What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby mjr » 7 Jun 2018, 2:52pm

CliveyT wrote:You also need to factor in that cars are more efficient now, and there are bypasses/ motorways etc (even if there's also more congestion). You'll get a fair bit further on your 273 litres today than you would have in 1960

Motorways enable higher speeds which lower efficiency (the aerodynamic curse of wind resistance increasing proportional to the square) as well as increasing distance. What they are is quicker and sort-of safer in some senses.

I can still do Norfolk to Somerset using slightly less fuel by taking the mostly-50/60mph A/B roads through the south midlands avoiding town centres. The route planner I use estimates a fuel cost of just over £28 for the short route vs just over £30 for the fast route 90% on motorways. The only motorway on that journey it's worth using is the M5 to avoid both Bristol and the Mendips (avoiding it puts the short route price up by almost £1).
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby horizon » 7 Jun 2018, 2:53pm

thirdcrank wrote:
horizon wrote: ... I cannot remember the source but this was refuted:


I think this is one where it needs a proper source to see what they are saying in detail.


This is the American version of Autotrader but it says it all:

https://www.autotrader.com/car-tips/fue ... 0s--241487

The most poignant bit is: So you're probably wondering why automakers don't just go back to lightweight cars in order to improve gas mileage. The answer is: because consumers don't want them to.

which IMV tells us all we need to know about the motoring mindset.

Another link here:

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-new-cars- ... older-ones
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby Vorpal » 7 Jun 2018, 3:06pm

horizon wrote:
CliveyT wrote:
You also need to factor in that cars are more efficient now, and there are bypasses/ motorways etc (even if there's also more congestion). You'll get a fair bit further on your 273 litres today than you would have in 1960


I cannot remember the source but this was refuted: cars have now taken up the fuel efficiency with increases in weight and size. If you suddenly come across a car from the 1950s, even like a Rover, you will be shocked at how small it is.


The fuel economy improvement can be refuted, but it's merely a matter of playing games; taking the right 'slices' of time and data. If for example, you take light vehicles (cars, vans, etc.) and compare 1987 to 2017, you can get data that says that average fuel economy has declined from about 21 mpg to 20 mpg. This is due to the population of vehicles being increasingly made of SUVs and mid-sized cars. You can also compare a Ford Model T at 25 mpg to any of a number of larger Ford models (or the average mileage) and 'show' that fuel economy is not better today than it was then. But if you compare like-for-like fuel economy has improved considerably. It's just that many people choose to buy the largest car they can afford to run, which means that the population of personal cars have gotten larger, which at least eats into any fuel economy comparisons, and with the right selection of vehicles can eliminate it altogether.

If, on the other hand, you consider something like the VW Polo, which at one time held the record for the best fuel economy in actual long distance driving in the UK (I don't know if it still does), the 72 mpg accomplished to set the record is a huge improvement over the 25 mpg that was the best a Model T could deliver.

And there's the Toyota Eco Spirit, a 100 mpg concept car that was never produced.
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby horizon » 7 Jun 2018, 3:30pm

Vorpal wrote: This is due to the population of vehicles being increasingly made of SUVs and mid-sized cars.


This is exactly the point - efficiency has developed enormously but miles per gallon hasn't. So apologies. But having said that, people are very happy to trumpet efficiency when in fact it hasn't made any difference at all.
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby mjr » 7 Jun 2018, 3:35pm

Vorpal wrote:It's just that many people choose to buy the largest car they can afford to run, which means that the population of personal cars have gotten larger, which at least eats into any fuel economy comparisons, and with the right selection of vehicles can eliminate it altogether.

So increased fuel prices may drive(!) a return to smaller cars once again, which would be a good outcome.

If, on the other hand, you consider something like the VW Polo, which at one time held the record for the best fuel economy in actual long distance driving in the UK (I don't know if it still does), the 72 mpg accomplished to set the record is a huge improvement over the 25 mpg that was the best a Model T could deliver.

https://car-emissions.com/cars/model/volkswagen/polo suggests even the official value is well below that now at 47-60mpg for petrol versions, so who knows what the actual is? My own car is listed as 52-67mpg but actually does 42-46.
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby Vorpal » 7 Jun 2018, 3:49pm

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:If, on the other hand, you consider something like the VW Polo, which at one time held the record for the best fuel economy in actual long distance driving in the UK (I don't know if it still does), the 72 mpg accomplished to set the record is a huge improvement over the 25 mpg that was the best a Model T could deliver.

https://car-emissions.com/cars/model/volkswagen/polo suggests even the official value is well below that now at 47-60mpg for petrol versions, so who knows what the actual is? My own car is listed as 52-67mpg but actually does 42-46.

The 72 mpg was a one-off record setting drive, rather than official mileage. A car driven for economy (e.g. freewheeling / coasting whenever possible, instead of using engine braking, etc.) can usually get better mileage than the quoted economy, but nothing like 72 mpg without a great deal of practice.
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby bovlomov » 7 Jun 2018, 4:24pm

I'm sure someone will let me know if I'm wrong.

