Fuel efficiency. In today's culture, fuel efficiency is something most people think about, but many oil giants would have you think this is something of the second priority. Although, the fossil fuel supplies have been on the decline, new technologies in harvesting crude oil have made it possible to tap into the once untouchable crude oil between shale known as "tight oil." However, the effect on the environment when extracting this tight oil is devastating, polluting the water used, and destroying the land.
With a surplus in oil production, crude oil prices have decreased significantly throughout the market. This pricing will continue until the supply and demand level out, and there is no longer a surplus in oil production. However, I'm no economist, and certainly not an oil giant. And so, fuel efficiency is on my mind, as well as the environment and the impending depletion of resources available to humans on this overpopulated, yet lonely planet.
And with that, what makes a fuel efficient vehicle, or a green vehicle? There are multiple types of fuel, such as LPG, diesel, petrol, but there are also subtypes. Even with these supposedly renewable fuels, such as bio diesel, and ethanol, they still do not offset the greenhouse gasses that are being released in to the atmosphere with the burning of these fuels. In reality, vehicles make up less than a quarter of the total CO2 emissions, with power plants being the largest culprit, burning fuels such as coals, which are known to be inexpensive, but highly inefficient in greenhouse gas emissions.
And as you may know, and understand, the byproduct of burning gasoline includes many different particles that are either hazardous to the environment or to our health. And so, the more fuel you burn, the more of these materials you release into the atmosphere, and the further we go down that downward spiral toward those dystopian worlds you may find in your science fiction novels.
So how might you go about burning less fuel? Fuel efficiency is a difficult topic, as there are so many factors that are involved in producing a fuel efficient vehicle. There is wind resistance, weight, engine efficiency, as well as a bunch of math and science I do not understand.
Although, there may be almost nothing you are able to do to increase the fuel efficiency of your car without spending thousands of dollars on modifications, or buying a new fuel efficient car, you can always try these low-cost deletions in order to save a few dollars at the stands each month.
The first and foremost easiest modification you can do to your vehicle in order to increase the fuel efficiency is to remove any and all excess weight. It could be something as easy as removing anything you don't need from the trunk, to removing your unused seats, and paneling. Kind of like rock climbing, the less weight you need to hold onto, the longer you can climb, so with the weight of the vehicle reduced, you may gain a little bit on the fuel efficiency, however minute it may be. The reduction in weight will reduce the amount of weight your engine will need to propel. It's said that a 45kg increase in weight increases your fuel consumption by 1-2%.
The second thing you can do is decrease the wind resistance of your vehicle. Meaning, removing that roof rack, or fixing broken air dams, and removing raised spoilers. This can decrease your weight in tandem with reducing your wind resistance could give you a significant increase in fuel efficiency, depending on how much weight and resistance you were producing with your roof racks, and on-roof carriage.
But, the best thing you can do is just save your money, and try not to press down on the accelerator as heavily as you are used to. I'm quite bad at this, as I like to, well, go fast. But, Jackrabbit starts, to sudden stops, and idling are the largest fuel eating activities you can do in your car. So start off slowly, and roll to a gradual stop. The faster and the more you accelerate, the more gasoline you will be using. The same also goes for braking. If you think about it, the energy from your car's momentum is wasted when braking, especially in abrupt stops.
If you are in the market for a new vehicle though, take a look at our selection of hybrid vehicles.