Fuelishness! -- The FuelClinic.com Blog

Poll: Has the BP Oil Spill Motivated You to Reduce Your Fuel Consumption?

July 2, 2010 · Filed Under Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, LinkedIn, Motivations, Poll · 5 Comments 

A few weeks ago I asked “is the oil spill enough to change consumer behavior?” Kind of a rhetorical question… So let’s get a little more specific. Has this disaster motivated YOU personally to change your fuel consumption behavior?

[polldaddy poll=3423647]

If you want to learn more about reducing fuel consumption, there are lots of resources available to you. For starters, please take a look at our 20 Top Eco-Driver Tips. You may also be interested in any of the following resources:

http://www.fuelclinic.com
http://www.ecodrivingusa.com
http://www.fueleconomy.gov

Video: Together We Are More Powerful Than Oil

If you know of any other resources, please add them in the comments here. Write a brief description, include a link to the site. We’re looking for REAL solutions, and I’ll delete anything that appears to me to be a scam. (My house, my rules.)

As always, please leave you comments here, and “Like” our Facebook page. Thank you!



Set These Road Rules With Your Teen Driver Today

Every year nearly 5,000 young drivers are killed in automobile accidents in the US, and a staggering 300,000 more are injured or maimed. Car accidents account for nearly 40% of the total number of deaths for teens ages 15 to 19, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

With summer starting, it’s a great time to set or reinforce some basic safety skills and guidelines for your teen driver:

Source: Ford Driving Skills for Life

School is almost out, summer will soon be here, and teens have a license to drive. Unfortunately, with the arrival of summer comes riskier teen driving behavior. No school means more time for cruising, piling lots of friends into Mom’s car, and later nights.

Parents! Talk to your teen about summer driving and set some rules. Here are a few to get you started.

  • Buckle up! – Remind your teenager again and again how important that single little click can be. Statistics show that seat belt usage is lowest among teenagers, even though seat belts continue to be proven as the No. 1 life-saving device in accidents.
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  • Don’t drink and drive – You may assume your teen knows this, but it’s worth a sit-down talk. Make sure your teen knows the dangers of driving under the influence – or getting into a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking.
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  • No text zone – Remind your teen driver to avoid distractions such as texting, loud music and any activities that take their eyes away from the road for extended periods of time.
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  • Passenger Limit – Always set a limit on the number of passengers allowed in the car.
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  • Set a curfew – Make sure your teens know when you expect them home, and make sure they know it’s not debatable.

Parent-Teen Driving Contracts

Consider creating a Parent-Teen Driving Contract with your teen drivers. Parent-Teen Driving Contracts help establish your expectations with your teen driver, where driving privledges are dependant on safe driving behaviors you designate as important to your family. Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (PDF) indicates that parents are the key to enforcing good driving behavior in young drivers.

Parents are big influencers of their kids’ behavior. The more involved they are, the less likely kids are to engage in all types of risky activities associated with the teen years.

The Success of Graduated Drivers’ Licensing Laws

Graduated Drivers’ Licensing (GDL) is becoming law in many states. GDL’s generally restricts nighttime, expressway, and unsupervised driving during initial stages, but lifts these restrictions with time and further testing of the individual, eventually concluding with the individual attaining a full drivers’ license. In states where GDL’s are required, accident fatalities for teen drivers has dropped by up to 30%. Even if you do not live in a state with a current GDL law, you can create your own Parent-Teen Driving Contract based on the same principles that make GDL’s successful.

It’s important to talk to your teen about the rules of the road, to clearly set your expectations of them, and outline the consequences of failing to meet your expectations.



Weaning America off of Middle Eastern oil is a four-decade long unkept presidential promise.



Seminole Voice: FuelClinic and CarChip Pro help create smarter, safer, fuel efficient drivers.

A very nice article yesterday in the local Seminole Voice paper regarding FuelClinic and the use of the CarChip Pro to monitor and improve driver behavior.

Daniel White’s truck is its own back seat driver. When he jabs the gas too harshly or brakes too abruptly, it tells him to take it easy. Now he says he’s a better, more efficient driver, all because of a little box that watches how he drives, then beeps when he’s driving too aggressively.

