On average– we’re not talking about a Prius or Hummer here– less than 20% of the energy of gasoline is actually used to drive the wheels of the car. That means very little of the gas you bought moves you down the road. It’s like buying a twelve pack and taking one sip.
Er, not really. It's like buying a twelve pack and taking less than enough sips to consume two and two-fifths cans. Technically, I suppose, that includes the quantity of one sip, but I think we can safely conclude this writer wasn't being so persnickety. It's an open question whether he was being dishonest, bujt I vote for error prone.