It's not just the engine that impacts fuel efficiency

Few automotive industry developments have been as rapid and well-received as the increased focus on green cars and what they can offer businesses. 

From changing tyres to altering driving habits, there are plenty of ways to further reduce fuel consumption.

For many fleet managers around Australia, reducing fuel consumption can be challenging enough to achieve in one car, let alone across an entire fleet. While hybrid engines and all-electric varieties are a great alternative, there are a number of other subtle techniques drivers can employ to make the most of every precious drop.

From changing tyres to altering driving habits, drivers have plenty of ways to further reduce fuel consumption. After all, while it may be the engine that is using the fuel, it's not the only part of a car that impacts efficiency. 

What role do tyres play?

Arguably the most important aspect of vehicle handling, performance and efficiency, tyres influence everything from overall grip to fuel consumption, making them an essential feature of any fleet maintenance strategy. Not only do these initiatives need to keep track of the overall condition of the tyres, there are a number of other things to keep in mind as well. 

While it seems like a cursory glance over the tread depth may be enough, a proper inspection should include checking tyre pressures. If a tyre looks deflated, it means it has low air pressure and consequently offers more resistance. This means the engine has to work harder to keep the car moving, decreasing fuel economy. 

It's not just tyre pressure that plays a notable role in determining the rolling resistance of a tyre. In fact, some tyres are purposefully designed and manufactured to reduce this effect and greatly reduce fuel consumption in the process. 

According to insurance provider Edmunds, these tyres offer a smaller contact patch than other varieties, essentially meaning the tyre is less heavy, so it's easier to move. 

Researchers from the University of Michigan investigated this trend, finding that tyres with a low rolling resistance can offer a modest fuel saving of around US$78 per year. 

Tyres have a massive effect on fuel consumption. Tyres have a massive effect on fuel consumption.

Other tips and tricks

The Consumer Energy Center in California provided a much needed professional viewpoint on the various fuel saving tips and tricks often debated by drivers and fleet managers

One of the cheapest ways to limit the amount of fuel used is to alter driving practices. By focussing on piloting a car smoothly and avoiding hard braking and sudden acceleration, drivers can greatly reduce their fuel bill. On top of this, it's important to limit the use of air conditioning and the amount people drive with the window down, although this could impact driver comfort in the warmer months.