With rising fuel costs, many motorists are looking at any way possible to save money and maximise fuel efficiency, with some people cutting out short journeys altogether. And, while the majority of van drivers are conscious of how much fuel they are using day-to-day, new research from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK has revealed that more than a quarter do not take it into consideration.
The research, commissioned to highlight the savings available to drivers and fleet operators offered by the new Volkswagen Crafter, the most efficient large van in its class, provides an insight into how important efficiency is for businesses today.
It appears that it is not just drivers who are guilty, with van fleet operators admitting to having only taken a limited number of measures to optimise their drivers’ fuel efficiency. Less than half (42 per cent) have considered planning routes for their staff, while only 35 per cent have considered the effects of the driving habits of their van drivers.
According to the findings, only 18 per cent of van drivers have received any form of training to help them drive more fuel efficiently while only 23 per cent have their routes planned for them, and 81 per cent still don’t have satellite navigation to help plan the optimum routes.
In fact, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of van drivers felt their routes were inefficient as far as fuel consumption was concerned, often finding themselves making two trips on the same route in the same day.
Interestingly, of the 60 per cent of commercial van drivers that have a company logo on their vehicle, 58 per cent of them thought this made them drive more carefully than they might otherwise.
Fleet operator, Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, London’s leading service company commented on the results saying: ‘This research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles highlights the importance of efficiency in the workplace. Due to increases in fuel prices last year, we had to spend £150,000 more on fuel. However, there are ways to improve fuel efficiency and these can be as simple as taking the shortest routes and placing speed restrictions on vans.’
Commenting on the results of the research, Alastair Hemmings, National Fleet Manager, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK said: ‘This research clearly shows that van drivers and fleet operators can easily save money by choosing more efficient vehicles andconsidering other areas of their operation where efficiencies can be made.’
With fuel economy of up to 38.7 mpg, lower running costs and emissions from 199 g/km, the new Crafter has a new engine range using Volkswagen’s latest 2.0-litre TDI common rail engine, already proven in the new Transporter and Amarok. It is available with power outputs of 109, 136, 143 and 163 PS, with BlueMotion Technology models offering further savings in fuel costs and emissions, yet delivers the same or higher levels of torque at lower engine speeds than the previous five-cylinder, 2.5-litre BlueTDI engine.