That silence you hear? It's a month's worth of payments on the family car-insurance plan not being spent on an idling engine. That's one way to look at new numbers out from the AAA that say stop-start engine technology will save drivers a solid chunk of change in the form of lower refueling costs. If only more automakers would embrace the tech for their vehicles.
When you drive a plug-in vehicle for the first time, it's common to get the "EV grin" that advocates have talked about for a long time. But, once that initial thrill quiets down a bit, something else can happen – you start to think about the bigger picture.
Gasoline consumption across the U.S. has steadily declined during the last decade. Analysts have chalked up the drop in gas usage over the last ten years to the rise in more efficient technologies, better public transportation, the stalled economy and steadily increasing gas prices.
Imagine, if you will, taking a sheet of paper and cutting it in half. Now take one of those halves and cut it in half again. Now keep repeating the process. As you keep cutting, the difference in the size of the subsequent pieces gets progressively smaller. This simple example is a demonstration of why continuing to increase the fuel mileage of a vehicle has less and less impact once you get beyond about 35-40 mpg.