Well, there are two ways to go about answering this question. If you are looking to reduce car weight for the sake of racing and/or performance, you would look into high performance wheels and tires, as well as replacing stock body parts with carbon fibre or fiberglass kits. But since you’re asking the question on GreenAnswers, I will assume that you are simply trying to reduce excess car weight for the sake of conserving gas. For this purpose, it is best to remove all unnecessary items from your car, particularly those in your trunk. Piles of clothing and shoes, huge albums filled with 80s CDs, kids’ science fair projects, etc. all add up to more pounds–it’s like having an extra body in the car.
If you are looking to conserve gas, there are many other ways to do this besides reducing excess weight. Making sure your tire pressure is correct, keeping your car maintained regularly (especially periodic oil changes), and driving with the windows closed at increased speeds are just a few ways to conserve gasoline. Skipping the car altogether and walking or bicycling are two practical ways to save mileage, which is better for the environment, for your car, and for you (healthwise).
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Yeah I like chiabia’s answer. Definitely carbon fibre bodies and lightweight metals like aluminum as opposed to steel. The other question is of size… cars needn’t be as big as they are, and the smart car definitely proves this — the thing that is sacraficed is safety… Personally I know I would feel a little more secure in a Hummer or a 4000 pound volvo than I would riding around in a tiny little Smart Car… but I still want one! I think the future of transportation lies in ultra-lightweight (mainly bio-mechanically driven) vehicles (bikes) which are on a completely different track/ roadway than heavy duty trucks and other oversized vehicles (like 18 wheelers)… they will have motors to assist when necessary, but for the most part the human riding in the “car” will be doing most of the work — I wish I had the link for you, but I saw a version of my invention on the Science Channel — it was a vehicle called the “Sweedo” or something like that, that an inventor in New Zealand has created! It was so cool… oh yeah and an average person could pedal it faster than lance armstrong on his bike… last thing I wanted to say is this: Car’s actually get better gas mileage when there is less fuel in the tank because gasoline weighs about 8 or 9 pounds per gallon. So leaving the tank half full drops the weight of the car by about 45 pounds, and this makes the car lighter so the engine has to do that much less work. Just imagine if every car was 10 percent smaller, and thus a 3500 pound car weighed 350 pounds less! That’d be good for the earth!
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