Automobile Choices and Alternative Fuels

This is an activity in which students take the role of either a car seller or a car buyer to learn about transportation energy options. Car sellers are challenged to pitch to buyers about cars with a particular fuel type while car buyers each have a specified personal and socio-economic background that must be considered when buying a car.

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Amy Gambrill
PBS NewsHour

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Investigate opportunities for public presentations of best sales pitches and well-reasoned purchase plans.

May not be as applicable for students who live in areas where few people purchase cars (i.e. large cities).

Educators might choose to adjust income levels in the "socio-economic background profiles" to reflect regional cost of living.

Educators could enrich the activity by including more instruction/learning activities related to environmental consequences of fuel choices.

Up-to-date source on fuel efficiency of vehicles can be found here: http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

You can do research on E85 refueling stations here http://www.e85refueling.com/ to determine if it would be possible to switch to ethanol to fill the tank.

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