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Fact-o-rific Vehicle Facts of the Week

August 17, 2010 - 7:30am


I have a secret. When I need a little pick-me-up at work, I often surf over to the EERE Vehicle Technologies Program Web site and read their latest Fact of the Week. Updated like clockwork every week, the Fact of the Week site provides dozens (if not hundreds) of factoids of a broad variety of vehicle-related topics.

Call me crazy, but these little weekly statistical gems are always fascinating to me. If I have a few extra minutes, I love to peruse past weeks' facts; the site maintains a listing of previous fact of the week entries dating back to 2003. These archives are a treasure trove of interesting information. For example, did you know that new vehicle buyers tend to keep their cars longer (56.3 months) than used vehicle buyers (41.3 months)?

Or how about this: it probably comes as no surprise that the Honda Insight (combined 53 MPG) and Toyota Prius (combined 50 MPG) scored first and second place according to's MPG ratings. But did you know that the nineties-era Geo Metro came in fourth with a combined 48 MPG? It turns out that those of us who owned Metros back then were ahead of our time.

True, some of the facts lean toward information that only an energy geek like me could love. I know it's hard for some folks to get excited about the fact that in 2001, 78% of U.S. scrap tires were reused, recycled, or recovered, up from 11% in 1990 (although the thought of all that recycled tire mulch for playgrounds makes me giddy). But there's also a lot of information that I use to answer people's everyday energy questions. Ever wondered what percentage of the price for a gallon of gas goes to taxes? See Fact #526. Or how many vehicles are produced in North America as opposed to the rest of the world? See Fact #529. Start reading, and I guarantee you'll find your inner energy geek.