“It’s a nagging beep that teaches me to be a better driver; I call it my paradigm shift,” White said. “To me it’s just one of those ah-ha (moments); I get better gas mileage just by driving better?”

White is speaking about the CarChip Pro, a new Zippo lighter-size device that plugs into his truck’s on-board diagnostic port to record information about that way he drives, directly from the truck’s ECM computer.

The device can be set to a certain speed, and alerts drivers when the speed is reached, as well when they are accelerating too quickly or braking too harshly. The chip helps drivers become aware of their driving habits and trains them to become better drivers, while saving money on fuel, and decreasing carbon emissions.

Click over to read the rest.



Facebook “LIKE” Buttons Now Active

June 16, 2010 · Filed Under FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, LinkedIn · Comment 

A quick note to mention that a few days ago I added the Facebook “LIKE” button to the blog (you’ll see it between the title of the post, and the content), and will be adding it to other parts of FuelClinic sites over the next few weeks.

It’s a terrific way to share things you like with your friends on Facebook. When you click “Like” there will be a short note added to your wall so your friends can link over to read the blog or page you liked.

While you are at it, please become a fan of the FuelClinic Facebook community of eco-drivers.



Motorweek Uses CarChip to Measure Benefits of Eco-Driving Behaviors

The CarChip Pro was previously reviewed here on Fuelishness!

Since then we’ve been selling CarChip Pros to eco-conscious motorists, cautious parents of young drivers, commercial fleet operators looking to reduce risk, and even some government agencies exploring technologies to help reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions.

Each of our customers had one thing in common – all were looking for an inexpensive and versatile piece of hardware that can provide valuable insight into driving behavior.   (You can read all about it and order one here, and if you are a FuelClinic member you’ll enjoy a generous $20 discount per unit. See details on the order form)

Recently found by a friend of FuelClinic – a segment of Motorweek that covers the benefits of fuel efficient driving (eco-driving) and they too are using a CarChip (older version) to compare results of two very different driving styles:

This clip from Motorweek proves there’s no absolute need to change your car if you want to save $$ and get better mileage. Simply altering how you drive can make an impact… in some people’s case, a significant one.



FuelClinic Facebook Fans

Goal: 500 new fans on the FuelClinic Facebook page by the end of May.

We’d like to grow our eco-driving community on Facebook, a place where drivers can socialize a little more than they can on FuelClinic right now. It’s also a great way for us to stay in touch, we repost most (of the good) Fuelishness! blog entries there, and add some content not found anywhere else – and Fans can post comments to our wall, etc…

It’s easier than ever to become a fan, you can just click the “Like” button on the Facebook box on the top-right side of each blog page, or searching for “FuelClinic” from the search box on Facebook.



A first? Texting while driving leads to arrest…

…the driver also had a suspended license, so not exactly arrested only for texting.

Source: Union Leader (New Hampshire)

A Massachusetts man may be the first person in the state to be arrested for texting behind the wheel, which became illegal Jan. 1.

Lt. Gary Fisher said Stephen Judd, 20, of Dracut, Mass., was texting on his phone while traveling down Bridge Street on Monday morning, in plain sight of an officer. Officers later learned Judd was driving with a suspended license, he said…

…”It might be a possible deterrent and put some common sense in the driver’s head,” Drisko said. “Hopefully, it does. It is going to be in the next decade that you might see it be a nationwide federal law, because states all across are popping it in. It’s going to become a national issue.”

…”We’ve got to get the message out that this is a serious highway safety issue,” Adkins said. “It’s hard to enforce. It’s a habit. Kids see their parents doing it, it’s something a lot of teens have been raised on, watching Mom and Dad texting, but the best message is simply hang up and drive.”

The federal government has previously banned texting-while-driving for all federal employees, and in January of this year extended that ban to cover commercial truck and bus drivers.

