Choosing a gas miser
Which car runs the farthest on the least amount of fuel? Or to put it bluntly, which cars are gas guzzlers and which are not?
That P64-million question, time and again, has been asked by many including the Department of Energy which has been conducting fuel runs in an effort to find an answer.
Fuel efficiency has long been a policy of the Energy Department in a determined bid to achieve its two-pronged objective of giving consumers and automakers adequate information on the most fuel-efficient vehicles that fit their needs and budget.
Patrick Aquino, director of the Energy Utilization and Management Bureau, said the department jumpstarted the fuel economy run from 2002 to 2009 but relaunched it last year to promote Euro 4 fuels and support the Philippine Energy Standards and Labeling Program.
This year’s fuel economy run will be held in Mindanao and schedule permitting, the department hopes to have one or two more for Visayas and Luzon before the end of the year.
Aquino said the the government’s fuel efficiency program “strives to promote energy efficiency through empowering consumers with better information on vehicle fuel efficiency and encouraging car manufacturers to innovate and introduce more fuel-efficient cars.”
The energy official said that a big number of car companies took part in the fuel economy run last year, with 21 car companies fielding 70 vehicles.
Aquino said that through the program, the public is made aware of the fuel efficiency of vehicles available in the market.
“Apart from the fuel economy run, we promote vehicle maintenance and driving proficiency to improve consumption efficiency,” he said.
Aquino said the department will continuously work on improving fuel standards through the PNS similar to what was done in the Euro 4 compliance issuance.
The Philippines started making available Euro 4 compliant fuels in January 2016. Euro 4 fuels are more environment-friendly as they contain significantly lesser amount of sulfur and benzene.
Aquino added that the government is also looking at expanding the fuel efficiency programs to include electric vehicles.
“We are open to having e-vehicles to join the fuel economy run,” Aquino said.
The department has partnered with oil refiner Petron Corp. to hold a fuel-economy run last year.
Fuel Economy Rating certificates were issued to 22 car brands, which participated in the Euro 4 Fuel Economy Run, a pioneering event that promoted the fuel economy performance of vehicles and raise public awareness on the use of cleaner and more efficient Euro 4 fuels.
The 21 car companies deployed 70 models of various body types and engine displacements last May 27, 2016 to mark the 12th Fuel Economy Run.
The participants traversed a preset route of 280-kilometers starting from Petron Clark station in Angeles City, Pampanga, through SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway), TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway), and back, in a controlled run to approximate standard driving conditions.
Fueled by Petron XCS (95-RON), 27 out of 38 gasoline vehicles, or a significant 71 percent of the entries, produced fuel economy ratings exceeding 20 kilometers for every liter.
Of the vehicles powered by Petron Turbo Diesel, 21 out of 32 participants (66 percent) achieved over a mileage of 20 km/l.
The best performances were posted by Suzuki Celerio with 29.14 km/L using Petron XCS, and an Isuzu D-Max getting 38.46 km/L on Petron Turbo Diesel.
Car companies that received Fuel Economy Ratings include: Asianbrands Motors Corporation (Mahindra), Automobile Central Enterprise Inc. (Volkswagen), Bayan Automotive Industries Corporation (BAIC), Berjaya Auto Philippines (Mazda), British United Automobiles Inc., Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia), Eurobrands Distributor Inc. (Peugeot), Ford Group Philippines, Foton Motor Philippines Inc., Honda Cars Philippines Inc., Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., Isuzu Philippines Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, Motor Image Pilipinas Inc. (Subaru), Nissan Philippines Inc., PGA Cars Inc. (Audi / Porsche), Pilipinas Taj Autogroup Inc. (Tata Motors), Suzuki Philippines Inc., The Covenant Car Company Inc. (Chevrolet), Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, and Volvo Philippines.
Last year’s Euro 4 Fuel Economy Run was the first in the country and formed part of the department’s efforts to promote judicious utilization of energy.
Results of the run were intended to guide vehicle buyers by highlighting the importance of fuel economy rating apart from the vehicles’ performance, quality, and safety.
Euro 4 rated fuels are considered more environment friendly as they contain significantly lesser amount of pollutants such as sulfur and benzene, the Energy department said.
Results of the fuel also confirmed the TriActiv performance advantages of Petron’s specially-formulated Euro 4 fuels, including: (1) better engine protection for longer engine life; (2) better mileage for longer drives; and (3) improved power.
The fuel economy ratings achieved by a majority of the participating vehicles also validated Petron’s massive US $2-billion investment to upgrade its Bataan Refinery, according to the Energy department.