The Anonymous Widower

Saving Fuel and the Planet

I have two cars; a Jaguar Estate and a Lotus Elan, which I use depending on the weather and who I want to impress or show up.  Is that wrong? 

But turn up at an engineering company in the Lotus and you get a crowd of people admiring it.  I should say that it’s Norfolk Mustard or bright yellow and it does stand out.  It’s also a very cheap car to run, as it does over thirty to the gallon, is very simple, has a very good Isuzu engine, so servicing is cheap.  As an example, in the seventeen years my late wife and I have owned the car, it’s only had one new exhaust, a couple of of window motors and I think a brake cylinder.  To cap it all the insurance is well under £300 a year.  Depreciation is probably about zero and the car is still worth about £8-9,000.

You could argue that this is a truly green car (so it’s yellow), in that it’s lifetime carbon emmissions would actually be very low, because the car wouldn’t be scrapped after a few years.  How much carbon dioxide is emmitted making a car? Actually not that much according to this report, but others disagree.  But because Lotuses use plastic bodies, do they actually capture carbon?

The Jaguar is a workhorse and allows me to move the bits and pieces I need.  I don’t really need it now, as it is too big for just me and my basset hound, but I probably won’t change it and just drive it a couple of times round the clock.

Normally, around the UK, I drive the Jaguar within the speed limits and typically would return about 44 miles of so to the gallon.  On trips on continental motorways, driving at about 60-70 mph, I regularly return the mythical 10 m iles per litre.  Now there’s a really crazy measurement, but it’s a good level for all cars to achieve.

On my last trip to Holland, I got stuck in traffic around Rotterdam and in the first hour, I did just about 25  miles. So to get the ferry with ease, I stepped on the gas (diesel) and drove at about ninety all the way to the ferry.  And then on the trip up from Dover, I went with the traffic which was about eighty, rather than a legal seventy.

Now, the interesting thing, is that I returned only 37 miles per gallon.  This was a sixteen percent increase in consumption.

So perhaps we should encourage people to drive to the limits to help save the planet.

July 19, 2009 - Posted by | Transport, World | ,

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