MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — As gasoline prices climb and the summer driving season approaches, a new report says Minnesotans could save big with more fuel efficient cars.

A study released Tuesday by Environment Minnesota says Minnesota families could save an average of $538 at the pump this summer if a 60 miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standard was in place. The advocacy group says cars meeting that standard could save Minnesotans collectively over $1.25 billion in a summer.

Ken Bradley, program director of Environment Minnesota, says 60 mpg is achievable with greater use of electric and new diesel technology. He says it would reduce pollution and dependence on foreign oil.

Environment Minnesota is one of several groups that are calling on the Obama administration to adopt a 60 mpg standard as it sets new fuel efficiency rules.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (32)
  1. Jim says:

    I support this 100%. Less money spent on gas + reduction of dependence on oil + cleaner emissions = a win for everyone.

    1. A T says:

      And how much more would the traffic deaths increase due to the these more fuel efficient cars? The only way to make them more efficient is to make them smaller, and with lighter materials. Would I like better gas milage from my car? Absolutly. Am I going to sacrifice my families safetly? Never.

    2. dan says:

      Exactly how are you going to get your boat to the lake? What about the weekend camping trip with the family? there is no way they can build a towing vehicle that will ever get 60 miles to the gallon.
      Reduce dependence on oil? How do you propose we put another 2 million unemployed oil workers to work?
      Oil is one of our cheapest most plentiful supplies of power. Use it until it is not economically feasible. That is the only time alternatives will take hold.

  2. M B says:

    So you have a hybid diesel, which then over-inflates the need for diesel fuel, causing it’s price to go up, and since our commodities are transported by diesel vehicles (truck and train), all our commodities would go up,gas would drop, then people would go back to the gas cars.

    The reason that Diesel is so high now is because there’s already a greater demand for it. Europe, in making their ultra high fuel standards, basically forced most cars over there to be Diesel.

    There’s only so much energy stored per unit of fuel, depending on its makeup. Once we reach the point that we’re pulling that energy out efficiently, the laws of physics take over and we either have to have smaller (lighter or more aerodynamic) cars or a different more potent fuel source. Since most of the energy in combustion is liberated in the form of heat, maybe we should be doing more with that.

    1. Johm says:

      In the 80’s volvo had a diesel car (prototype) that got 80 mph to the gallon without any fancy “hybrid” part. AND it was a station wagon. Diesel is basically just less refined gasoline so it’s price is tied quiet closely anyways. At twice the current mpg or better its a shame cars aren’t available now because we have the technology.

      1. M B says:

        I understand what you’re saying and I think it would be great to have that kind of mileage, but shifting us all over to diesel would be just as bad as all being on gas.

        When oil is refined we get 19.2 gallons a barrel of gasoline. We get 9.2 gallons of heavier distillate fuel. This includes Diesel AND fuel oil. Do you see the disparity here? If we switched over a large portion of cars to diesel, what kind of prices do you think diesel would be at? I’m not against high mileage cars, honestly. But switching them over to diesel would cripple us in the long run. I wish they’d put more money into more efficient gasoline cars, but even there we’re bound by physics.

  3. Southern MN Mom says:

    No kidding? I imagine these new cars will be available within a year and all will be under $5000!

    What did this study cost Minnesota?


    1. JB says:

      Imagine all you want, these crs will not be available within a year and they most certainly will not cost under 5k.

      1. Frank Furter says:

        It’s called sarcasm JB. She was being sarcastic. Study up on it before you go looking for your inexpensive fuel efficient car.

      2. Southern MN Mom says:

        Really JB? I am shocked and disappointed. I am scared- What are we to do?

        PERHAP OUR LEADERS SHOULD SEND A PRESS RELEASE TO THE WORLD SAYING, “WE START U.S. DRILLING NEXT WEEK.” Do you think gas prices might start going down then?

    2. Jim says:

      I don’t get what your point is here. Do cars cost less than $5000 now?

      As far as I can tell this was not a government study, so I don’t think it cost Minnesota anything.

  4. Karen says:

    Why would anyone need to study this or even report on it or for that matter, comment on it. What a absolute waste of time and money.

    1. Jim says:

      Why do you care what private groups spend their money on?

    2. M B says:

      What does it say for you then that you decried the need for commenting, yet in doing so commented?

  5. Jaque says:

    And if we had 700 mile per gallon cars we could save millions. Lets do it.

  6. don [the truth] williams says:

    drill here drill now drill here drill now and keep your left wing socialism to yourself,we have enough shale,naturel gas,oil to keep everyone fueled up for 200 yrs in this country and thats a FACT than gas prices would plummet and once we start drilling global prices would plummet also…going green is more of a eco-faciest left wing ideaology than realty and even though…minnesota has the worst media all left wing loons!!!

    1. Jim says:

      Fuel efficient cars = “left wing socialism?” That’s funny.

      1. Matt says:

        Fuel Effeciany Mandate = Solcialism

        If the market wants little tin can cars that get 60 MPG then the market will dictate it, not a bunch of blow hards that get ellected because of old family money and nothing else to do.

