Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fuel economy

I've been quite busy recently, so I haven't had time to post. In the past few weeks, my time at Accident and Emergency has been hectic and occupying. Most of my free time has been thinking about how lonely I am. Even when I'm asleep, my dreams are constant reminders I want sex and love (not necessarily in that order). I wish I could do something about it but I'm too shy and cowardly to do so.

For this blog post I'm not going to whinge about the lack of companionship but fuel economy. As most of you know I bought a new car a few months ago - a Volkswagen Golf TSI. It's a basic car but I love it. However I noticed it is a constant drain on financial resources. I have to pay for the license, car insurance, toll fares and most of all petrol (or gasoline for those American savvy readers). I know I cannot alter how much I spend on the first few things but at least I can control how much petrol I use.

As most of you reading know I'm a fan of the BBC TV programme "Top Gear". Although they portray themselves as motor loving enthusiasts who care nothing about the environment, they have produce a few clips about fuel economy. There was the clip a few years ago when Jeremy Clarkson went from London to Edinburgh and back, a journey of 800 miles, on a single tank of diesel in a Audi A8. Just two years ago there was a clip showing a BMW M3 could be as fuel efficient as a Toyota Prius, depending how you drive it. And only a couple of series ago the presenters went from Basel to Blackpool on a single tank of fuel.

I know they were using diesel cars and they had the time to do these challenges but what they did offer a lot of top tips. Most of these tips can be found here as well. I experimented myself with the drive from home in Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po to the hospital. The average time of my trip is 30 minutes. If I drive really fast, for example late at night when the roads are clear and there isn't much traffic about, I take 27 minutes. If I drive fuel efficiently, such as slower acceleration and much smoother braking, it only takes me 33 minutes. At most it takes six minutes more to get to work. Most of the time I do set off early and there hasn't been many traffic accidents on my way to work.

For once Jeremy Clarkson is right. Even though car manufacturers should be doing more to make motor vehicles more efficient, fuel economy is in the hands (or feet) of the drivers and we can do more by not just the choice of our cars but how we drive.

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