Fleet vehicles use a whopping amount of fuel. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the average delivery truck travels approximately 13,000 miles per year, a police car slightly over 15,000 miles, and a light truck nearly 12,000 miles. Multiply those numbers by the size of each fleet and the numbers roll up.
Whether it’s a police cruiser, an appliance repair truck, or an executive transport coach, optimizing idle settings is key to slashing overall fleet fuel consumption. The average fleet vehicle spends a monumental amount of time idling. A fleet manager can see a substantial reduction in fuel costs by implementing some simple changes. Yet it’s rarely done.
When Chevrolet first rolled out a Malibu Hybrid back in 2008, it was referred to as a “mild hybrid” with fuel economy ratings of 26 city / 34 highway miles per gallon. At the time, it presented little competition to the hybrid fuel economy leading Toyota Prius. Flash forward to the present day and it’s a very different story. The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a contender, with EPA ratings of 47 city / 46 highway. I spent a week with the Malibu Hybrid producing two videos and was very impressed. This first video is a backroad/small town hybrid “stunt drive” where I use a conservative driving approach to ascertain the hybrid drive train’s potential for high MPGs:
I’ve been thinking about ways to combine vehicle and footwear reviews for a while. In this first ever combination pickup truck and work boot review, I pull on a pair of Keen Tacoma Wellingtons and take a brand new 2016 Toyota Tacoma for a spin. It’s an experiment, no doubt about that, but I’m hoping that we can find a way to mesh the two worlds. Work boots and pickup trucks are like peanut butter and jelly. You can have one without the other, but there’s something about combining the two that makes the whole more than the sum of the parts. Or something like that …
I am a road-test editor by trade. Testing fuel-efficiency is a key part of my job. It seems odd that the EPA, NHTSA and CARB have teamed up on TAR, but that the DOE and USDA have been left out.
The Oak Ridge National Labs work on this topic is crucial. The world’s largest automobile manufacturers are all turning to highly-efficient downsized, down-speeded small displacement forced-induction engines. They produce more power with less weight.
Modern forced induction small-displacement engines LOVE high-octane low-carbon fuel. The most cost-effective way to achieve high-octane is with ethanol.
I have begun fuel efficiency testing with E15 fuel. My first E10 vs E15 test with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco produced remarkable results:
Does the time it takes to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts make you a little crazy? If you’ve ever seen the classic Charlie Chaplin film, Modern Times … where Charlie works on an assembly line, tightening bolts all day, and eventually wigs out, you get the gist. If Charlie had today’s technology, he might have kept his sanity.