    2. M B says:

      Wow. Do you by any chance realize that the tone in which you commented makes you look more like a loon than those you hate? Just wondering…

      Here’s a little secret: Not all people on the left think that drilling is bad. The issue is that in their quest for quick profits, the oil companies pollute massive tracts of land. If it’s done cleanly (and it is possible if they spend just a little more money) then it’s no problem. So, the issue isn’t with drilling, it’s with the greed-mongers that want huge profits without taking any precautions. You DO want a clean planet left for your children right? Or do you want them to live in a toxic environment that will likely kill them? Or, do you believe that you’ll just be able to up and escape all the pollution magically somehow?

  7. Victim Du Jour says:

    So did “Environment Minnesota” get money to Study something we already know?

    1. Matt says:

      I did some digging and I can’t find out any information on where their money comes from, but donations are NOT tax deductable so they are primary funded by a private organization or individual and have an agenda.

  8. Mark says:

    Cost is going to come out of somewhere, if not at the pumps. Oil companies are still going to get paid no matter what. Why hasn’t E85 taken off? Oil companies have their hands in it. Why have all electric vehicle concepts disappeared for decades up until recently? Oil companies curbed em. Why are we paying more at the pump when price per barrel is still relatively low? Why are our groceries more expensive? Why are shipping companies charging more to ship packages? All these have been directly influenced by oil companies being greedy. I don’t think a mandate on fuel efficiency is going to help this recession to end. I also feel that we should be focusing our attention and dollars towards bettering the economy and not these what ifs.

    1. Jim says:

      E85 hasn’t taken off because it’s 15% ethanol, 15% less efficient and a dime cheaper. Diesel hasn’t taken off due to epa regulations. Current volkswagon diesels get nearly 50 mpg. Everyone is preaching fuel effcient vehicles but go onto the interstate. People are still driving 20 mpg or less in their SUV’s at $4 a gallon. Mark you are a real airhead.

      1. M B says:

        Ummm.. I think you have that backwards. E-85 is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline…

        The reason it hasn’t caught on is because it’s so expensive and energy consumptive to make. It’s also very hard to transport because of it’s volatility. It eats rubber so seals and whatnot have to changed often. It also contains 1/3 less energy than gasoline so your mileage will actually be less using it. Additionally, large scale corn diversion for ethanol could cause food shortages as well as when fields are converted from other food producing crops to corn.

        It’s just not the right fuel for us. It was a great idea, but just doesn’t work all that well.

        1. Reasonable says:

          Corn as gasoline doesn’t work very well for the reasons pointed out here. On the other hand since plastics and such are a petroleum derivative, why not investigate corn plastic that would be biodegradeable? Seems like a good idea to me at least.

          The time for gasoline cars should start coming to an end. As mentioned above, VW makes cars that aren’t “tiny death traps” as Jason Lewis would call them, get 45mpg+ and don’t cost an arm and a leg more than their gasoline counterparts. I guess it makes too much sense to have a vehicle like that since they aren’t more popular…

      2. Mark says:

        I am an airhead. I don’t watch trends, I don’t have any common sense, nor have I have been in and around farms, semis nor have I ever been out of the “big city”. E85 at an E85 ONLY station is quite a bit cheaper than buying E85 at a station that sells gas and E85. Why does it seem that E85 is always a certain percentage(around 15%) below gas prices? The oil companies.

        Yeah, I understand people are driving still driving SUVs at $4/gallon and could save a lot of money by picking something up with better gas mileage. I completely understand. Hybrids aren’t the way to go as the MPG savings do not pay off for years over a gas 4cyl.

        Current epa regulations have also cost the trucking companies and anything diesel powered a lot of money, directly raising costs to the consumers which in turn is taking money out of our pockets. So, call it how you will, government has messed this up enough and oil companies are still going to get their cut and I am still an airhead……

        1. Matt says:

          What’s really funny is that E85 without governement subsidies is more expensive than regular unleaded… Funny sad

  9. Tired of the BS says:

    I can’t believe you are debating this – if we use less gas at the pump, the amount of tax recieved by the government will also decrease, which in tern will cause them to add additional taxes such as the current proposal to tax your vehicle by the miles driven based on a gps chip in your vehicle.
    Take this example: “use less electricity to save money” which we did for years and what happened? Excell Energy raised the rate per Kilowatt because the use had decreased while their expenses increased – so we never have saved on our electrical bills.

    1. Mark says:

      This is a great point. Still going to get their cut.

  10. stace34 says:

    My father worked on a car in the early 70’s that was a prototype. It was getting over 50 mpg. They can get the 60 mpg easily.

  11. Joy says:

    No thank you. It takes more energy to make a hybrid car because of the different parts being manufactured in so many different countries. A hybrid car may soothe your environmental conscience, but over the life of the vehicle, even with using less gas, it still swallowed up more energy just to make the car than a made in USA SUV swallows. But, what do I know.

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