New Study: The Most Efficient Ways to Reduce Fuel Consumption

Sep 16, 2011
We all know that increasing fuel efficiency is one of the most important parts of good fuel management. Now a new study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) study has determined the most effective ways to reduce fuel consumption in light-duty vehicles:

"Driving a light-duty vehicle in the United States is currently more energy-intensive than using a bus or a train and even flying," said Michael Sivak, research professor at UMTRI. "How can we improve on this performance? Vehicle selection has by far the most dominant effect — the best vehicle currently available for sale in the United States is nine times more fuel-efficient than the worst vehicle."

Vehicles with tuned engines, properly inflated tires, and the recommended grade of engine oil were found to have up to a 40 percent boost in fuel economy.

Routing was another important factor found by the researchers. Choosing routes that include highways, flat terrain, and less congestion can yield a fairly dramatic reduction in fuel use: a flat route can yield 15-20 percent better fuel economy than a hilly route, and taking a highway route as opposed to a highly congested route can improve fuel economy for that trip by 20-40 percent.

Driver behavior also made a mark on fuel efficiency. Driving slower and less aggressively was found to reduce gas usage by 30 percent, while turning off the air conditioner can save up to 25 percent and using cruise control can save 7 percent at highway speeds.

Remember, using a fleet fuel management solution from FleetCards USA allows you to manage your maintenance and routing automatically, increasing your efficiency immediately. As for driver behavior…that’s up to you!

Photo courtesy of Pete and re-used under the Creative Commons license.