05-10-2020

6 ways to reduce fuel consumption

By changing a few driving habits, you simultaneously save money and act environmentally friendly

A few new, simple habits benefit not only your wallet, but also reduces CO2 emissions. If you change your driving behaviour, your fuel consumption is reduced and the driving range of your vehicle extended, which means that you do not have to refuel as often.

As a transport and logistics company, we have a significant responsibility to help reduce CO2 emissions. All our trucks are equipped with an Eco-Driving system, which measures driving behaviour factors contributing to more environmentally friendly and economical driving. And we want to share what we have learnt with you.

Overall, you should focus on these 6 parameters when driving

✅ Anticipate traffic

✅ Idling your vehicle

✅ High speeds

✅ Braking and abrupt braking

✅ A steady speed

✅ Coasting

1) Anticipate traffic

It boils down to anticipating traffic which is possible if you maintain focus. You should for example avoid driving at full speed towards a red light forcing you to come to an abrupt stop, only to see the light change to green just after braking.

If you are not already aware of why this scenario breaks your wallet and is bad for the environment at the same time – we recommend that you continue reading. Once you have finished reading this guide, you should return to this item – now with the knowledge of why foresight is crucial in traffic.

2) Idling

The City of Copenhagen is spot on with its campaign: “Turn off your engine! Idling leads to nowhere”. When your car runs idle, it pollutes more than if it is driving. The engine cannot utilize fuel when idle, the way it does when you are driving. The result is higher fuel consumption as well as more toxic gas and fuel particles being emitted into the air from the exhaust.

If you idle unnecessarily today – that is not switching off your car engine when parked, you could save a significant amount of money by simply switching off the engine.

Typical situations of idle running which can be changed:

🚫 When you are parked and waiting for someone

🚫 When loading and unloading

🚫 When waiting for a free parking space

🚫 When taking a break

🚫 When queuing – do not switch off the engine in this case. But it is a good idea to try to avoid rush hour traffic

🚫 Switch on your vehicle’s start-stop system (if available)

3) High Speed

When speeding, you not only risk a driving license suspension, incredibly high fines and an increased risk of accidents, you also increase fuel consumption. Increased fuel consumption negatively impacts CO2 emissions and how quickly you empty your fuel tank.

Therefore, try to avoid:

  • Unnecessary overtaking
    • When you overtake, the high acceleration is reflected in fuel consumption.
  • General rapid acceleration
    • If for example, you accelerate from 110 to 130 kilometres per hour, it can easily cost 20% extra in your fuel consumption. When driving at that speed there is greater wind resistance, which means that your car uses extra energy. You could compare it to cycling in strong headwinds – all other things being equal, it will feel like a strenuous bike ride compared to cycling with a tailwind.

4) Maintain a steady speed

The smoother you drive – the less energy your car consumes. Try to maintain a steady speed, avoiding too much acceleration or deceleration. In this way, you make the best possible use of energy.

5) Braking and abrupt braking

It is, of course, not possible to avoid braking altogether – braking is necessary no matter what. There may be, however, incidents where you brake unnecessarily while driving. A change of habit can save emissions and money at the same time.

As mentioned, it is all about constantly trying to anticipate traffic, making the best use of energy. The better you are at anticipating traffic, the less you will need to brake unnecessarily.

Braking when driving generates wasted energy. Your car has used energy/fuel to get up to speed – but it also uses energy/fuel when you brake to slow down. Therefore, you can benefit from keeping a safe distance to the cars in front, so you are not forced to use your brake unnecessarily or adapt your fellow drivers’ driving behaviour.

Instead, you can:

🚗 Release the accelerator pedal well in advance when approaching a red traffic light

🚗 Avoid hard braking by being foresighted

🚗 Coast as much as you can to reduce speed

6) Coasting

This factor is perhaps the easiest of all we have mentioned. Coasting is when you release the accelerator as often as possible. In that way, you save fuel.

Release the accelerator when:

  • You drive downhill
  • When you need to slow down

We hope you enjoyed our guide. If you are interested in learning more about how to adapt environmentally friendly driving habits, you can read our case on how tires affect the environment.

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