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AutomotiveMap answers 5 common fuel economy questions

Knowing how your car achieves its fuel economy can help you save money at the pump.

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How fuel efficient is your car? The numbers you saw on the car's window sticker while you were shopping the dealer lot are likely not playing out in real life. Why?

In this guide to fuel economy, AutomotiveMap will help you better understand what a fuel economy rating is, how your driving and the environment impact real world fuel efficiency, and how hybrid powertrains impact fuel economy.

What is fuel economy?

Fuel economy numbers are measurements of the efficiency at which a vehicle uses its fuel, whether that's gasoline or diesel. A vehicle that has high fuel economy number is considered fuel efficient while vehicles that burn through their fuel at a faster rate are labeled as fuel inefficient.

Who determines if a car is fuel efficient?

Ultimately, a car's fuel efficiency comes down to the driver. However, the U.S. Department of Energy produces an estimated fuel economy rating based on laboratory tests that are conducted by manufacturers using a regulated process.

How does my driving impact fuel economy?

Car are least fuel efficient when moving from a stop. The acceleration needed to propel a vehicle forward causes the car's efficiency to plummet. However, other aspects of the drive experience are more fuel efficient, balancing out the car's overall fuel economy numbers.

When you accelerate quickly off the line, not only does the vehicle need to use its usual fuel inefficient propelling process, the hard acceleration tells the vehicle to do it faster, a process that uses more fuel. This process holds true when it comes accelerating to pass folks on the highway.

Abruptly stopping uses more fuel than coasting to a stop because you are maintaining a speed up until the last possible moment.

2016 Toyota Prius Many hybrid cars come with displays like this that help drivers understand the impact of their driving by illustrating best practices.Photo courtesy of Toyota

How does the environment impact fuel economy?

When it's hot or cold, running your climate control system requires energy and that impacts your vehicle's efficiency. However, modern systems can be as efficient, or more efficient, than driving with the window's down so don't think that is the more efficient solution.

When it is cold outside, your vehicle needs to warm itself (and you) up to reach peak efficiency. The colder it is, the longer it takes and the more energy it requires.

In an EV, using the radio, climate system, windshield wipers, and lights can all impact a vehicle's range. There's only so much electricity to go around!

Vehicle maintenance also impacts a car's efficiency. Things such as changing your oil regularly and making sure that your tires are inflated to the correct level can have a large impact on your vehicle's efficiency.

Weight also impacts how fuel efficient a car is. If a vehicle is loaded up with people and gear, it has extra weight to lug around. That weight requires additional energy to get going and keep going.

How does a hybrid help fuel efficiency?

Most hybrid cars use an electric power boost to help them get off the line faster. The battery's boost of electricity takes the place of traditional fuel methods being used. Because there isn't as much gasoline or diesel being used, the car is more efficient.

While driving down the road, many hybrid systems (consisting of a battery and an electric motor) use a motor (or two, or three, or four) to move the wheels of the car. Many systems are designed to recapture unspent energy and return that to the battery.

The fuel efficiency of cars has been steadily rising over the last four decades. Nowadays, the Toyota Prius, an impactful model in the hybrid vehicle marketplace for the last 15 years, is basically as fuel efficient as the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

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New compact pickup truck

Three things to know about the 2022 Ford Maverick

The Maverick will be hybrid-first and can return great fuel economy.

Ford Motor Company

Last week, Ford confirmed the name of its new compact truck and set a date for its official reveal. Today is that day, and the Maverick is finally out in the open for all to see. Ford's compact pickup features an interesting mix of powertrain tech and functionality, so we're here to help you get a feel for what makes the new truck tick.

Here are three things to know about the 2022 Ford Maverick.


2022 Ford Maverick The Maverick will likely be all the pickup most people ever need.Ford Motor Company


It'll be hybrid-first

The 2022 Maverick will be offered with two powertrains, but the standard fixture is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 94kW electric motor. The two combine to produce 191 horsepower and send the power to the front wheels. The base hybrid models get a continuously variable transmission and can return as much as 40 mpg on the highway. Yes, it's a hybrid, but there's some real truck capability hidden in the Maverick's specs. It will be able to tow up to 2,000 pounds and can carry a payload of up to 1,500 pounds. That's enough to pull a small boat, a couple of jet skis, or a camper trailer.

The optional gas powertrain includes a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Maverick models equipped with this powertrain can tow up to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped.


2022 Ford Maverick The Maverick's bed and tailgate will help owners carry more with less overall space.Ford Motor Company


It's bigger than you think

Ford's marketing materials and even tweets from prominent members of its PR staff suggest that the Maverick is tiny, but that's not the whole story. The truck rides on a platform shared with the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Escape, but is just ten inches shorter than the Ranger and around 32 inches shorter than an F-150. It's compact, sure, but it's not the tiny toy truck you might be envisioning. Beyond fuel economy, the Maverick's dimensions help it maneuver tight spaces, so much so that Ford says it needs just a 40-foot diameter to turn in a complete circle.



2022 Ford Maverick Trucks don't need to be huge to get the job done.Ford Motor Company


It will be relatively affordable

Vehicles of all types are becoming more expensive, especially trucks. The Maverick bucks that trend, at least in most of its forms, and comes in with a starting price of around $20,000 after destination charges are applied. The midrange XLT model starts at $22,280 before destination and the range-topping Lariat starts at $25,490 before destination. Any model can be upgraded with the 2.0-liter gas engine and the Lariat trim is available with a First Edition Package that adds exclusive wheels, paint colors, and a moonroof.

If you're hoping to get your hands on a Maverick, you can reserve one now on Ford.com. The automaker says that the truck will start hitting dealers' lots in fall 2021, so there are just a few months to wait if you're in the market.

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Lamborghini is accelerating its path toward an all-electric future.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Lamborghini plans to electrify its lineup and now we know how fast that process will be going and what the company won't be focusing on. In a presentation, Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, detailed that the super luxury automaker will "focus continually on identifying technologies and solutions that guarantee top performance and driving dynamics" rather than fuel economy. Those words are magic to enthusiasts ears.

"Lamborghini's electrification plan is a newly-plotted course, necessary in the context of a radically-changing world, where we want to make our contribution by continuing to reduce environmental impact through concrete projects," said Winkelmann. "Our response is a plan with a 360 degree approach, encompassing our products and our Sant'Agata Bolognese location, taking us towards a more sustainable future while always remaining faithful to our DNA."

The three-phase approach to electrification starts this year. From 2021 to 2022, Lamborghini will focus on "presenting models paying tribute to the company's recent period of continuous success". Expect two new cars in the V12 model line-up to be announced this year.

By the end of 2024, the hybrid transition for the automaker will be well underway. In 2023 Lamborghini will launch its first hybrid series production car and by the end of 2024, the entire range will be electrified. The company's internal target for this phase is to reduce product carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent by the beginning of 2025.

In this second phase, Lamborghini is committed to keeping the drive experience in focus as well as the application of carbon fiber materials, which the company sees as crucial in developing their new product lineup.

Lamborghini is committing to bringing the company's first fully-electric car to the market in the second half of the 2020s with a number of electric vehicles on the horizon. The automaker expects to introduce a fourth model.

The automaker has initiated an investment of 1.5 billion euros to create the pathway to electrification. The money will be spent over four years time.

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