Are you familiar with the hypermiling concept? It refers to maximizing the fuel efficiency of your vehicle – and when you are like me and have to drive about 80km per day to and from the office, then this is really important. But let’s take things from the start:
I recently had to change working environment and since I do not own a car, this led to an increase in commuting time (using public means of transportation – PMT) from 35-40 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Ouch! With the current situation, I have to take a bus, suburban railway, metro and then walk for 15 minutes to get to the office. On the other hand, the route is about 40km by car (plus 40 km to get back home), so it would be quite expensive to drive to work (now that gas price reaches €1,5/L). However, after commuting to work for about 3 weeks, I almost collapsed…too much time wasted, too much time rushing to catch the bus/suburban/metro on time, too much walking under 30 Celcius, too much time wasted waiting to catch the bus/train/metro…
Then an unexpected gift arrived; my father offered me his Honda Jazz 1.4 / 83 PS (2007 model), with an automatic gearbox, for a few days, until we found a solution with another car. At first I was relieved that I would have a break from using PMT and then I started wondering about the cost of driving to and back from work.
I defined my strategy as follows: I would only drive the car in fully automatic mode, would avoid accelerating and braking suddenly, would not use A/C and drive as calmly as I could. Indeed, I started driving to work last week, trying my best to reduce fuel consumption. Honda Jazz is an amazing car with an amazing and efficient engine, so I managed to drive at about 2,000 rpm all the time.
The result was an average fuel consumption of about 5,5L/100 km, despite the awful traffic that I find in about half the route! After 5 days of driving to work (and some additional short drives) I have only used about half fuel tank which is much better than I expected. If there was not for the heavy traffic (and we mean heavy; I can see pedestrians passing by faster than us for quite a long part of the route), the fuel consumption would have been much better.
I will have the opportunity to check the fuel efficiency of the car for a bit more, as my father was kind enough to give me a small extension (keep in mind that PMTs are usually on strike during these weeks, so commuting to work would be unbearable). I just hope that the car will prove to be so fuel efficient in the next days, too.