January-February 2010 We are in Johannesburg South Africa and World Cup Fever is rife...
It's the third of February and today we took three lovely Gentlemen Cliffy Pillay, Jopie Murray and Stanley Ngiba, all employees of the South African Broadcasting Commission on the road for a Test Drive.
Already competent drivers, however, we were able to share with them our Tips to help them get 'more out every drop' of their Shell Fuel.
Very quick learners, they will take their findings back to the workplace and spread the word with the opportunity for their company to save fuel, save money, drive safer and importantly improve their carbon footprint by reducing CO2 emissions.
Non-professional drivers who are South African Celebrity Artists embark on 'Part A' of a Fuel Economy educational exercise, putting the Shell Fuel, Shell Lubricants and FuelSave Tips to the test
Car One: vehicle driven by female Chomee, at a young age of 23, most responsible and professional. Chomee wants to deliver positive Fuel Economy and Safe Driving Messages to her Fan Base. Car Two: vehicle driven by L'Vovo and Chaos, of the young male generation, who have taken the opportunity to show their admirers by putting into practice good driving techniques what a cocktail of rewards are reaped.
Next to them sit the Taylors and enjoy 'tweaking' their driving styles, assisting them to be recipients of Fuel Economy/Safe Driving benefits.
Leaving from Johannesburg at 7.15am in 'rush hour' traffic NOT so smart and we managed to drive only 14 km's in the first hour. Our Tip: Plan Your Journey - Avoid Rush Hour traffic, The First lesson learnt! We gained a good driving rhythm after this and the Fuel Gauge showed the benefits. We ensured there were safety stops along the way, just ten minutes to enjoy a stretch, fresh air, light refreshment and a toilet break does wonders for a driver's concentration. It is not just your safey that is important, but every driver and pedestrian on the road. Around forty km's from Durban and we encountered a major obstacle on the road. A traffic jam and we were stuck for the next 30 minutes.
The Tip here: Stay Calm and Relaxed. If you are stationary for 30 secs or more Turn Off the Engine. Our drivers were exceptional and on occasions the engine was turned off. Otherwise they were able to drive smoothly keeping the vehicle in motion, driving economically.
Weather is another factor when it comes to Fuel Economy: Strong winds en route meant we had to reduce our speeds on occasion to conserve fuel. The more wind resistance you encounter the more fuel you consume just to maintain speed.
On arrival to the Shell Station in Durban, Patrick Swan, the Independent Adjudicator for the project, refuelled the vehicles and calculated the amount of fuel each car consumed.
The results were: Car One 589 km's driven 27.41 litres Shell Unleaded Extra consumed at an average of 4.645 L/100 km's. Car Two 590 km's driven 27.23 litres of Shell Unleaded Extra consumed at an average of 4.61 L/100 km's.
Now for Part B and more Celebrity Stars take up the Fuel Economy Challenge Car One driven by male Zweli Mdluli. In fact, Zweli's mother Rebecca Malopi (South Africa's Queen of Gospel singing), was expected to drive but she told us she was involved in a major traffic accident several years ago and now she is a very nervous driver. Consequentally, Zweli drives his mother most of the time. We put Zweli in the driver's seat and Rebecca as passenger, so she could share her talent with us along the way.
Car Two driven by South Africa's singing star Theo Kgosinkwe.
We leave from Johannesburg 6.30am and the aim is to drive to Colesberg, have some rest and recuperation over night, then continue to Capetown bright and early the next morning.
Day One goes without a hitch, but Day Two is a different story; roadworks galore, an over turned truck creates a dangerous road situation. Impatiently transport drivers tried to make their way through small gaps only making matters worse. Both our cars turned off their engines while we watched the amazing antics of human behaviour surrounding us.
We're on our way again and three hours out of Capetown we are smacked by major winds. With tough weather and mountainous terrain both drivers needed to sustain their focus. Credit to them both, they drove brillliantly and this is reflected by their overall results below.
Independent Adjudicator Patrick Swan, removed the seal from the fuel tank and refuelled the vehicles on their arrival to the Shell Station in Capetown.
The results were Car One 1,403 km's driven, 65.4 litres Shell Unleaded Extra consumed, at an average of 4.66 L/100 km's. An improvement of 24.83% on the Manufacturer's recommended figures.
Car Two: 1,400 km's driven, 67.43 litres Shell Unleaded Extra consumed, at an average of 4.82 L/100 km's. An improvement of 22.58% on the Manufacturer's recommended figures.
We take this opportunity to thank Shell South Africa, all drivers, staff and celebrities who made this project a success. We thank the Media for spreading the all important messaging.
RAZZAMATAZZ at Shell stations in Johannesburg and Capetown.
With celebrity artists singing, and the vibrant Shell dancers strutting their stuff, this is a fun way to deliver the arrival of the Shell Unleaded Extra and Diesel Extra into the South African market place. We were able to join this colourful group on stage to deliver some Fuel Economy and safety messages.
Conferences were held throughout the country sharing the Shell Fuel Economy proposition, designed to deliver their customers ‘Extra Kilometres at No Extra Cost’.
An exciting time for us, proudly being the first drivers in the world to road test the magical Fuel Economy Formula.
Being driven from Johannesburg airport to our Hotel in Sandton City we were observing our driver’s technique. He kept a safe braking distance between our car and the vehicle in front. We saw he wasn’t in the highest gear as his RPM was over 3000. Also, he was driving in the right lane when the left lane was empty.
John just opened his mouth to mention this and suddenly there was an almighty explosion before us. The car in front of us was flying through the air and smoke poured from this shaken mass. Our driver reacted immediately and pulled over to the far left lane with hazard lights flashing. 911 were dialled immediately and assistance was at the scene. Clearly the driver’s life (if they survived), would never be the same again, and the lives of their loved ones would also be affected.
If this driver had been driving to the legal speed limit this accident could have been avoided. The road was very dark and bending. If our driver had not left enough safe braking distance between our car and their car, we may not be writing this blog now. Our driver did make the mistake of travelling in the wrong lane, a lesson well learnt thankfully.