Everyone is looking for ways to cut fuel consumption now that prices have risen beyond the point of the absurd. The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has come up with a surprising way to save a few bucks. They tested ComfortCool ventilated seats, which are available as an option in the Cadillac STS. They found that the seats made people feel cooler, reducing their need to use the air conditioning to keep themselves comfortable.
Based on their test they predicted that, if all cars had ventilated seats, air conditioning fuel use would decrease by 7.5%. That may not sound like much, but it would add up to 522 million gallons of fuel saved per year. Before we get too excited though, the trick would be to see if the cost of the seats was less than the cost of the fuel saved. Or if the environmental impact of the seat manufacturing is less than that of making and burning the fuel.