My memory is that throughout the 80s mpg was a prominent feature of car adverts. And perhaps it was the primary criterion for car makers, as saloon cars all seemed to have been designed in the same wind tunnel. Then fuel economy was forgotten with the arrival of SUVs and people carriers, and adverts were more about space and/or safety (for occupants not pedestrians).

I'm not sure why the emphasis switched. Cheaper fuel? A more profligate population? Fashion?

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jun 2018, 5:26pm

horizon wrote: ...This is exactly the point - efficiency has developed enormously but miles per gallon hasn't. So apologies. But having said that, people are very happy to trumpet efficiency when in fact it hasn't made any difference at all.


All this seems to show is that we haven't yet reached the point where the cost of fuel has much influence on choice of car or perhaps driving styles and journey patterns. One effect of rapidly increasing fuel costs may be to make people more conscious of the price. In this connection, AFAIK, large cars depreciate faster than small ones. Perhaps one reason is that second-hand buyers tend to be more concerned about the cost of fuel than new car buyers, who may be both more affluent and benefit from company car benefits.

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby Mick F » 7 Jun 2018, 5:50pm

I'm going against the flow here.
Back in the old days, you were lucky to get 30mpg from your car.
These days, it's more like 40mpg and the cars are much heavier and much more powerful.
Speaking from experience.

This is interesting, though the figures are averages. Thirdcrank says how much he was paying per gallon, and I'm remembering what my dad was paying. The two of us may be right. I remember when I had my first car in 1972, I know I was paying 32p per gallon, but the list shows 35p.
Averages eh?
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jun 2018, 6:01pm

On the matter of increasing engine efficiency, I've heard the point made that left to their own devices, manufacturers would have worked to improve this with more strength of purpose had it not been for regulatory intervention over things like catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters which were the result of lobbying by vested interests. The argument is that reduced fuel consumption inevitably reduces emissions.

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby fausto copy » 7 Jun 2018, 6:19pm

Mick is more or less right with his fuel costs.

I got my first car in 1970 and petrol was six shillings and eight pence per gallon.
For youngsters on here, that was three gallons for a quid. :shock:

I was on £7 a week and gave my Mum a fiver out of that, and given that a gallon would get me through the week, fuel costs were half of my disposable income.

I'm sorry but my brain fails to equate was today's equivalent is. :lol:

fausto.

P.S. You could get three 7" singles (vinyl) for a quid too. :D

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby Mick F » 8 Jun 2018, 7:24am

Six shillings and eightpence for a single.
That's 34p if my arithmetic holds out.

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby pwa » 8 Jun 2018, 7:36am

mjr wrote:
CliveyT wrote:You also need to factor in that cars are more efficient now, and there are bypasses/ motorways etc (even if there's also more congestion). You'll get a fair bit further on your 273 litres today than you would have in 1960

Motorways enable higher speeds which lower efficiency (the aerodynamic curse of wind resistance increasing proportional to the square) as well as increasing distance. What they are is quicker and sort-of safer in some senses.

I can still do Norfolk to Somerset using slightly less fuel by taking the mostly-50/60mph A/B roads through the south midlands avoiding town centres. The route planner I use estimates a fuel cost of just over £28 for the short route vs just over £30 for the fast route 90% on motorways. The only motorway on that journey it's worth using is the M5 to avoid both Bristol and the Mendips (avoiding it puts the short route price up by almost £1).


The best fuel efficiency is achieved by following a tall lorry (furniture removal lorry ideal) that is restricted to about 56mph. Even at a safe distance you can feel the tow. This is easier to do on a motorway.

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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby mjr » 8 Jun 2018, 9:28am

pwa wrote:The best fuel efficiency is achieved by following a tall lorry (furniture removal lorry ideal) that is restricted to about 56mph. Even at a safe distance you can feel the tow. This is easier to do on a motorway.

Indeed, but one needs a main road cyclist's brass neck to withstand the "fear from the rear" doing 56mph on most motorways, with most approaching traffic doing 70mph or often far more. At least when driving large vehicles, one has more of a crumple zone behind the cab. A comfortable 56 is somewhat more likely on smart motorways like around Bristol.
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Re: What might be the effects of the rapidly increasing motor vehicle fuel costs?

Postby pwa » 8 Jun 2018, 9:42am

mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:The best fuel efficiency is achieved by following a tall lorry (furniture removal lorry ideal) that is restricted to about 56mph. Even at a safe distance you can feel the tow. This is easier to do on a motorway.

Indeed, but one needs a main road cyclist's brass neck to withstand the "fear from the rear" doing 56mph on most motorways, with most approaching traffic doing 70mph or often far more. At least when driving large vehicles, one has more of a crumple zone behind the cab. A comfortable 56 is somewhat more likely on smart motorways like around Bristol.


I find I end up doing 56 - 60 unless I am in a rush and then I make an effort to do 70. I don't spend a lot of time looking in the rear view worrying about faster drivers approaching from behind, especially if I'm in the inside lane. I generally find motorway driving the least stressful, though the M4 near Bristol is more prone to aggro / testosterone than other bits of motorway I use. There must be something in the water round there.