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Nine in 10 Hong Kong drivers unaware of fuel-saving benefits of cruise control: poll

More than half in survey also did not realise harsh accelerating and braking can have damaging effects on fuel consumption

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 8:04am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2016, 9:58am

An overwhelming majority of Hong Kong drivers were not aware of the fuel efficiency benefits of driving at a constant speed, with more than half of them not knowing that harsh accelerating and braking would adversely affect their car’s fuel consumption, a survey on the city’s driving habits showed.

The survey, conducted by GlobalWebIndex for Ford Motor Company on 784 local drivers in June, showed almost 75 per cent were confident on the road and knowledgeable about what constitutes “good driving” with 84 per cent claiming they made a concerted effort to drive efficiently on a daily basis.

However, when asked to identify key fuel-saving techniques, most were misinformed, according to the poll. “When it comes to fuel efficiency, unfortunately there’s a yawning gap between what most of us think we know, and what we actually know,” Kevin Tallio, chief engineer at Ford Asia Pacific, said.

About 91 per cent of the city’s drivers were unaware about the fuel efficiency benefits of cruise control by maintaining a constant speed.

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“Cruise control is a modern car’s secret weapon against wasting fuel. Maintaining a constant speed means you don’t waste fuel by unnecessarily braking and accelerating – and it also stops you from driving faster than allowed,” the report said.

Some 53 per cent also did not realise the damaging effects of aggressive driving – braking harshly or taking off too quickly – on their car’s fuel consumption. In fact, such bad driving habits are a major culprit for fuel wastage, the report said.

A whopping 81 per cent were unaware that adding sports tyres or body kits to the vehicle can affect its fuel efficiency because of the negative impact from increased rolling resistance and drag.

Slightly more than half also did not know that driving in hilly areas can affect fuel consumption while just over one third (36 per cent) knew that removing heavy items or clutter from the car can help save fuel.

Also, 76 per cent did not know that cold weather could have an adverse impact on their car’s fuel efficiency, while 62 per cent did not know that about hot weather. When it is cold, it takes longer for a car’s engine to reach its most efficient temperature, while in hot weather, the use of air conditioning will waste fuel.

Besides purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles, Tallio said that, to save money on fuel, good driving habits were the best option.