YOU might as buff and trim as a Chippendale but you could still have a weight problem that’s costing you money. That’s because many businesses and trades people that operate vans up to 3.5 tonnes are missing a simple trick to increase fuel efficiency.
Research by the Energy Saving Trust has shown that if half the van drivers in the UK lightened their loads by 75kg – equivalent to three bags of cement or an empty industrial gas cylinder – businesses would save around £50 million on fuel annually.
This would also result in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 100,000 tonnes.
The new research has, for the first time, modelled the impact of weight on fuel consumption using real-world driving conditions.
And the differences are dramatic.
In urban driving a typical car-derived van, like a Volkswagen Caddy, used around 26% less fuel when empty compared with fully loaded. And for panel vans such as the Peugeot Boxer, the difference in fuel consumption could be as much as 33%.
Energy Saving Trust senior knowledge manager Tim Anderson told Business Vans: “Drivers often treat business vans as mobile storerooms for rarely needed equipment or parts, reducing the vehicle’s fuel economy.
“Reducing the amount of additional weight in a vehicle will not only improve businesses’ fuel economy but it might also reveal that they have more space than they need.
“As a result, businesses could consider downsizing their fleets, opting for smaller, more economical vehicles.”