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Automakers should put fuel economy indicators on all vehicles

I filled my tank this weekend, drove around town on some errands and I'm already down by about a quarter tank.

I have a fairly fuel-efficient car, so what gives?

Well, frankly, I do. I'll fall on my sword and admit that I plant my lead foot firmly on the accelerator pedal.

Our lawmakers will soon force automakers to dramatically increase their fleet fuel economy ratings. But let's not forget the driver's role in improving fuel economy.

I've noticed that on some vehicles -- always on gasoline-electric hybrids -- an indicator on the instrument panel tells me the fuel economy I'm achieving.

I pay attention to it because the information is right in front of me and it's easy to understand. It becomes a sort of game for me to keep my fuel economy as high as possible through soft acceleration and holding my speed in check.

Then I get back into my own vehicle and revert back to quick acceleration and racing about town.

Wouldn't it be great if my next car, whether it be gasoline-powered or a gasoline-electric hybrid, had a fuel economy indicator on the instrument panel?

This is something automakers might consider.

It could help all drivers achieve optimal fuel economy merely by making them more mindful of their driving habits.

After all, the onus shouldn't just be on automakers.

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