Companies and consumers have been urged to consider how fuel economy can affect total cost of ownership (TCO). Fuel-efficient driving can save hundreds of euros during each ownership cycle.
UK transport minister John Hayes says the importance of the driver in the TCO equation cannot be ignored.
Fuel accounts for 10-15% of a vehicle’s TCO, with a typical C-segment car costing between €3,500-5,000 in petrol or diesel over a three year/ 90,000km cycle according to Autovista Intelligence data, depending on fuel type and country.
Official fuel economy tests have been widely dismissed as inaccurate because they tend to overstate a vehicle’s performance compared to its on-the-road performance.
But tests carried out in the UK show that cars are capable of exceeding the official fuel economy figure with careful driving. Examples from the 2016 MPG Marathon included a Mazda2 1.5-litre diesel, which achieved 88.9mpg (3.2l/ 100km), compared to an official test average of 83.1mpg (3.4l/ 100km).
A Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC returned 80.5mpg (3.5l/ 100km) compared to an official test average of 72.4mpg (3.9l/ 100km).
Hayes improved his own fuel economy by more than 10% following a short training session in fuel-efficient driving.
He said: ‘I think it is essential to encourage businesses and the public to realise that they can save a lot of money by driver training, and get the beneficial effects on emissions, comfort and safety too. It is possible to make dramatic changes in fuel economy with the adoption of relatively simple practices. Promotion of this is important, and the government is very keen to push harder on this.’
The UK Government supports fuel-efficient driver training through the Energy Saving Trust, which has trained 50,000 drivers in more than 500 companies.
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