The Solution for Unrest in Your Gas Tank

How to Beat the Rising Price of Fuel by Driving Lean and Driving Clean
Feb 11, 2011 11:23 AM ET
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The Solution for Unrest in Your Gas Tank - From Glenn Croston's Fast Company ex…

The unrest in Egypt has sparked a range of responses around the globe, including a big jump in the price of oil. Egypt is not a major oil producer but its strategic location has raised concern of disruption of oil supplies through the Suez Canal, and concern that the unrest may spread to other countries in the region. Even before the current situation in Egypt the signs of economic recovery in the US and continued rapid growth in China and India was driving the price of oil upward, and some have speculated that 2011 might see the price of oil rise as dramatically as in the summer of 2008 when oil peaked at $147 a barrel. Whatever the outcome of the latest events, they are an important reminder about our vulnerability to the rising price of oil, and the need for solutions that help us use less.

  Oil is everywhere in our economy, fueling airlines, cars, agriculture, distribution, petrochemicals and plastics. As the price of oil rises, the price ripples throughout the economy, providing huge incentives for consumers and businesses to squeeze what they can from every gallon.    Some changes are behavioral. We can carpool, rideshare, inflate our tires, get tune-ups and avoid unnecessary trips. We can avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. Last time the price of oil spiked in the summer of 2008, people and businesses responded by doing just these things, reducing US fuel consumption for the first time in decades.    All over the country and around the world, entrepreneurs are developing technologies to help us deal with the rising cost of fuel, and people are listening. The emergence of electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt is part of this trend.   As another part of this trend, Dana Lee from Atlanta is introducing drivers, equipment operators and fleet managers in the US and abroad to Syntek Global’s Xtreme Fuel Treatment (XFT), which reduces emissions, reduces engine wear, and boosts the efficiency of combustion to get more out of fuel.    XFT has been used for over 20 years by industrial users, improving the performance of diesel generators, heavy machinery and long haul trucks, both with diesel and gasoline engines. These engines work long hours in difficult conditions, and their operators know engines inside and out. People like this are not always easily swayed by new products, but the improvement in fuel efficiency users have seen with XFT has been large enough to get their attention, usually 7% or greater because the engine is cleaner and combustion is more efficient. As an added bonus, their exhaust emissions are reduced by a third or more both in the field and in research reports.    The lab tests run on the product have shown this as well, as seen here. Reducing emissions while improving efficiency at the same time makes a product like this both eco-friendly and good for the bottom line, the best of both worlds.   Lee illustrates this point further: “XFT’s price point makes it not only affordable but also a necessity as fuel prices rise for businesses with fleets because increased fuel economy is just one benefit.”   If you manage a fleet of vehicles, a single simple move like this can multiply savings many fold. With a hundred trucks, each burning $1000 of gas a month, a 10% improvement in mileage would translate into, well - you do the math. Even greater savings can also come from reduced maintenance for vehicles like buses. A vehicle maintenance supervisor for a Southeast school system found that most buses in his care required washing twice a week to remove black diesel residue from the rear door. All of this washing was costing him $14.50 per bus each week, adding up to a surprising $106,000 spent on washing buses per year. “Since using Xtreme Fuel Treatment,” the supervisor said, “we only need to wash the buses once every other month. This has created savings in excess of $95,000 per year.”   This is the time for taking the next step toward a more fuel-efficient country. We need to change how we drive to build a stronger country, and a cleaner world. And if people can save some money at the same time, all the better if it can drive the move toward greener choices that help us all.   Glenn Croston is the author of "75 Green Businesses" and "Starting Green", helping businesses to start green and grow green.


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