For many of us, a future where there are no fossil fuels seems like a long way away, but for industries which rely on the continued availability of resources such as petrol and diesel to support the whole framework of what they do. Vehicle manufacturers and sectors which rely on the transportation of goods by road are particularly at risk when it comes to their livelihoods. It has become increasingly important both to conserve the resources available to enable their continued success, but also to research the possibilities of new sources of energy to enable them to be perfected to allow a timely switch between the two before their hands are forced.
A shortage of fuel, whether absolute or manufactured, can have a devastating effect on an economy. Countries that have found themselves cut off from their main suppliers of fuel, either by natural disasters, political impasses or conflicts, have found that the impact of such shortages can be severe, swift and devastating. With modern farming relying substantially on machinery, the availability of food is reliant on adequate supplies of fuel, and if the levels drop then whole nations can find themselves suffering from food shortages. Cuba, for example, has had enforced food rationing for twenty five years after the collapse of their agricultural programmes following fuel shortages created by the US economic embargo, more details of which can be found in this article.
Preparing for the future:
Even those industries which rely wholly on fossil fuels for their success have to accept that their future stability will rely on a smooth transition between the current regime and one which makes use of renewable energy as their only source of fuel. In the mean time, it is important to preserve the resources available by minimising waste and maximising efficiency. New vehicles are being designed with efficiency in mind, and businesses are rewarding those who contribute to the energy- and money-saving efforts they make.
Companies which rely on freight transport are becoming increasingly aware of the need to educate their drivers, and to a certain extent their clients, as to the benefits of using fuel economically. The cost savings can be a motivating factor, but the knowledge that attempts to save fuel will reap longer term rewards should not be overlooked when it comes to encouraging more judicious use of fuel.
Identifying behaviours which waste fuel can increase efficiency across the board as fuel-efficient driving techniques often reduce wear and tear on their vehicle and minimise their maintenance costs. Conversely, well-maintained trucks are usually more efficient as well, with less wear on the brakes, tyres and engine using less petrol and diesel. For advice on some of the best ways to drive efficiently, there are sites such as this one which have ideas which can help improve driving habits to make every journey more efficient.
Doing the maths:
Whilst there are some aspects of our economy which depend utterly on the movement of goods by road, there is always more that can be done when it comes to maximising fuel efficiency. Some are obvious, including route planning to avoid traffic and congestion, whereas some may be less intuitive, such as avoiding top speeds and warming up your vehicle with the engine on for a few minutes before revving the engine in the colder months. Companies operating fleets of vehicles can put measures in place to ensure that they are making the most of every litre of fuel by scheduling work to reduce the number of journeys and encouraging best practice amongst their drivers.
However, it usually comes down to individuals to really do their bit for fuel efficiency by using the driving techniques which will reduce their usage, educating themselves about their vehicle to make the most of any potential savings, and choosing the most efficient way to perform every job. For more information on the way that fuel efficiency can be calculated, this page put together by the government gives some statistics on the fuel consumption of a range of different vehicles.
Written by James Timpson:
“Hi, I’m James and I hold a big interest in the automotive field, especially with trucks. I have been writing in the industry for many years and I try and engage with my readers as much as possible.”