Inefficiency – The Internal Combustion Engine

A car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) is an extravagance of waste. Less than 13% of the energy in a gallon of gas ends up powering your car down the road or up a hill. The fact that gas is a relatively cheap but a very dense energy supply keeps us happily driving down the road without realizing how wasteful we are.

Internal Combustion Inefficiency

Let’s look at this gasoline with dollars and sense: If you spend $100.00 on gas, $12.60 of your money will help you get around, $2.20 will keep you warm or cool and help you steer and $84.80 does nothing but pollute the planet !

Where does your money go?   Most of it goes to a very few of the wealthiest countries in the world.

If that sounds like a great bargain, you might want to go out and buy a new money draining, gas sucking, pollution monster.

A nearly unavoidable side effect of driving a very inefficient ICE powered car is that we don’t see very much benefit from improvements in things like aerodynamics, tires and changes in our driving habits. Buy new set of low rolling resistance tires that are 15% better and all you see at the pump is 15% of 13% or about 2% improvement, probably too little to notice. This effect has trained most of us to be wasteful and not to look for or put into practice solutions to the squandering of our planet’s fossil fuel resource.

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