Last year a study released by VirginiaTech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more at risk of a “crash or near crash event” than “nondistracted driving.” (Source: SafeTeens.com)

A recently released study (PDF) by the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute found that truck drivers who were texting were 23 times more at risk of a “crash or near crash event” than “nondistracted driving.” As per talking on a cell phone, the same study found no increased risk for truck drivers and 1.3 times the risk for car drivers. There was considerably more risk associated with dialing while driving. The institute’s Richard Hanowski acknowledges that the numbers are likely to be different with car drivers. As reported by CNET’s Jennifer Guevin, the study also found that “texting took a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds–enough time…to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph.”

Many states have laws already banning texting-while-driving, and the trend seems to be spreading as awareness of the danger spreads.

What do you think about texting-while-driving laws? What about broader distracted driving laws that may impact your use of any gadget that takes your attention from the road? Add you comment here, or join the conversation over at our Facebook page.



[Video] Efficient Driving: Anticipating Traffic



The Power of Scale – Why Fuel Efficient Driving Matters in Commercial Fleets

A nice short video from the Environmental Defense Fund demonstrating the power of scale when applied to fuel efficient driving in commercial fleets.



Driving Tips to Improve your Car’s Fuel Efficiency

February 25, 2010 · Filed Under Community, Driver Training, Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, Its Up To You · 1 Comment 

Despite the ongoing debate on climate change, drivers across the world agree that fuel efficiency is the wave of the future. Car manufacturers are touting their eco principles and how their models will save you dollars at the pump. Meanwhile, governments are also requiring more transparency when it comes to green car ratings. In 2008, Australia began requiring stickers on all new cars that display their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

However, fuel efficiency isn’t all about the car – some of it has to do with the way you drive. In an effort to call attention to fuel efficient driving habits, Peugeot automobiles in Europe is sponsoring a revolutionary eco-driving competition, The Peugeot Eco Cup, to promote awareness of how your driving style can impact fuel efficiency.

The Peugeot Eco Cup is a competition, for those with a new or used Peugeot, to showcase their eco-driving skills. Competitors from 18 countries will drive the 400 kilometres between Paris and Geneva (the same distance as driving from Perth to the port city of Albany) on as little diesel fuel as possible. The drive must be completed within 36 hours and the route includes a number of key cites that are symbolic to the Peugeot brand.

Each country will have a team that includes drivers for each of the four fuel efficient diesel models in the Peugeot line. The aim will be for competitors to make the trip burning as little fuel as possible by employing whatever “eco-driving” strategies they can.

While you might not be signed up to the Eco Cup Challenge, you can get your hands on one of the hot fuel efficient diesel models at a Sydney Peugeot dealer. There are also a number of driving strategies that you can take away to help improve the fuel efficiency of vehicle. Sensible eco-driving can make a difference to the environment and to your hip pocket.

Consider these fuel saving driving tips:

Pump up – Ensure your car’s tyres are inflated properly, inspecting them at least every two months. Underinflated tyres can decrease fuel efficiency by over 3%, and reduce their tread life, requiring them to be replaced sooner.

Switch Off – Turn off the air conditioning, especially when driving in the city. Air conditioning and other electronics consume energy which increases the need for fuel. This can decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency by as much as 25%.

Don’t Idle – If you stop for more than 20-30 seconds, turn off the engine. Restarting your engine actually consumes less fuel than idling for long periods of time.

Slow Down – Drive the speed limit, especially on highways. Driving faster will increase your engine’s RPMs which uses up more fuel – slowing down by 10 kilometres per hour can reduce petrol consumption by as much as 10%.

Steady on – Maintain a constant speed and avoid frequent braking and acceleration as this increases the fuel consumption of your vehicle. If your car has a speed regulator or cruise control, use it to maintain a constant speed. When slowing down, use engine stopping instead of applying the brakes to stretch your take even further.

The Eco Cup Challenge starts in Paris on 4 March 2010.



