Allstate insurance company says overweight Americans are thwarting the auto industry’s efforts to improve fuel-efficiency by adding extra pounds to their lighter-weight cars.
The auto insurer says 1 billion gallons of gasoline were burned each year between 1960 and 2002 because of our growing waistlines, citing a report by Entrepreneur.com. Americans are weighing in 20 pounds heavier than they did in 1990.
For every additional 100 pounds, a vehicle’s fuel economy drops by as much as 2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
That might not seem like much of a loss, but auto makers have been monitoring every ounce to meet strict new federal rules on fuel economy. Using less steel and lighter plastics in auto parts are cutting pounds from vehicles and moving them toward the federal target of an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
“But even as the automotive industry goes to extremes to shed weight to meet these rules, heavier drivers are adding unexpected pounds,” The Allstate Blog reads. “It’s a seesaw battle that’s making it difficult to realize the gains expected by a big push for lighter, more fuel efficient cars.”
Allstate released this infographic on the issue, in partnership with Cars.com.