In addition to ensuring your vehicles are prepared to achieve optimum fuel economy, there are some simple tips that can be employed to further reduce the time and money spent on the forecourt. Ensure your drivers are equipped with the know-how to contribute to better fuel consumption as well as reducing your company’s carbon footprint by sharing the tips below.
One of the best ways to improve your fuel economy is to turn off your air conditioning, which at low speeds can reduce fuel economy by more than 10% on a high setting. The majority of air conditioning systems rely on engine power to operate so if you are trying to improve your fuel efficiency, try to refrain from pushing the A/C button unless you really need to.
Not adjusting your gears to reflect the speed in which you are travelling causes your vehicle to over-rev. It is also one of the best ways to waste fuel and money. To reduce over-revving try to change gear before you hit 2,500rpm. In a diesel vehicle, this figure is closer to 2,000 revs. Try to listen to the engine to ensure smooth transitions between gear changes.
This is probably the easiest and most effective way to reduce your fuel bills. According to the Department for Transport, travelling at 80mph uses up to 10% more fuel than cruising at 70mph. Even if your engine doesn’t sound as though it is labouring, travelling at speeds of over 70mph is a guaranteed way to guzzle fuel.
Constantly having to stop and start uses more fuel. By watching the road ahead and predicting what is going to happen in front of you, you can maintain a consistent speed and reduce the amount of time you spend idling, reduce acceleration and lower harsh braking events. For example, if you can see that the lights in front of you are on red, reduce your speed on your approach in order to prevent having to stop.
If you are waiting at traffic lights, stuck in heavy traffic, or even just waiting outside the office for more than 10 seconds you should turn your engine off. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your engine uses less fuel than leaving your engine ticking over, hence the introduction of stop/start technology in more modern vehicles. The average car or van also produces up to 150 balloons of exhaust emissions every minute so doing your best to switch off your engine when idle will also help to improve air quality!
Vehicle tracking, or telematics as it is sometimes referred, allows you to monitor fuel-thirsty driving styles such as idling times, harsh acceleration, over-revving and speeding. Although the data cannot physically change driving styles, the data allows drivers to identify areas for improvement and offers useful guidance for driver training exercises. Many businesses use telematics to create league tables among drivers and offer rewards to those practicing safe and efficient techniques.