Fuelishness! Feed: Ford’s Focus on Eco-Driving; Pentagon’s Algae Fuel Research; Oil over $80; Lithium Supply for 1M Hybrids; ‘Stuck With Cars’ Discussion

  • Ford’s new Focus on eco driving — It’s about being careful and not wasteful, both when it comes to the way a car runs and, indeed, how it is built in the first place and here Ford is reducing its carbon footprint with a range of sustainability initiatives.
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  • Pentagon Researcher Promises Cheap Biofuel for Jets — Pentagon officials have been talking for years about weaning their jets off of fossil fuels. Now they say they’re only months away from producing a cheap fuel made from algae — for less than $3 a gallon.
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  • Oil above $80 as traders eye low interest rates — Oil prices rose above $80 a barrel Monday in Asia, extending a three-week rally as investors expect the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates near zero to help fuel economic growth, which would boost crude consumption.
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  • Energy for Electric Vehicles Dealt a Blow by Bolivian Lithium Production — Unfortunately for those who are expecting electric cars to spring out of the woodwork in the next few years (remembering that the President’s plan calls for 1 million plug-in hybrids by 2015) Mitsubishi estimates that the world will need 500,000 tons per year at full ramp up. The Salar di Uyuni deposit in Bolivia holds at least 9 million tons, although the country has, in total, perhaps as much as 73 million tons.
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  • Stuck With Cars — Every weekday, tens of millions of Americans get into vehicles that are full of passenger space which won’t be used, with engines capable of horsepower and speeds that won’t be attained, holding fuel tanks that could power the car for distances that won’t be traveled. The result of all this over-engineering is that cars cost way more than a vehicle for daily commuting need cost, and they consume way more energy than a vehicle for daily commuting need consume.


Seven Million Miles and $882,000 Dollars Later…

Our little eco-driving community here at FuelClinic.com continues to grow.

Today we crossed the seven-million-mile mark of real-world fuel data based from members of our free non-commercial version of the site. There have been over 31,000 receipts entered into our database, documenting the real-world fuel efficiency of nearly 4,000 vehicles. We have been averaging ~500 new receipts a week for the past few months.

As a group we’ve purchased over 310,000 gallons of fuel (US gallon equivalent) spending over $882,000 (US dollar equivalent) last year. At the same time – as a group – we’ve managed to IMPROVE our MPG a modest 5.38% – saving over $47,000 simply by tracking our fuel mileage and (hopefully) taking advantage of the efficient driving tips.

My goals for 2010 include providing better, more compelling online training materials that will help us bring that 5.38% efficiency improvement up closer to 10% or more. I will be looking for help, using my new connections through the fantastic UCF Business Incubator Program to find talented people that can help me pull this off.

The FuelClinic Dashboard will start looking a little different in the next few weeks as I slowly roll out some template changes. The tools will remain familiar and simple to use, but room will be added to provide driving tips directly in the dashboard, as well as other important information now spread around and hidden in the blog (unless you are searching for it) like our free reminder magnet offer.

Shortly we will begin creating “eco-driver communities” that you can choose to join – so you can track your progress along with others in your same community, and challenge other communities to improve their fuel efficiency for some good natured competition.

I’ll be adding a document library. Over the years I have amassed a large collection of studies, reports, documents, press clippings, and other materials that will be added to the members area – behind that “Research Area” link at the top that has remained inactive too long. There will also be simple report tools you can use to “dig” into aggregate data in the FuelClinic database, looking for trends related to site usage, community totals and standings, and other goodies.

Members will also have to option to sign-up for bi-weekly “performance reports” that will be emailed to you automatically once every two weeks, covering your stats for the last two weeks, grading your progress, and providing additional tips for improving your fuel mileage.

There are always “more plans” for this platform, but they’ll remain “in the bag” for now. I appreciate the time each of you has taken to manually input your fuel receipts to build this data set.

– Michael



VIDEO: Eco-Driving Techniques

In Europe, eco-driving is fairly popular as a means to save money and reduce emissions. Fuel costs are much higher than here in the US – fuel is heavily taxed and the per-gallon cost equivalent is $6 to $8 per gallon.

