I know it’s not the most exciting of subjects – I’ve never been that interested in fuel economy and I would never describe my driving style as economical. Progressive, certainly, and not excessively throttle-heavy, but the techniques I’ve written about in my books are certainly not designed to eke out the maximum mileage from every tank of petrol.
However, I have a future book in my head – “Drive to Save Fuel” or something along those lines, in which I’ll write about how to adopt a fuel efficient driving style. There’s loads of information out there on how to make your car as fuel efficient as possible – removing unnecessary weight, increasing tyre pressures, removing roof racks and bike carriers etc. – but very little information on how to change your own driving style to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. I made a very rough, unscientific calculation (I guessed!), and I reckoned that changing my driving style would improve my fuel economy by around 15%.
My little 218i coupe has a relatively fuel-efficient petrol engine and on my normal commute, with a little pleasure driving, a couple of blasts and the occasional YouTube filming session, I average around 40mpg. A full tank generally gets me 400 miles, which I don’t think is too bad for a petrol-engine BMW.
Following my last fill-up, I changed my driving style and adopted a few tricks and techniques which I thought would improve fuel economy. Nothing too extreme – I didn’t tape my door seams or start slipstreaming HGVs on the M60. I just approached driving with a different mindset, took advantage of the BMWs low-down torque and changed a few other little things for the duration of a single tankful of fuel.
510 miles from a single tank. Just short of 51mpg as indicated on the fuel computer (an accurate calculation came in a little lower) which is an improvement of just over 20% – quite a bit more than I predicted!
What were the tricks and techniques I used? Sorry – you’ll have to wait for the book to be published! Having said that, I’ll certainly be able to promote the book as something which will pay for itself within a couple of weeks!
I’m quite glad those 510 miles are over now though and I can resume my usual driving style! A 20% saving is great, but it wasn’t the most exciting 2 weeks of my life!