Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Economy Button

Help save gas!
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

It's been pointed out before that fuel economy isn't about what car you drive, but how you drive it. There are dashboard displays that can tell you how good you are driving as far as gas mileage.

What I propose is like the opposite of a "sport" button. When pressed it will limit your engine to 2500rpm. This is plenty for highway driving at 70mph and decent acceleration in the city, yet it keeps your engine in the range where it uses the least fuel. Of course someone can try to keep their revs under 2500 by looking at the tachometer, but it is often too tempting (at least for me) to stay there when accelerating. The econ button would ensure that nomatter what kind of driver you are your car will always be getting its maximum miles per gallon as stated on the spec sheet. Unless, of course, you turn the system off. Then you're free to use all 573 horsepower as you blast through 130 and visibly watch your gas gauge go down ;)

There's no need to point out that most cars already have an Econ button - I am aware of this but now all they do is turn off the AC compressor.

DIYMatt, Mar 03 2010

Honda Insight Econ Button (video presentation) http://automobiles....?Feature=econbutton
More than just turning on the AC auto-stop mode, although not quite what this post describes. [jutta, Mar 03 2010]

Rev limiter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rev_limiter
Already used to increase fuel economy but also not quite what this post describes. [DrBob, Mar 03 2010]

WikiAnswers for what the ECT button does http://wiki.answers...ton_on_an_toyota_do
Seems to be what the post is proposing... [hedgedmybets, Mar 04 2010]


       I'd keep it pressed mostly. One thing I would have though is an override when you put the pedal to the floor, so that if you needed full power in a hurry it would be there. Kind of like the kick-down thing they have in automatics.
wagster, Mar 03 2010

       when I order my $325,000 sports car I want the Economy button to read "Laid Back".
FlyingToaster, Mar 03 2010

       // it will limit your engine to 2500rpm//
Get a diesel.
coprocephalous, Mar 03 2010

       I remember being in a VW something that had a rather clever colour-coded system - if you went over a certain number of revs, you'd be shown red, while a nice gentle pace rewarded the driver with a lovely serene green.   

       As to having my revs limited for me - two things,
1) If I wanted to do that, I could implement it by (for example) placing a brick behind the accellerator pedal.
2) Who would purchase a car based on the feature that it has been built to provide x amount of power, but will only provide y
3) The answer to point (2) might be "You can always switch it off" to which the stock response is, "If something is so annoying that it needs to be switched off, the chances are that it will remain switched off - since it's likely to stay switched off anyway, why put it on in the first place?"

       But, a mode where the car took complete control over driver acceleration inputs, is going to have to balance the most efficient fuel usage against a minimum acceptable acceleration envelope. More acceleration is always less efficient - so you'll have to offset your minimum vavoom levels based on what you think your customers (and the road users around them) will be able to tolerate.   

       Why not just buy/design/create a less powerful, more efficient car? Putting more power in than is required and then inventing a system to make sure it never gets used seems like a silly way to make something more efficient.
zen_tom, Mar 03 2010

       //seems like a silly way to make something more efficient.//

So what's your point, z_t?
DrBob, Mar 04 2010

       Hmmm, now you come to mention it, maybe he's onto something. I'm off now to play Pole Position II on my Commodore 64 emulator.
zen_tom, Mar 04 2010

       I used to own a '98 toyota avalon which had a button that would change the point at which the automatic transmission would switch gears. It increases power and gas usage when pressed by waiting to shift at higher rpm. <link>
hedgedmybets, Mar 04 2010

       Yep hedgemybets, that would be the sport button I refered to when I said "my idea is the opposite of that".   

       In response to z_t, why would I want to make my BMW M5 less powerful? I want it to stay just as powerful, but this button would let me save that power for the racetrack and have a more efficient everyday driver. I don't have an M5 BTW, that was an example :)
DIYMatt, Mar 05 2010

       can it also engage more frequent cylinder deactivation using a more aggressive schedule that cares less about noise?   

       Truth is, the vast majority of the time you do not need the horsepower that car engines are sized to produce. It's only during those WOT cycles, passes, etc. where the hp is called for, the rest of the time, you're using maybe 30-45 hp as measured at the wheels on an average sedan to cruise at highway speeds.   

       The 'economy' vs. 'sport' functions are only a matter of proper marketing and labeling. Effectively 'economy' mode is 'sport' mode turned off.
RayfordSteele, Mar 05 2010

       //Who would purchase a car based on the feature that it has been built to provide x amount of power, but will only provide y//   

       Parents ("On your 21st birthday, we take the governor off"). Employers ("You don't need all those horsepower for a trip downtown. Come back and talk to us when you've got a cross-country trip"). Rental agencies ("For sale: like-new used cars. Scrupulously maintained by our mechanics, and, for the two years we rented them, driven conservatively").
mouseposture, Mar 05 2010


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