In Europe fuel is usually sold by the Liter and the standard of fuel economy is “Liters per 100 kilometers”, or “L/100km”. It’s an opposite system from of our MPG rating – where a higher MPG (“more miles per gallon”) is better, in Europe the opposite is true – the fewer liters per 100 kilometers (“L/100KM”) the better… so the lower the fuel economy rating you’ll hear in this video, the better.

The EU has decided to partner with Europia, an energy-giant in the EU, to continue to make motorists aware of the benefits of using eco-driving techniques.

We invite all motorists to start using FuelClinic.com to track their mileage using our easy online tools. FuelClinic is built to accommodate a variety of standards of measure, including MPG and L/100km, and a variety of currencies and other local preferences.



Configuring CarChip Pro for Hybrid Vehicles

I had a chance to test-drive the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid over the weekend. I connected one of our CarChip Pro data loggers to it to gather real-time data on speed, throttle position, engine load, and mass air flow. Unfortunately the CarChip Pro was not working properly with the Hybrid vehicle, and a quick inquiry to Davis Instruments revealed why, it needed to be configured specifically for a hybrid – or “Anomalous Vehicle” (something I was not aware of).

Here are the instructions for configuring a CarChip Pro for both the Toyota Prius, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid…

In the past we had issues with hybrids in general. However, we put a fix into the software that should allow the CarChip to work with Hybrids.

Below are directions on how to get the CC to work on hybrids. These were written for a Toyota, but it is the same for Ford, other than clicking on the Ford Hybrid option.

Because the Prius [and 2010Ford Fusion Hybrid] is a hybrid vehicle we must take special steps to configure the CarChip.

Open up the CarChip software with the CarChip device connected to the PC.

Go to the CarChip menu and choose “Set Anomalous Vehicle”. See Figure 1.


Following that select “Specific Exceptions”, then “Toyota Hybrid” then click “OK”. See Figure 2.

I’ll re-configure the CarChip Pro and test again the next time I get the chance. I’d like to hear from any existing CarChip Pro users who are using the device with a Hybrid. What has your experience been?



The Post-Crisis Consumer (John Gerzema @ TED)

John Gerzema says there’s an upside to the recent financial crisis — the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.

13 trillion dollars in wealth has evaporated over the course of the last two years. We’ve questioned the future of capitalism. We’ve questioned the financial industry. We’ve looked at our government oversight. We’ve questioned where we’re going. And yet, at the same time, this very well may be a seminal moment in American history, an opportunity for the consumer to actually take control and guide us to a new trajectory in America.



“Drive like there’s a glass of water on your dashboard”

January 11, 2010 · Filed Under Fuelishness!, Technology, Video · 2 Comments 

“Drive like there’s a glass of water on your dashboard” is one of the visualizations supposed to help drivers moderate jack-rabbit starts, wild turns, and sudden stops.

Engineers in Japan have responded:

Surely a fun demo of an interesting stabilizer system using an accelerometer to determine g-forces on the car/glass of water, apparent built on an open-source hardware framework called Arduino I have been looking at lately for a project of my own.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

I’ll keep you posted.



Hacked? (Confirmed)… Fixed!

December 24, 2009 · Filed Under Fuelishness! · Comment 

On certain browsers I’m seeing “Online Casino” links somehow injected into the Fuelishness! Blog titles and content. If you are seeing this also, please let me know in the comments or using the feedback tab. It only appears to effect IE, because Firefox and Chrome appear ok. Anyone have a clue where to start looking for this one? – Michael

Confirmed… only shows up on Googlebot scans and certain browsers, there goes my page rank… asking hosting provider to restore from a backup or upgrade the site to a fresh install. I think it might be time to use a different blog package – this is the third or forth time we’ve been hacked this year.

Thanks to the always impressive customer service of HostMySite/Hosting.com (and Brady, thank you very much) the codebase got a fresh install of the latest version of WordPress, and I’m not seeing the sneaky injections in my tests of the site. Might be a few more days before Google is corrected, hopefully my PageRank will be restored.

Thank you Brady at Hosting.com VPS support – it’s a Christmas miracle! (I couldn’t resist.)



