Topics: energy, transportation, video
It’s a popularly held belief that driving a car with your windows down is not as fuel efficient as it is to roll them up and turn on the air conditioning instead–especially at highway speeds. That’s because your vehicle is aerodynamically shaped so that it resists wind forces the best when your windows are up.
My friend Mike over at Clever Dude got me thinking about this recently, so I decided to take to the road in my MINI Cooper to find out once and for all if windows down or A/C on is the way to go. And how could I resist bringing my video camera along for the ride?
(Video: 2 minutes, 56 seconds; 4.5MB; Flash required)
Course #1: Stop-and-Go Traffic
Windows Down, A/C Off: 23 miles per gallon
A/C On, Windows Up: 18 miles per gallon
So far it looks like air conditioning is more of a gas guzzler than driving with the windows down. Next time, we’ll see what happens when we go for a longer drive around the block.