Save petrol with smart wheels
Since the petrol price is expected to drop by 20 cents tomorrow, here’s what you should be driving to capitalize on those fuel savings.
The general rule is that smaller, sleeker cars use less energy since they are lighter and less energy is required to move them. However, BMW Sales Rep, Thabani Langa said that modern technology has spun that logic on it’s head. “It’s not about size, it’s about how the engine is made,” said Langa. Consuming just 4 L/100 km, the BMW 320, beats a Nissan Micra, for example because of how the engine is made according to the sales rep.
“The car body might be small, but it might have a bigger engine,” said Langa and with the recent SUV trend, some bulkier cars are build with fuel efficiency in mind. The Range Rover Sport SVR for one, is reportedly 39 percent lighter than it’s counterparts thanks to an all-aluminium body. The energy that is usually wasted when driver’s hit the breaks can be reused in some hybrid cars that harness that energy to charge a small battery. Though they run on petrol, hybrid cars use it more efficiently. BMW’s hybrid i8 sportscar combines an electric motor and 1.5-litre petrol engine to boast a fuel consumption of some 2.1 L/100 km while the BMW X5 xDrive40e has a lithium battery that charges externally.
Hybrid cars tend to be pricey, and looking into turboengine technology is another way to go. The Ford EcoBoost claims to boost fuel economy by 20 percent without that hybrid price tag. But when it comes to fuel, diesel trumps petrol any day, said Langa, explaining that an X5 with a 5L petrol engine, would put out a fuel consumption of about 9.6 L/ 100 km while a diesel counterpart would lower that rate to 6.6 L/100km. “Diesel has more potential energy than petrol, it can deliver much more torque at a low RPM,” said Benjamin Sieweke, Customer Support Engineer at Carel Controls South Africa. Eco friendly technology has made some strides with diesel.
Car owners looking to improve the fuel efficiency of their wheels can do so by changing their driving style. Dropping the average speed by 10 km/h makes a marked difference to fuel consumption. Keeping the windows rolled up and the aircon off will add to the petrol savings and going with the traffic flow to prevent unnecessary breaking is another great way to get that consumption down. Working out the fuel economy of a car is quite easy to do by multiply the amount of fuel used by 100 and divididing that by the total kilometers driven. So gauge that fuel consumption for a drive that’s a bit more eco-friendly.