Rocket Fuel

Summer Driving Trends


There seems to be a natural connection between high temperatures and time spent in vehicles. Since we are in the thick of the summer season, it seems only appropriate that today’s Momentum will take a look at two intertwining topics: traffic and the best way to stay cool in your vehicle.

Hurry Up and Wait

As nearly 76% of Americans commute to work by driving alone, it should come as no surprise that complaining about traffic is a staple in everyday conversation. A recent study crunched the data to show which major American cities commute efficiently and those that induce stress on their citizens. According to CNBC, The best cities for traffic, based on annual hours spent in congestion per commuter in 2017, are: Some cities are notorious for endless traffic — but which are the worst and which are the best?

The best cities for traffic, based on annual hours spent in congestion per commuter in 2017, are:

  1. Greensboro, North Carolina: four hours
  2. Wichita, Kansas and Corpus Christi, Texas (tie): six hours
  3. Lincoln, Nebraska: seven hours
  4. Fresno, California; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Madison, Wisconsin; Winston-Salem, North Carolina (tie): nine hours
  5. Tucson, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Toledo, Ohio; Durham, North Carolina; Lubbock, Texas (tie): 10 hours

The worst cities for traffic, based on annual hours spent in congestion per commuter in 2017, are:

  1. Atlanta, Georgia: 102 hours
  2. San Francisco, California: 91 hours
  3. Los Angeles, California: 79 hours
  4. New York, New York: 70 hours
  5. Miami, Florida: 64 hours”

Naturally, there are a wide range of factors that contribute to traffic such as the quality of infrastructure and population. As the Elio will be HOV eligible in applicable states, we hope to reduce stress for our owners as they cut down substantially on their commute times.


Open Windows v. A/C: The Endless Summer Debate

When hitting the road during the summer months, you have probably had a lively debate on which method saves more gasoline: rolling down the windows or running the vehicle’s air conditioner. While there have been different outlets with different findings, we found the below from Consumer Reports interesting.

“We’ve tested this at various temperatures with multiple vehicles,” says Jake Fisher, CR’s director of auto testing. “We found that on an 85-degree day, running the A/C can reduce fuel economy by 1 to 4 mpg, depending on the car. But air conditioning dehumidifies the car’s interior, which can help keep the driver alert and safe. We think that’s a worthwhile trade-off.”

Consumer Reports believes that “rolling down the windows doesn’t appear to put more drag on a car’s aerodynamics. The effect of opening the windows at 65 mph did not measurably reduce fuel economy.” With the Elio’s ultra-high mileage, we aim to allow the driver and occupant to enjoy a comfortable cabin experience without worrying too much about the financial ramifications.

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