Following the importation of contaminated fuel into the country, Nigerian motorists have suffered scarcity of fuel, many having to buy the product for as much as N210 to N500 per litre. The case in South Africa is a bit different.
Also as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, South Africans have from Tuesday, seen one of the single largest fuel price hikes so far. Petrol now sells for over R21(about N572.97 N572.97) per litre.
And, for the country’s motorists, the future projections do not look that much more promising. According to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, petrol will increase by R1.46/L and diesel will increase by R1.44/L.
With the current world events, the price may not improve soon. Projections for the fuel price hike this month were already over R1 per litre even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As the conflict develops and sanctions are placed, one of the biggest negative impacts is expected to be in fuel prices. Russia is the third-largest producer of oil, accounting for over 12% of the global crude oil production.
Motorists in South Africa may feel powerless to change the situation. While one can’t stop war, you do have the power to change the way you drive and potentially reduce your fuel consumption by up to 20%. The power to limit the effect of international affairs is partially in your hands.
From the look of things, therefore, the best bet for motorists is to find a way of reducing fuel consumption, which can be achieved by adhering to the follo2wing tips:
- Watch 12 seconds ahead as you drive to anticipate changes to traffic conditions and minimise unnecessary braking and acceleration.
- Reducing speed by 20km/h can reduce fuel consumption by 20% in certain circumstances
- Drive defensively and responsibly. Fast lane changes, sudden acceleration, harsh braking and weaving between traffic increases fuel and maintenance costs
- Plan your route
- Use traffic apps and alerts to avoid traffic jams and congestion
- Keep your RPMs around 3 000 as it can also reduce your consumption by 20%
- Regular maintenance improves fuel efficiency
- Remove unnecessary items from your car. Every extra 50kgs of weight increases fuel consumption by 2%
- The most fuel-efficient way to drive is with windows closed and the air-conditioner off. That, however, is not always possible and an air-conditioner uses less fuel than an open window creating considerable drag.
- Incorrectly inflated tires affect fuel consumption
Not just this month but potentially coming months are going to put strain on motorists’ pockets.
You have the power to reduce how extensive this strain is by implementing a few basic and easy to follow driving strategies into everyday travel.
Eugene Herbert is the CEO of South African-based MasterDrive,
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