We can do better.
Illinois motorists may soon be the victims of their own good behavior. Drivers in the Land of Lincoln have been improving their fuel efficiency and driving more hybrid and electric cars that lessen their reliance on gasoline. As a result, the state isn't collecting as much money through its gasoline tax as it once did.
An investigation from Navigant Research predicts less than 50 percent of new vehicles globally will use conventional gasoline-fueled engines by 2017. However, the study's definition even takes turbocharging into account as being outside the norm. The report also estimates that stop/start systems will be in nearly 60 percent of models by 2025.
Even as electric vehicles gain in popularity, we're told again and again that internal combustion engines aren't going away. While that may be true, it would still be nice to kick our addiction to gasoline. Pollution, international turmoil and energy insecurity are getting a bit tiresome. It's good news, then that Navigant Research is predicting a decline in the amount of gasoline we use.
Shell invited us to its Technology Center near Houston, Texas to learn more about its V-Power premium gasoline, and we ended up learning not only about detergent additives but also what the Internet thinks happens inside a car's engine. In Part One of the story of our visit, we tackled the Internet and the engine internals, laying out the ways in which some of your engine's parts get layered in carbon buildup because of gasoline.
Two of the most important additions to a car are also two of the most commonly ignored: gasoline and tires. Companies pour staggering amounts of money, energy and resources into designing, engineering and gaining percentile improvements in automobiles, and what they get in return from consumers is a staggering amount of "Which one is cheapest?"
There aren't many places in the world where one can buy a gallon of gas for the equivalent of a nickel, but, for the time being, Venezuela is one of those places. There the price of gasoline has been frozen for nearly two decades, but the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, says he favors raising prices gradually over three years to help fight the country's economic crisis, The Detroit News reports.
The cost of a gallon of fuel may go up if a Democratic representative from Oregon gets his way. Earl Blumenauer has reportedly proposed a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the federal gas tax 15 cents per gallon in a bid to cover a shortfall in transportation funding (we told you so?). The current federal tax is 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.
Here's a welcome holiday present for motorists - gas prices may fall below $3 a gallon before year's end, with some 35 states already reporting at least one station with prices below the mark, according to a report from CNBC. That's a big drop from the current $3.25/gal national average, and it could expand.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is giving us up to 2.6 trillion reasons why blending ethanol with the US fuel supply are a good thing for the economy. Citing former Ford and Carter administration energy advisor Philip Verleger, the RFA estimates that gas would be between 50 cents and $1.50 more per gallon than its costs today. That means that Americans are saving $700 million a year on the low end and $2.6 trillion on the high end.
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