Reducing your operating costs should be a key part of your post-pandemic operating strategy. This could help you to recoup losses you may have suffered due to delays and unforeseen consequences of COVID-19. One of the main ways to do this is to optimise your fuel efficiency. Fuel typically equates to nearly 30% of total operating costs in the average commercial fleet. Therefore, improving your fleet’s fuel efficiency could result in significant profit increases. Not only this, but maximising fuel efficiency also helps to protect the environment by limiting carbon emissions and pollution levels. A win-win situation.
5 Ways to Improve Fuel Efficiency
Anticipate other drivers
Being a smart driver involves anticipating potential hazards. Avoid sharp breaking and harsh acceleration as this leads to higher fuel consumption. Instead, look ahead to identify hazards early which allows for enough stopping distance and smoother driving.
Most vehicles have momentum technology in place which recognises when the momentum of the vehicle is driving it forwards rather than the engine (such as when driving downhill or slowing down). A fuel cut-off switch usually kicks in when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator; this stops the flow of fuel. This means it is more fuel efficient to remain in gear and stop accelerating in these circumstances rather than coasting in neutral which would still burn fuel.
Underinflated tyres cause the engine to work harder which in turn burns more fuel to overcome the resistance. Drivers must regularly check tyre conditions to avoid this.
Turn the engine off
Fuel consumption can be decreased by turning the engine off when stationary in traffic. However, it is important that drivers only do this when it is safe to do so.
Use aircon cautiously
This may seem inconsequential however, using aircon can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%. For long haul drives, this could add up to significant amounts. The suggested advice from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is to open windows up to 45mph and use air conditioning over this speed if necessary. This is because having windows open at high speeds creates air resistance (drag) which can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%.« Back to all news