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Minister launches fuel economy website

11 May 2006

Minister launches fuel economy website

A new internet site giving New Zealand drivers up-to-date information on vehicle fuel consumption was unveiled by Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven at Parliament today.

“Fuelsaver will help people make informed choices about the fuel efficiency and running costs of their vehicle or one they are thinking about buying,” said Mr Duynhoven at a demonstration of the website at Parliament today.

The website provides:

- a ‘cost calculator’ to estimate the fuel running cost of a vehicle and comparable vehicles - fuel consumption will depend on the vehicle type, fuel price, average distance travelled, and driver preferences;
- a function to compare fuel running costs vehicle to vehicle; and
- information and advice on fuel-saving driving techniques.

“The impetus for developing Fuelsaver was to encourage people to consider fuel consumption as an influencing factor when buying a car.

“In a climate of high fuel prices, this information can help people save money on vehicle running costs, while benefiting the environment,” said Mr Duynhoven.

Fuelsaver has fuel efficiency information on light duty vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes including cars, 4WDs, SUVs, vans and utility vehicles. The site lists new vehicles and used vehicles manufactured since January 2000 and imported into New Zealand from Japan since 2005.

The website was developed by the Ministry of Transport in partnership with Land Transport New Zealand and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and will be maintained and hosted on the Land Transport New Zealand website.

Visit online http://www.fuelsaver.govt.nz.

******

What is Fuelsaver?
Fuelsaver is a website - developed by the Ministry of Transport, Land Transport New Zealand and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority - that provides people with information about fuel consumption of vehicles available on the New Zealand market. The website has a calculator that enables you to work out the fuel running cost of vehicles. Currently, the calculator can provide fuel consumption estimates for new vehicles and Japanese used vehicles manufactured since January 2000 and imported into New Zealand since March 2005.

What does the Fuelsaver calculator do?
The calculator comprises four categories: car, distance, fuel, and driving habits. Under each of these categories are a number of variables, which you can manipulate to find the fuel consumption and fuel running costs of specific vehicle. For example, the calculator estimates that a mid-sized Toyota with a 1.4 litre engine, driven about 20,000 km per year using 91 octane petrol, and that is well-maintained and driven smoothly would incur annual fuel running costs of about $1,400.

Does the way I drive affect the amount I spend on fuel?
It does. A driving style, for example, that emphasises fast acceleration and heavy braking uses on average 25 percent more fuel. Fuelsaver lets you examine the impact of a number of variables on fuel consumption: tyre pressure, regularity of car maintenance and tuning, whether your car is fitted with a roof rack or not, driving style, and the way you keep the interior of your car cool (air conditioning, open window).

Who do you expect will use the website?
The website is intended for use by potential vehicle buyers, the motor industry, vehicle dealers, manufacturers and importers, commercial vehicle and fleet operators, motoring organisations, conservation groups, oil companies, and the media.


Why should people be concerned about fuel consumption?
Cars aren’t cheap to run: according to Ministry of Economic Development figures, the price of petrol has risen by 26 per cent since January this year. So it pays to find out how much a vehicle will cost to run before purchasing it. There is also an environmental benefit to purchasing fuel efficient vehicles: using less fuel results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Where do the fuel consumption figures used on the website come from?
The calculator bases its cost estimates on fuel consumption data from European and Japanese tests. Both sets of tests are carried out under laboratory conditions, which enable results from the same tests to be compared. Results from European tests are not comparable to results from Japanese tests, and vice versa.

What types of vehicles are included on the website? Will new vehicles be added?
Currently, Fuelsaver holds data about new vehicles and Japanese used vehicles manufactured since January 2000 and imported since March 2005 –Japanese used vehicles includes vehicles that have been manufactured overseas but have been used in Japan. Vehicles listed include light duty vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes: cars, 4WDs, SUVs, vans and utility vehicles.

Over time, more models will be added to the site as they enter the country.

Does the website mention vehicle emissions or bio-fuels?
One of the next stages in the development of Fuelsaver will be to consider information about the emissions performance of the different vehicles listed on the website.

How do people find Fuelsaver?
Fuelsaver may be found at www.fuelsaver.govt.nz.

Who runs the website?
Fuelsaver was developed by the Ministry of Transport, Land Transport New Zealand, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. It is administered by Land Transport New Zealand.

ENDS

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