Though I do love Paul's more philosophical posts I thought I'd change things up a little by responding to this post on one of the NYTimes blogs:
I thought that it'd be interesting to measure gas volume more directly. Instead of using 100 miles, just use one mile and use the appropriate household measurement.
“Miles per gallon is misleading and can play tricks on our intuitions,” Prof. Soll said in a press release, which also links to an interactive quiz.
Profs. Soll and Larrick offered an alternative metric: gallons per mile. Expressed in gallons used per 100 miles, 18 m.p.g. becomes 5.5 gallons per 100 miles, and 28 m.p.g. becomes 3.6 gallons per 100 miles. And the difference is suddenly obvious: nearly two gallons every 100 miles, or a difference of more than $8.
Table of US Cups of Gas used per Mile traveled
|Mpg||US Cups per Mile||Example car|
|10mpg||1.6 Cups per Mile||Bentley Azure Convertible|
|15mpg||1 Cups per Mile||Jeep Grand Cherokee|
|20mpg||.8 Cups per Mile||Toyota Tacoma|
|25mpg||.6 Cups per Mile||Model T|
|30mpg||.53 Cups per Mile||Toyota Corolla|
|35mpg||.45 Cups per Mile||Volkswagen Jetta|
|40mpg||.4 Cups per Mile||Honda Civic Hybrid|
|45mpg||.33 Cups per Mile||Toyota Prius|
I just threw this together pretty quickly so please forgive me if I rounded a little or compared cars across different years and features.
As you can see, the savings really happen on the far end with people switching from gas guzzlers to slightly more fuel efficient cars. Getting hippies like me to buy priuses surely doesn't hurt but it's not the main solution.