Five future trends will lower your fuel consumption

Car manufacturers now spend their research and development budgets on making their cars use less petrol, thanks to stringent environmental laws and protocols. In newer cars, fuel efficiency now trumps a car’s styling and gadgets, as well as its carburettor and mechanical point ignition. The introduction of technology, such as fuel injections and smaller engines, has resulted in an 18% reduction in fuel consumption in the last 15 years. The good news is, your fuel costs will reduce even further in the next five years. Here’s why:

1. Engines are becoming more advanced.

Manufacturers are developing direct petrol injection engines, which inject fuel at high pressure multiple times per second. This creates a fine cloud of fuel mist in the engine that burns completely with less overall fuel being used. In South Africa, a number of vehicle manufacturers have introduced such engines to the market.

2. Engines have become smaller.

Big V8 and V6 engines have been replaced with two, three or four cylinders, which are turbo-charged. The cars are just as powerful, but use less fuel. Some car enthusiasts will be disappointed with the muted engines, but cunning car manufacturers pre-programme a loud, but fake sound inside the car to trick drivers into believing their cars still make an almighty and powerful noise when accelerated.

3. Cruise control cuts engine power in half.

The latest on-board engine computers will deactivate half the engine when it senses the car has reached cruise speed and is travelling on a flat surface. The car thus runs on as few as two cylinders on a cruise control setting. In addition, when a driver coasts, the on-board engine computer senses it and uncouples the gearbox from the engine, which minimises fuel consumption.

4. Goodbye five gears, welcome nine gears.

As technology advances, automatic gearboxes will become the norm, and will have eight or nine gears. These newer, multispeed gearboxes are designed to keep the engine in its ‘power curve’. So instead of the engine fluctuating (and thus using more petrol), as it traditionally did when a driver changed gears, the engine stays in a small band of revolutions with the gearbox seamlessly transitioning into higher gears in less than two seconds.

5. Satellite navigation and your gearbox will communicate.

When cars chug up hills and steep driveways, they use a lot more petrol. Now, car manufacturers are using satellite navigation, linked to a car’s gearbox, to sense the geography of the roads ahead of the car, and adjust the gears accordingly.

But, lower fuel consumption means increased maintenance costs.

Lowering fuel consumption will ultimately lead to increased maintenance costs. The added complexity in modern design equates to more maintenance. But a fleet vehicle expert can manage the maintenance of your fleet, keeping overall costs down. In addition, a fleet vehicle expert can ensure that no matter how technology evolves, resulting increased maintenance costs, solutions can be tailored to your business to ensure overall fleet efficiency.


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