Automobiles: The Hummer H2 is perhaps the best example of unapologetic disregard for efficiency. This vehicle weighs around 6,400 pounds and travels about 10 miles on one gallon of gas. They sell for $40-$50,000, although sales have declined sharply since 2005.
Americans tend to value large, powerful cars despite their inefficient use of gasoline. For example, the Ford Mustang was first sold in 1964 and is currently in its fifth generation. The newest Mustang’s 5.0 liter V8 gets a boost of eight horsepower from 412 hp (307 kW; 418 PS) to 420 hp (313 kW; 426 PS), and the V6 remains rated at 305 hp (227 kW; 309 PS) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m). Although fuel efficiency was formerly ignored in favor of power, the Mustang was redesigned to be more efficient and now gets around 30 miles per gallon.
Energy use: According to World Bank statistics Americans use an average of 7,069 kg of oil per capita in 2011. This is more than double of most European nations and about four times China’s per capita oil use.
Car size: Although Western Europeans actually own more cars per capita than Americans, American cars tend to be much larger. Americans also tend to live in suburban areas that are quite a distance away from their workplace, so they spend an average of an hour or more commuting to and from work every day.
The average width of American roads allows for much larger trucks and passenger cars. Taxi cabs also tend to be far larger in the United States than in Europe or Asia, even though they carry the same number of passengers (1-3) at a time.
Increased fuel economy standards: In response to growing concerns about pollution and global warming, President Obama in April 2012 finalized standards which mandate an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon for the 2025 model year. These tough standards aim to force car manufacturers to create more efficient gasoline-based vehicles as well as electric and hybrid cars. Fuel efficient vehicles such as the Toyota Prius are gaining in popularity as highly inefficient vehicles. Sales increased sharply in 2004 and Toyota has sold more than 120,000 Prius vehicles each year since 2007.
Car pooling: Another growing trend in many cities which aims to decrease pollution and fossil fuel use is car pooling: people riding together to and from work in order to save money and decrease the number of cars on the road. Most Americans still travel a fairly long distance to work each day, usually alone in their car. Local governments have sought to encourage people to share cars by introducing „High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)“ lanes that are only open to vehicles with more than three passengers.
Citizens have created solutions such as „slugging,“ a common practice in Washington, D.C. where drivers pick up impromptu riders to meet the HOV requirements of high-volume interstates. Some commuters also form car pooling groups that rent vans and leave from specified locations at the same time every morning. The riders split the cost of the van and driver.
Biking: In some cities in America bike trails have been constructed from popular suburbs into downtown office locations. These trails encourage commuters to ride bikes to and from work and often involve bridges or tunnels that allow for an easy commute. This practice is still fairly uncommon among American workers, but as traffic continues to get worse and gas prices rise, more commuters may consider this option.