It depends on how you drive the car with the extra gears (in the transmission, not in the engine), but yes, if the driver is able to keep the RPM’s down, and drive in a manner that does not consume more fuel than necessary (medium speed-, steady- accelerations; not hitting the accelerator when it’s unnecessary; using neutral whenever it is possible), then having an extra gear or two can improve the efficiency of a vehicle. They say cars become more and more fuel-INEFFICIENT if you travel more than 55 MPH, but with an extra gear which is geared for high-speeds, there is no need for the car to produce any excess CO2, because the engine can still run at the same RPM, but the drive-train axles could be spinning faster because they would be geared in such a way (aren’t engineering, math, and science wonderful?). Semis have like 21 gears, and the new lexus vehicles have 7 or 8 gears I think — and if you drive them the right way, you can definitely improve fuel economy and cut down on emissions by keeping the engine running at its optimal RPM… I THINK IT SHOULD BE MANDATORY FOR CAR MANUFACTURERS TO DISPLAY INFORMATION ON THE DASH ABOUT THE CARS OPTIMAL RUNNING RPM FOR ENVIRONMENTAL-FRIENDLINESS!!!! If everyone knew what RPM their car would run best at, then people would be more informed and thus more likely to drive in an eco-conscious way. ALSO, IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS, WE DON’T NEED TO BE RUNNING THE ENGINE AT ALL!!! THERE IS POTENTIAL IN THE FUTURE FOR CARS TO KNOW WHEN TO USE THE ENGINE *TO ACCELERATE* AND WHEN TO USE THE CAR’S MOMENTUM TO COAST TO A STOP — WE’RE ALWAYS HAVING TO SPEED UP AND SLOW DOWN ANYWAY — WE SHOULD BE ONLY EXPENDING ENERGY WHEN NECESSARY *IN THE BURN PHASE* AND WE SHOULD BE RE-CAPTURING THAT ENERGY WHEN DECELERATING *INSTEAD OF TURNING THAT EXCESS ENERGY INTO HEAT! (BUT THEY’RE ALREADY DOING THIS IN HYBRIDS!!!) I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THE GREEN INVESTMENT PROVIDES PEOPLE WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO START BUSINESSES WHICH WILL RETROFIT THEIR CARS TO DO WHAT PRIUS’S AND OTHER HYBRIDS ALREADY DO! TRUST ME—COASTING IS THE WAY TO GO!
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