Consumers could be more likely to consider fuel efficiency on their newest vehicle purchase if the way of presenting the figures is changed, energylifenews.com reports.
According to new research from Duke University in America, the current method of fuel reporting - miles per gallon - is ineffective because of its small scope. If this were to be changed for a much longer term outlook, however, the figures could appear much more stark.
Examples given by researchers included fuel efficiency per 100,000, or for the anticipated lifetime of a vehicle. This way, consumers would be provided with fuel efficiency statistics in a much more tangible, attention-grabbing fashion.
This, they added, could also provide environmental benefits, as it would encourage drivers or fleet owners to go for much more efficient vehicles.
The research involved setting up a scenario where would-be car buyers seek out the best vehicle for their needs. The group was presented with a number of vehicles, each with its vital statistics laid out in different ways. For fuel efficiency, this was done in three ways: gallons used per 100 miles, per 15,000 miles and per 100,000 miles.
In the study, buyers were found to be much more likely to choose a fuel efficient car when the fuel efficiency is laid out in the upper echelons of total mileage.
Commenting on the results, researcher Rick Larrick told fuqua.duke.edu: "Giving the gas cost over the lifetime of the vehicle seems to give people a better understanding of its fuel efficiency.
"The current metrics used don't help people to understand the true value of a fuel efficient vehicle."