March 17, 2008 — -- As soaring gas prices deflate family budgets, Americans are coming up with unique ways to cut their gas costs.
Today the nationwide average price for gas hit another record high today at $3.22 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration.
"Good Morning America" found three enterprising individuals who've found creative solutions to curb their own consumption.
In Jacksonville, Fla., a 69-year-old inventor designed a tiny gadget he attaches to his engine to improve his mileage.
"I've been getting about 42 [miles per gallon] with this car. On a previous car I had it on, I got 60!" said Fred Crane.
He calls the device the Mileage Master. According to Crane, when you're going more than 35 mph, you can just flip a switch to cut off fuel to half of the cylinders in your engine.
"I'd like the American public be able to save gas. That's what I want. I don't want the oil companies to buy it off from me. They'll just throw it away," said Crane.
With the Mileage Master, he claims someone who gets 20 mpg, spending $100 per month, could reduce that bill to as little as $35 a month.
Note: The Mileage Master is not yet patented and not available for sale.
Outside a Silicon Valley diner you'll find a hybrid, a Ferrari and a $150,000 prototype of the world's fastest electric car. It's an example of a society where dreams and technology are fueled by money.
Ian Wright is the entrepreneur whose dream it was to take electric car technology to the next level.
"Public perception, the investors' perception, is that electric cars are golf carts, that they're ugly little things that nobody really wants," said Wright.
"We can build something that beats all of the Ferraris, all of the Porsches. And that gets people's attention."
Even though he's created an electric car that can bypass gas stations and do 170 mph, he knows the economics aren't there yet for mass production.
Wright says his $150,000 electric car prototype technology won't be viable for passenger cars for 20 years.
In the New York area, graphic designer Gordon Blau fills up his tank with leftover grease he gets for free from neighborhood Chinese restaurants.
"I take their oil and they say thank you," Blau said jokingly.
Blau's car runs on diesel. After mixing in the Chinese food grease, he only spends $20 every three weeks at the gas station.
The only downside: "It smells a bit like Chinese noodles," but it's a small price to pay when everyone else is paying nearly $4 per gallon.
"I would say I'm saving easily over $3,000 a year," Blau said.