The link between vehicle weight and fuel consumption
(NC) – Vehicle weight is one important factor that influences a vehicle's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Heavier vehicles have greater inertia plus greater rolling resistance. Selecting a smaller and lighter vehicle has the potential of saving drivers hundreds of dollars per year.
New vehicle buyers should consider the lightest vehicle with the smallest engine option. For example, the difference between combined city/highway fuel consumption for the best and worst gasoline base-model minivan is about two litres/100 kilometres (L/100 km), with a corresponding weight difference of 490 kilograms. At today's fuel cost of about $1.20/L, this translates to savings of about $4,800 over 200,000 km.
Since fuel costs are a substantial portion of a driver's annual transportation expenses, buying a vehicle with poor fuel consumption ratings will cost more over time. In order to avoid getting locked-in to a gas guzzler, car buyers should choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets their everyday needs.
Natural Resources Canada offers a handy online tool for comparing the estimated fuel consumption of various makes and models of vehicles for a specific model year at www.vehicles.gc.ca
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