Ways to save fuel as price hike looms

Ways to save fuel as price hike looms. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Ways to save fuel as price hike looms. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 5, 2024


Driving more safely is one of the best methods to cut petrol costs since it lowers some of the major expenses associated with fuel bills, particularly in light of the impending increase in fuel prices in South Africa.

According to reports, the downward trend in petrol prices will stop in March, despite drops of R3.20 and R4.40 in diesel prices between November and January.

Predictions were that the fuel price would increase by approximately R1.20 per litre this week.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says the only significant risk to soaring prices was expected to be geopolitical occurrences.

“While this is welcome news, a petrol price over R20/L still presents challenges for fleets under immense financial pressure. Now, in the third month of the year, a significant second is expected. Irrespective of price predictions and their validity, fleet operators should be strengthening their fleets against fluctuations.”

Speeding: A game of eights

It is explained that every 8 km/h driven over 80 km/h decreases efficiency by almost 8%.

This indicates that for every 8 km/h travelled over 80 km/h, efficiency is decreased by roughly 0.64 l/100 km if you typically get 8 l/100 km.

The resistance increases with driving speed. After 95 km/h, the engine has to work ten times harder, and consumption starts to rise dramatically.

How to effect change: despite AARTO’s recent delay, speedsters will likely face the biggest consequences. Undertake campaigns that illustrate the potential implications of losing one’s licence for their livelihood and wellbeing.

Be calm

A study at Oakridge National Laboratory, part of the US Energy Department, found that aggressive driving reduces fuel efficiency by 15–30% on highways and 10–40% in stop-and-go traffic.

Keeping with the 8 l/100 km comparison, driving aggressively in a passenger car can result in an increase in fuel consumption of 0.8 to 3.2 l/100 km. In addition to saving money, defensive driving reduces the stress associated with aggressive driving.

How to effect change: aggressive driving is not only expensive but extremely dangerous, increasing the chances of being in a crash and falling afoul of another motorist. Every organisation should have zero tolerance for this behaviour, which is enforced using telematics data.

Pump ‘em up

It is reported that under-inflated tyres can cause a 3% or greater reduction in the economy. The term “rolling resistance" refers to the energy loss caused by the tread, composition, weight, and height. To overcome this, a vehicle uses about 20% of its energy.

Watching tyre pressure is especially crucial as the winter months draw near. Tyre pressure decreases in cold weather; therefore, it's important to check them even more frequently.

How to effect change: All fleets should have regular and mandatory vehicle checks. Pressure checks at filling stations may not be as accurate as doing them with a good-quality but affordable tyre pressure gauge. Ensure fleet drivers have the necessary tools to be vigilant when it comes to this.

The Star

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