Energy Column: Saving Energy: How to Drive Longer for the Same Money

Sharply rising fuel prices are making driving more expensive. With a few tricks, consumption can be reduced. This applies to internal combustion engines as well as the Stromer.

The eyes gradually got used to the display of the two first gasoline or diesel prices at the gas station. But at the latest at the checkout it hurts every time, if you have to pay more than 100 euros to fill the tank. You can reduce pain and improve your ecological balance while using a fuel-efficient driving style. This reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

Of course, speed is very important. At high speeds, costs increase disproportionately. If you are currently driving at 120 km / h instead of 160 km / h, you are already saving around seven euros per 100 kilometers on the current price of diesel. Pre-driving style is also important to avoid frequent braking and acceleration. Ideally, the engine braking effect should be used for as long as possible, for example when approaching a traffic light. Pulling it out of the drive is counterproductive.

The basic rule for saving fuel is this: keep the engine speed low

Another important basic rule is to keep the speed range low and shift gears early – around 2000 rpm. It is not necessary to shift gears while the engine is receiving gas without jerking.

Most cars now have an automatic start-stop system that shuts off the engine when the car stops. If this is not the case, you should turn the ignition key yourself, starting with an estimated 20 seconds of idling. What is often underestimated: the air conditioner also consumes a lot of electricity. It is supplied from a motor driven generator. When switched on, the air conditioner “eats” between 0.3 and 1.5 liters of diesel or petrol per 100 kilometers. Therefore, it, like other comfort elements such as seat heating, should be used purposefully.

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Tires with lower rolling resistance reduce fuel consumption

Tires are an important factor. Models with low rolling resistance significantly reduce fuel consumption. You can identify them on the EU fuel efficiency label. Ideally, you choose Class A and can reduce consumption by up to 7.5 percent compared to Class E. Experts also advise regular measurement of air pressure. If it is too small, consumption increases. The tire pressure can be set to the maximum permissible value (full load) without hesitation.

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Regular maintenance can also reduce fuel consumption, especially when changing the oil. Modern low viscosity oils provide less friction.

Save money on high fuel prices: no short trips

Another very important tip: no short trips. When cold, the internal combustion engine requires significantly more energy than at optimum operating temperatures. For short distances it is better to sit on a bike. The bus and train are also a climate-friendly and extremely cheap alternative, especially when the ticket costs € 9.

By the way: In addition to the oil change, which is not required with an electric car, these tips can also increase the Stromer’s mileage. However, there are some special features. One of them is recuperation, which you should definitely use as an electronic car driver. If you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the engine becomes a generator and charges the battery with the car’s kinetic energy. You can feel this clearly when braking. It is advisable to stop the engine as much as possible. In most models, even when the brake pedal is depressed, recuperation is used first before the brake actually engages – without the driver noticing or paying attention to it.

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The Eco mode offered by many electric cars saves a lot of energy. The maximum speed is usually reduced here, but the air conditioning and heating are also switched off. Depending on the manufacturer, this can significantly reduce comfort. If the range is still small, you can search for a truck on the highway and drive in a slip stream – further reducing costs.

For a person: Martin Sambale is the General Manager of the Energy and Environment Center Allgäu, in short eza!

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