The subject in this accidental case study is my trusty Passat W8, a four-door, all-wheel-drive family sedan powered by a small V8 rated @ 16/23 MPG. Not a Prius but a little better than the SUVs that dominate the roads. The first half of the year was marked by occasional visits to the office once or twice a week. A round trip of around 70 miles averaging around 28 gallons per month. By comparison, the second half of the year was marked by daily 76 mile round trips in rush-hour traffic averaging around 82 gallons per month. That is a difference of more than 50 gallons/month!
Food for thought as my fellow drivers and I crawl in traffic day after day. All so we can enjoy the luxuries/conveniences of our big/heavy/inneficient vehicles. It is a bit crazy. It is also a good reminder of the impact that our chosen lifestyle has on the world. Have you ever considered the effect of your commute?
There are many alternatives. Living closer to work, using mass transit, teleworking. It is a complex equation the one we try to balance to make a living. An equation that will get harder and harder to balance in the years ahead. It may be time to start working on that...
I think the graph above says it all. Commuting from suburbia to the city is just painful in so many ways.