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When you buy gas, diesel, or electricity for your vehicle, you are buying energy. Knowing where this energy goes can help you get better at wasting less of that energy.

For the average gas-powered car, in a mix of city and highway traffic, the picture above shows us where the energy goes. The Department of Energy has a great webpage that gives you an interactive view.

Sadly, only 25% or less of the power in a gallon of gas actually gets to the wheels. Things like wind resistance and rolling resistance rob most of what’s left. Reducing any of the things that rob your energy can save you gas.

For the next several sections, I will be discussing each place your energy goes and give some ideas on how to save gas/energy at each step.

This image shows the same information as the image further up, but as a flowchart. For this section, we will be following the flowchart from the fuel to the tires.

For those of you with hybrid or electric vehicles, these fundamentals mostly still apply. More information on hybrids and EVs will be included throughout the lessons and there will be a section that discusses electrified vehicles.

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