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Energy Efficiency with Cars

You often hear the phrase “energy efficient” when people talk about new washers and dryers, new air conditioning systems, LED lighting and other home-related products. The same thing happens when the discussion goes to new hybrid, plug-in and full electric vehicles.

Being energy efficient has its perks and can save you money. In this blog, we will specifically discuss how you can be energy efficient with automobiles, no matter if you drive an older car or a new electric vehicle.

Why Is Energy Efficiency Important in Cars?

Energy efficiency with vehicles goes beyond just saving money on gas. The impact an energy efficient auto has on the environment is substantial because it can help reduce greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions that harm the atmosphere. According to, the U.S. transportation sector produces about 28% of CO2 and older vehicles can contribute more than the average.

Being energy efficient with your transportation lets you do your part in reducing these greenhouse gases and keeping the Earth green. While a majority of vehicles do not fall under the “eco-friendly” category of electric and hybrid vehicles, there are things you can do to lessen the emissions from your gas vehicle.

What Role Does Your Vehicle Play?

As mentioned, 28% of CO2 emissions pollution occurs from the U.S. transportation sector. There are a few different factors that contribute to this, but the most prominent one is Americans’ love of driving.

Traditional internal combustion vehicles use fuels such as gas or diesel, which contribute to air pollution. Green or eco-friendly vehicles, such as electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, are cleaner alternatives. Having such vehicles helps reduce those harmful emissions, says

Ways to Make Your Vehicle More Energy Efficient

If you own an internal combustion vehicle, there are some things you can do to improve fuel efficiency, especially if you are not in the market for an electric or hybrid vehicle, according to

  • Drive smoothly: Driving smoothly and at the speed limit can improve your car’s fuel efficiency. One way is to drive at a steady pace and to limit the number of times you unnecessarily accelerate. Accelerating uses more fuel because you are asking the engine to generate power to move your car faster.

    Another tip to aid in smooth driving is to activate your car’s cruise control when you are at highway speeds. This lets you maintain a steady speed that limits the use of fuel. Many newer cars also have a fuel economy setting that limits fuel consumption.

    Also, reducing the amount of weight your vehicle is carrying, known as the vehicle load, will increase your fuel economy. According to, adding an extra 1,000 pounds to your vehicle’s load will reduce your fuel economy by 1%.
  • Maintain Your Vehicle: Keeping your car maintenance current will let it run at peak efficiency. For the engine, ensure you change the engine oil, transmission oil and spark plugs as recommended by the manufacturer. For tires, have them rotated regularly so they wear evenly and check the tire pressure often to ensure they are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires help reduce rolling resistance on your car, so it goes farther with less gas.
  • Drive Less: The last way you can lower your car’s greenhouse gases is to drive less. Whenever possible, consider public transportation or carpooling for your daily work commute. If you are doing errands, consider combining all of your trips into one and plan your route. Additionally, if it is feasible, consider walking or cycling to your destinations.

How can Travis Credit Union Help?

If you want to upgrade your vehicle to one with better gas mileage or if you want to purchase a new electric vehicle, Travis Credit Union can help. TCU offers competitive rates on auto loans that come with membership discounts and quick loan processing.

For the best auto-buying experience, get pre-approved first before you visit the dealership so you can focus on vehicles that are in your price range. It is easy to see how much you can borrow by using TCU’s free pre-qualification tool. There is no impact on your credit and you will be able to shop with confidence.

We hope this information helps you go green while on the road. Learn more about us at

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