ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Drive Smarter Challenge Aims to Reduce Public Gas Usage

New York, May 20, 2008

With over 240 million cars and trucks in the United States*, excessive gas usage is a concern for many Americans. A new consumer education effort called the Drive $marter Challenge, launched by the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and the Wal-Mart Foundation (WMF), will provide fuel-efficient driving tips and maintenance advice to help drivers save gas this summer.

Additional sponsors include the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), the American Petroleum Institute (API), ExxonMobil, and SmartWay (a division of the Environmental Protection Agency), all members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Did You Know?

According to the Transportation Energy Data Book 2007:

  • Americans are “buying bigger” – between 1990 and 2006, the purchase of SUVs rose from 5.6% to 32.4%.
  • Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year, or about 12,500 miles per vehicle per year.
  • In 2001, the average trip distance to work was 12.2 miles.
  • Not including the cost of the vehicle itself, Americans spent about 10% of their annual income on their vehicles in 2005. In comparison, they spent 32.7% on housing; 12.8% on food, 5.1% on entertainment; and 1% on public transportation.
  • In 2000, 76% of all U.S. workers got to work by driving alone, while 11% carpooled, and 5% took public transportation.
The program is centered on the website Launched today, this online resource provides consumers with dollar amounts or percentages of money saved for each tip on reducing gas usage. Website visitors can enter the make, model, year, and cylinders of their car into a database to find out how much they will save on gas by keeping tires properly inflated, turning down the air conditioning, and following other gas-saving suggestions. The website maintains a running tally of the amount of gas saved by site visitors who pledge to follow through on one or all gas-saving steps, presenting the data as the amount of money and gallons of gas saved, and the reduction in CO2 emissions.

The educational campaign will also produce cards in English and Spanish with tips on how to reduce gas usage. These cards will be distributed nationwide to gas and service stations; vehicle repair shops and parts stores; vehicle inspection stations; biking events; child care and fitness centers; state and local social services offices; conferences and trade shows; state energy offices; Head Start sites; senior centers; and local government and community organization meetings and events.

For more information, visit the Drive $marter Challenge website.

* Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2007

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