I've just been given a salutory lesson in fuel efficiency on my way back from a week's holiday. I took the holiday after filming for a week in the US for my employer ICIS around the NPRA's recent convention in San Antonio, Texas.
You can see the output at ICIS TV.
Granted that I got to travel half way around the world and talk to interesting people about interesting subjects like NASA's need for new space suits and the outlook for M&A in the global chemical industry. There are also interviews with our price reporters for biodiesel and ethanol, which you can see tomorow and Wednesday on this blog. You might think that my life is a holiday. Honestly, journalism feels like work when you do it.
So away for a few days to North Wales. The usual tactic is
to leave London late at night,and arrive in time for a couple of hours' sleep before tucking into a hearty breakfast and a trip to Llandwyn beach. (That's aproximately pronounced as cland-win btw). The trip up to Wales usually involves traveling as safely and as fast as is legally permissible along the UK motorway network and about three quarters of a tank of gas. Journey time four hours and thirty minutes with a fair wind and no major road works.
Then two salutory things happened. Firstly, I filled the car for the return trip at £1.09.9/litre (that's about $10/UK gal). I used the pumps next to the Volvo garage in the place with the longest name in the UK. Secondly, it started to snow on the way home, then it started to rain heavily.
This reduced the maximum speed somewhat, and while it took a total of eight hours to get home (an extra two hours were added for getting through London on a Friday afternoon). Surprsingly we saved a quarter of a tank of gas. That's about £11 at current prices. Now I'm not (ahem) a tightwad. But if I was going to be traveling the 240 miles each way each week, I'd certainly think about that.
Trouble is, that's £11 at the margin. I doubt that it would make a big difference to people's driving habits even at this price for gas. What do you think.