Though many people plug their mobile devices into their cars, they may be burning more gas than they know.
Many people have shrugged off the need for a portable charger due to the fact that they have an adaptor or a USB port that allows them to simply plug their devices into their vehicles so they can charge them up during their daily commutes and any other trips they need to make.
However, that technique may be more costly and may have a far greater impact on the environment than expected.
It has recently been pointed out in a number of reports that driving while talking on a cell phone isn’t the only harmful thing that these devices can do when they are used in vehicles. Even when the driver isn’t actively using them, if a smartphone is plugged into a car and is charging, instead of using a portable charger, it actually reduces the mileage of the vehicle in a measurable way. How much? According to a retired General Motors Co. engineering exec who studies power usage in vehicles, Jon Bereisa, people charging their smartphones in their cars are slashing their fuel efficiency by 0.03 miles per gallon of gasoline.
A portable charger is now seen as the best tool to avoid this harm to the environment and a driver’s wallet.
When considering the number of vehicles and smartphones across the United States, Bereisa’s calculations show that charging using a car instead of an external battery pack could actually send an additional 970,000 tons of global warming-boosting carbon dioxide into the air.
That said, according to Delphi Automotive Plc vice president of engineering and program management, Mary Gustanski, “Do I think we’re at peak USB? No.” She added that “We’ll get more and more creative to not only allow you to connect with USB but also to connect wireless. Consumers want their car to be just like their home.”
While mobile technology may be evolving so that it will one day offer a solution that won’t have nearly as much of a negative impact on fuel consumption, until that day has come, a portable that fits easily in a pocket, handbag or glove compartment might be the ideal solution for fuel economy-conscious drivers who care about the environment and who are hoping to spend as little as possible at the pumps.