but it's a challenge that's already being met on the Formula One race track. Many of the lighter weight materials in Formula One cars (aluminum underbody, carbon-fiber composite roof) are set to be incorporated into the next generation of Corvettes, for example - and GM has invested in NanoSteel, a lighter-than-steel "nano-structured advanced high-strength alloys whose strength and ductility meet automotive structural demands".

So in the next few years, you might be able to improve your fuel economy simply by buying a car that weighs between 10% and 15% less than your current vehicle! While you're waiting for those innovations, be sure and check our Ways to Save on Fuel Infographic and our other PumpTalk posts about getting the most out of your fuel.

- Rose R.


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