Take a bite out of Big Oil with an efficient small car

sheila likes her new ride

Here’s an unsurprising fact: Big Oil is making huge profits. Here’s one that might catch your eye: car owners are spending nearly as much gassing up as they paid to buy their car.

Crunching a few numbers, the Union of Concerned Scientists spells out in a new report how consumers could be saving thousands through buying a fuel-efficient vehicle. Oh, and buying oil company stock is basically futile.

…Whenever someone pumps their tank at a gas station, if they’re spending $50, $33 will go directly to oil companies. If the driver bought the car in 2011 and drives it for 15 years…they would be spending more than $22,000 on gasoline, $14,000 of which goes directly to oil companies.

Gas stations aren’t making that much money off drivers filling up their tanks – only about 81 cents of an average $50 fueling go to the local gas station owner. “In the end, gas stations make more money off the bottled water, beef jerky, and other things you buy inside than off the fuel you buy outside,” said Joshua Goldman, the report’s author and policy analyst for UCS’s Clean Vehicles program.

Drivers owning shares in oil company stock are not going to make back their money spent at the gas pump…Spending more on fuel-efficient vehicles like a hybrid is worth it over the vehicle’s lifecycle cost, the Union of Concerned Scientists says. For example, a Ford Fusion SE Hybrid may cost $3,500 more than its base conventional gas model, but consumes $9,000 less in gasoline over its lifetime.

Something that motorheads figured out long ago. Even just buying a small, well-designed car and driving it sensibly makes a difference.

My extended family never has fit the consumption targets the big automakers used to delight in. I’ve had my pickup truck 20 years, now. My wife just parked her 30-year-old Volvo and replaced it with a Ford Fiesta 5-door. Even without the turbo eco-boost configuration, her mixed-drive commute is already beyond 39mpg consumption numbers.

5 thoughts on “Take a bite out of Big Oil with an efficient small car

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