With tests being done mostly in labs, the claimed efficiency figures by manufacturers are looked at with suspicion. Adding fuel to the fire is the recent VW saga, which not just prove that a lot of the claims (made by VW) were wrong, it also showed how customers were cheated. Now to ensure that the hard work that’s gone behind making cars doesn’t go waste, it eventually comes down to journalists. And as long as they’re truthful, it’s a win-win situation for everyone: the customers get to know the reality, the carmaker gets to publicise the product, and the journalist gets to do something meaningful. Gaadi.com, led by automotive writer Bunny Punia, has managed to do something that commands our attention – they managed to make their car (a Ford Figo Aspire compact saloon) return an astonishing average fuel economy of 42.02 km/l. We take a look at how they did it, and how you can improve your car’s efficiency by following simple tips.
First, how they managed to achieve that almost unattainable figure:
The same publication managed to make a Scala run so frugal (39 point something kmpl) between Mumbai and Bengaluru that they wanted to see if any other car could do the same or better it. The car was driven for 20 hours straight with an average speed of somewhere between 55 and 65 km/h, with Bunny behind the wheel. The car covered 994.84 km in 23.675 litres of fuel and in 20.5 hours. Managing very close to 50 kmpl on most parts, the fuel efficiency did drop a little, thanks to elevation, traffic, and increased use of brakes in between.
Not only does it set a new record for both the driver/writer and the car, it goes on show what the car’s engine is capable of. And while during everyday driving even half of the said figure is not possible, thanks to a multitude of reasons, here are some simple steps that you can follow:
Plan in advance
Be it a roadtrip or your routine office commute, planning it in advance helps a lot. Avoiding traffic is one thing (services like Google Maps have dependable traffic updates), finding the route that lets you maintain an average speed, like 55-65 km/h in the case above, is another important aspect. One must also keep in mind that the shortest route isn’t necessarily the quickest.
No sudden inputs
Smoother the better: the more sudden your inputs are; the more fuel your vehicle is likely to consume. Of course, if someone jumps in front of you, you’re likely to slam the brakes – that’s alright. However, if you want to overtake someone and instead of looking ahead and planning the manoeuvre, you stomp the throttle, that’s going to harm your fuel economy big time.
Don’t use too many revs
It’s understandable if your petrol vehicle makes it peak power at the top of the rev-range, but find the sweet spot, and use the maximum available power without gunning for the redline. Less revs equals less fuel consumption. Diesel engines and turbo petrols are better in this regard, as the usable power (and torque) is much more, even in lower rpms. Start coasting: leave the accelerator a bit early, so that the vehicle uses the momentum it has gained. This is not a racetrack, so no one is going to penalise you for doing that.
Maintain your vehicle
Tyre pressure, engine health, and the accessories which could cause more drag than downforce are some of the things you should take care of. Healthier the car, the better it’s going to perform, both in terms of speed as well as fuel economy. Also, lose the unnecessary weight: if you are not going to use the golf kit that’s been lying in your car’s boot, it is time to keep them back at home. Again, there’s a simple logic here. You travel lighter, your car gets to lug around less weight, and hence it returns better fuel economy.