FuelClinic data included in Copenhagen case study

A few weeks ago I was asked by EcoDrivingUSA to create a graphic describing some aggregate efficiency improvement data from the information collected here at FuelClinic. The intent was to demonstrate the efficacy of eco-driving techniques for improving fuel efficiency and decreasing GHG emissions.

I spent a few hours pouring through the database, to find the best data set to describe our users maintaining fuel receipt records, making sure not to skew the numbers, but selecting a sub-set of our most active members who do not have data entry problems (automatically flagged as “suspect” by FuelClinic – a whole topic unto itself).

Then I created the following graphic, with this description:

fuelclinic-average-no-training

This information made it into an “EcoDriving Impact Study for Copenhagen” presented by Driving Sustainability earlier this month. What’s most impressive is that the average improvement in fuel efficiency is 5.23% without any real form of ecodriving training – a point not lost on the authors of the study:

According to FuelClinic.com, the average EcoDriver improves their efficiency by 5.3%. These are drivers who have had no formal instruction on green driving…

If everyone in the US improved their efficiency by a basic EcoDriving level of 5%, this would result in a 66,346,545 ton reduction in CO2 emissions in the US.

The most active FuelClinic account users are benefiting from following simple online tips and believing that they can improve their fuel efficiency. The effort it takes to create an account, collect multiple receipts, and enter that information into the application is not trivial, and it indicates that a percentage of motorists are interested in understanding their fuel efficiency – and just the act of being “involved” and improving their understanding is all it take to turn an average motorist into a basic EcoDriver.

As an aside – my personal goal for FuelClinic is to increase this average efficiency improvement to 10% by the end of 2010.

You can download the case study (.pdf) here.



Video: “The Rest Is Up To You” – Eco-Driver On Board

Eco-Driver On Board

FuelClinic.com will show you how to improve your gas mileage and get 5%, 10% up to 20% better MPG (and sometimes more) using the vehicle that you already own, while helping improve road safety, reducing traffic congestion, and saving you money.

FuelClinic.com will accurately calculate and track your actual gas mileage online easily, will teach you safe and efficient driving techniques that will improve your gas mileage, and will help you monitor your progress as you continue to practice better driving techniques.

You will save money, cut your own carbon emissions, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil – all at the same time. Join the thousands who already use FuelClinic.com to become safer, smarter, more efficient drivers.

Safer, Smarter, Fuel Efficient Driving

Visit http://www.fuelclinic.com to learn more about eco-driving, and to join our community of eco-drivers.

Category: Autos & Vehicles



Video: New FuelClinic.com Feedback Forum

December 20, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness! · Comment 

I’ve just created my first Jing video, a <5-minute screen capture that demonstrates the User Voice Feedback system that I’ve added to FuelClinic in an effort to organize bugs and requests in a community-driven forum.

user-voice-jing-feedback

Watch the quick video online here and add your own feedback to the new forum or vote on existing ideas you want to see get completed first.



MINI Cooper D Sets New Zealand Fuel Economy Record Of 3.5 l/100km (67.2 MPG)

Source: The Motor Report

2009-mini-cooperd-newzealand-fueleconomyrecord-01

A MINI Cooper D (diesel) – piloted by trained ecodrivers Mark Whittaker and Paul Owen – has just set a new record for fuel efficient driving, by driving 2000 km on just over 72 liters (19 US gallons) of diesel fuel – achieving 3.5 l/100km (just over 67 MPG) average for that trip.

Mark Whittaker said the aim of the exercise was to highlight the potential for cutting New Zealand’s transport related emissions at little or no extra cost.

“In setting this record we are demonstrating that everyone can contribute to reducing emissions by choosing a fuel efficient car and employing simple ecodriving techniques,” Mr Whittaker said.

While Whittaker and Owen had originally targeted an average of 3.0 l/100km, the final 3.5 l/100km figure bested the country’s other top fuel miser – the third generation Toyota Prius – with which the Cooper D shares an official fuel economy of 3.9 l/100km.

The MINI Cooper D sports a fuel efficient and spunky small clean diesel engine and state-of-the-art start/stop technology similar to the new Ford Focus ECOnic we profiled a few days ago.

