Motoring expert, Quentin Willson, has teamed up with BP PLUS Fuel Cards to develop a range of fuel efficiency tips that HR / fleet managers can share with their drivers to help reduce CO2 emissions and deliver real cost savings.
The green tips, which are included in BP’s new customer e-newsletter, aim to help HR / fleet managers deliver effective fuel management solutions, something Quentin believes is essential for every modern business and organisation.
For 21st century fuel management, Quentin believes there are two cardinal rules – an efficient fuel management programme and driver communication.
While more companies are realising the value and cost benefits of a robust fuel management system, Quentin questions how many fleet managers actually think about the most critical factor on fuel consumption – the way their drivers drive.
He comments, “Fuel management systems like BP’s Fuel Management Solutions are invaluable, but when they’re combined with educating and changing employee driving styles you’ll see the difference on the bottom line.”
“The best advice is still the simplest – lots of small changes will add up to big ones. Get your drivers to follow my simple nuggets of advice you’ll see a reduction in emissions, higher mpg and, if they’re adopted across an entire fleet, savings that can literally add up to thousands of pounds every year.”
Quentin’s Top Fuel Efficiency Tips
1. Correct Tyre Pressures – Under inflated tyres aren’t just dangerous, they also increase the car’s rolling resistance on the road and make the engine work harder and burn more fuel.
Make sure you regularly check all tyre pressures and think about changing to more fuel-efficient modern eco tyres when you need to.
2. Correct Servicing – Vehicles with dirty oil, dragging brakes, poor emission systems and clogged air and fuel filters won’t run as they should.
Any car van or truck that’s not been serviced or maintained properly will get through much more fuel and emit many more toxic emissions.
3. Keeping Your Cool – Try not to drive with the windows open at speeds of over 50 mph as this increases aerodynamic drag.
To reduce engine workload and fuel consumption, close your windows and turn on the fan.
Air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.
Running the air-conditioning compressor puts a greater strain on the engine so only use it when you really need to.
4. Travelling Light – Driving round with unnecessary weight in the boot or cabin, or carrying loaded roof racks makes the vehicle heavier, less aerodynamic and the engine has to work harder.
This can burn much more fuel, particularly around town during stop/start driving.
Simply taking out the stuff you don’t need will make the engine more efficient and give you better fuel consumption and lower emissions.
5. Softly Softly – Don’t punch at the pedals and tear through the gears. A softer more measured driving style can produce enormous fuel savings as well as being much safer.
When you press the accelerator you create energy and when you use the brakes you destroy that energy. So try to anticipate the road ahead so you don’t have to brake unnecessarily and use the throttle gently.
Lifting off the accelerator and changing up to the highest gear you can as soon as possible will also burn less fuel.
6. Switch Off – Keeping your engine idling for long periods uses more fuel and generates more emissions. If you’re sitting in a traffic jam for longer than a few minutes switch your engine off to save fuel.
As long as it’s safe, always try to avoid having your engine idling needlessly.
7. Go Easy - Accelerating hard and running your engine at high revs will reduce your consumption by a large margin. Go much over 70 mph and you’ll use a lot more fuel.
At high loads and high speeds the engine operates less efficiently. Accelerating more steadily and changing gear earlier will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
8. Plan Your Route – Slow hilly routes will lower the fuel performance of even the most efficient vehicles. Busy routes with lots of stopping and starting will increase your fuel consumption because you’ll be constantly losing momentum.
Travelling on motorways or major roads at steady speeds is much more fuel-efficient than constantly breaking and accelerating in urban areas or on winding roads.
9. Train Your Drivers – Educating your fleet drivers about good fuel management is critical to the overall effectiveness of your fuel efficiency programme and ultimately your fleet’s emissions levels.
You can also change the whole driving culture of your organization by implementing a green driving programme. You’ll probably make your drivers safer too.
Quentin, who says the tips may all sound too simple, is quick to state that too many company car drivers still have no idea about driving economically or keeping their vehicles in good shape.
He concludes: “I’ve done programmes on TV where ordinary drivers have been educated on green driving styles and we’ve serviced their cars and then watched them return fuel savings of over 25%.”
“I’ve also taken BP’s own Green Driving Test and been genuinely amazed and surprised at the improvement in my fuel consumption. And these days we’ve all got a moral obligation to save precious fuel and reduce pollution. Simply changing the driving culture of your organisation can make your fleet both safer and greener as well as literally saving thousands of pounds. Trust me, it works.”
Kathleen Callender, business to business marketing manager for BP UK Fuels Marketing comments, “Quentin’s comments illustrate the very points which are so often overlooked but when actioned can result in real savings. Measuring your fleet’s CO2 is as easy as clicking a button with BP. That’s why we wanted to share them with our customers through our new e-newsletter.”