The Cooper D’s figures are thanks to a host of technological innovations borrowed from parent company BMW (including a start-stop system and a thrifty diesel engine from PSA).

BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director, Mark Gilbert said the fuel economy record proves how far diesel technology has come.

“The MINI has proven that new, small clean diesel engines have an important part to play in improving the fuel economy of the New Zealand vehicle fleet,” said Mr Gilbert.

“And the other clear message from this exercise is that it is not only what you drive, but how you drive, that counts,” he said. (Emphasis added)

That last bit sounds familiar! We certainly agree.

The bad news is that although it was mentioned last February that MINI was considering making the Cooper D available in the US, it has yet to become a reality according to our local MINI dealer. A message to MINI USA about the future availability of the “D” here in the US is awaiting reply – I’ll update you should we hear back. (If you’ve seen a “firm” scheduled availability date, please let me know.)

The future availability of the Ford Focus ECOnic diesel is also yet to be announced. In the past I mentioned my experience driving the SEAT with a small clean diesel a few years ago in Estonia… for now, you’ll still need to cross the pond to have this much fun driving at over 65 miles per gallon.



6,000,000 Miles… and Still Counting

Six million miles. Our FuelClinic.com users have recorded over six-million miles of real-world driving records. Quite amazing.

Every “million mile mark” is a cause for a little celebration, considering the humble beginnings and modest means that have so far contributed to the building of this community of conscientious consumers. All of our members wanting to learn a little more about their habits, all seeking to improve their efficiency – and save some money at the same time.

Some of you have entered a few receipts and moved on, some of you have been keeping records for over a year. All of you have suffered with this prototype site, it’s shortcomings, and my own fits and starts.

Thank you for you time and continued patience as we build FuelClinic into the foundation of a wonderful tool that will help even more people save some money and help improve the quality and safety of our travels for all of us.

– Michael



Congestion Challenge Awardees Presented at 2009 ITSA Annual Meeting

Source ITSA:

ITS Congestion Challenge

The first global ITS Congestion Challenge, announced in June 2009, was open to entrepreneurs, commuters, transportation experts, researchers in all fields, universities, and citizens around the world. Three winners and six finalists from Hungary, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States, were selected by an open global community of more than 4,000 people, including transportation industry professionals and the general public.

1st PLACE

iCarpool provides commuters and other travelers with comprehensive travel choices for modes of travel other than driving alone. Read more.

2nd PLACE

FuelClinic, for their “Eco-System” and “Eco-Driver On Board” programs, which provide tools and certified eco-driving training to improve, track, and manage driver performance for increased fuel efficiency, increased driver safety, and reduced accident rates. Read more.

3rd PLACE

iCone Products, LLC, for an ITS concept to beam real-time traffic information over the Internet to a central web site for use by government officials, emergency response personnel, trucking fleets, the public and information resellers, including media outlets and GPS services. Read more.



“Caption This Image” Winner(s) Announced

December 8, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness! · Comment 

In late October I posted an image I had cobbled together and asked Fuelishness! readers to help me improve the caption that accompanied it. I offered a $50 gas card as a reward for what we felt was the best suggestion. We received over 50 suggestions here at Fuelishness! I did something similar at the Vencorp classifieds, and we collected about a dozen additional suggestions.

At Vencorps, we chose the suggestion by Shashank K:

Emissions Compliance [Check]
Engine Performance [Check]
Aerodynamic design [Check]
There’s only so much the car can do, then its all YOU.

It’s a great suggestion, an we’ve already started to use it in a new animation currently in production. (It’s fantastic!) I hope to be able to release this new animation by the end of this year.

Here at Fuelishness! the choice was much harder to make… there are so many good suggestions. First we whittled the field down to the top dozen. Then we weighted each and added up the scores. We chose the suggestion by Lori on October 22nd:

Want better MPG’s? You’re in the Driver’s Seat.

We will be using this caption in future marketing materials.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all for participating in our first ever FuelClinic Fuelishness! contest.



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