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  1. #1
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    Default Minister probes speed curbs to save fuel

    Fin24.com > Economy

    May 10 2011 16:33

    Johannesburg - Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has asked for an investigation into the possibility of reducing speed limits as one of the ways of increasing fuel efficiency while prices escalate.

    "I have instructed my team to determine the level at which a reduction of the speed limit may be necessary. This will include consultation and concurrence of the department of transport," she said in a statement issued by her office.

    Her spokesperson Ndivhuwo Khangale said: "Nothing concrete has been finalised," of the idea which evokes the rationing of the 1970s when anti-apartheid sanctions limited fuel supplies in South Africa.

    Peters said last week's increase, which saw fuel prices hover around the R10 a litre mark, had the potential of disrupting economic growth and could cause major disruptions in countries that have not had the currency strength to counter the increases.

    In the last two years, crude oil prices have quadrupled from around $30 a barrel.

    According to Agence France Presse, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, dropped 63 cents to $101.92 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for June delivery lost 16 cents to $115.74, in Tuesday afternoon London deals.

    "I am concerned about the impact on the ordinary farmer and the impact paraffin price increases have on the poorest of the poor," Peters said.

    Three factors beyond the government's control influence prices, she explained.

    "Whilst the loss of Libya's volumes of crude oil supply has been made up by others, the quality of Libyan crude is of such a nature that it cannot be easily replaced. It is easier to process and as such its absence in the market adds to the complexity in crude oil refinery diets.

    "Secondly, the speculators in the market do take advantage of prevailing challenges and add a premium of their own.

    "The third is a more worrying reason and one that leaves us no option but to implement fuel efficiency measures. This is the demand for crude oil which has just about reached levels last seen in 2008 and is rising."

    Production facilities may find it difficult to keep up with the demand and this will inevitably result in sustained high prices, even when the conflicts have relaxed.

    She urged people to consider whether they really need to drive somewhere, or whether they can walk and go to work with a lift club.

    She questioned speeding away from traffic lights and recommended not using air conditioning during winter, as this could add 8% to fuel consumption.

    South Africa is not the only country grappling with fuel prices. Some of the proposals in the UK include fuel duty stabilisers and the granting of energy credits which can be used on vehicles or in the home.

    Peters said South Africa's fuel taxes are already relatively low and among the lowest in the G20.





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  2. #2
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    jip hard on the brakes for these speed bumps and then hard throttling will surely reduce fuel consumption .....even Sarel might agree that the word "idjits" might just possibly be appropriate this time

  3. #3
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    THE JMPD will have a field day - lowered speed restrictions means BONUS time for them....
    "Man is still the greatest miracle and the greatest problem on this earth"

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    Hehe, won't affect me much.
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    I'm curious.... if say we got our crude for free... not a cent paid for it, and we had to then calculate the price of petrol.... what would it cost.... hmmmm

    so who is the real bad guys now......


    lowering the speed limit of what, the perpetual traffic-jam in GP

    a nice, bumpy, 4 lane, tolled, highway you can only do 9kph on... go figure... soon only to be 5kph....

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    die minister ry seker n landy

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    And of course, this fuel saving is going to make up for the massive loss in efficency now that people will spend more time on the road and less "working".

    There is a term for this kind of logic but TOS forbids me to say it.

    C
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    Wonder how much the fuel price could drop if they start reducing the Tax on it.

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    I heard that they’d like to change the speed limit to 100Kph on the highways. I’ll have to redline my truck just to reach that speed
    »Hfx

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    The volatile fuel price is directly related to them having sold off the strategic fuel reserves (and splurging the massive income derived from that).
    When we had the reserves the fuel price was stable.
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    Well, the Wrangler uses less diesel at 120km/h than at 100km/h...

    as do most modern cars.

    I wonder if there will be research into that kind of thing? or just an immediate swoop on the idea as a good way of collecting revenue?

  12. #12
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    Is it the 1st of April or is it only on her calender?

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    Thumbs up From Drivivng.co.za

    You will almost certainly have heard of Energy Minister Dipuo Peters’s call for an investigation into the possibility of reducing the speed limits as one of the ways of increasing fuel efficiency. To respond to this proposal, let’s start with a brief trip back in time to 1979. The general speed limit was slashed to 90km/h and a draconian regime was installed regarding the pumping of fuel after hours and over weekends. (It was R5 just to pump a single drop, before you’d paid for your fuel.)

    To those who didn’t live through that era, this may seem like it was a storm in a tea cup, but the price of petrol in 1979 was about 40c / litre, and R5 bought you quarter of a tank. Just to further emphasise the value of R5 back then, you could have bought 1000 Chappies (at half a cent each) with your R5 note. Nowadays the equivalent coin buys you 10. I recall the futility of wheedling the local pump attendant not to charge me the R5 because I just needed to buy a litre of petrol for my aunt’s lawnmower. No chance!

    There is no doubt that these measures reduced the national fuel consumption, but they did so mainly by preventing people from buying fuel rather than reducing average fuel consumption significantly, because I don’t recall anyone paying too much attention to the 90 limit. The fact was that South Africa needed to cut its fuel use because the country was the pariah of the world and under an oil embargo.

    conservation

    However, that excuse no longer holds water, so do not be duped by people who attempt to draw comparisons with the 1970s. South Africa can produce and import as much fuel as it wants nowadays. We use less than 1% of the world’s daily output of crude oil, so there would have to be a catastrophic worldwide production collapse literally overnight to place us back in the fuel squeeze of 1979. Obviously from an environmental and long-term conservation point of view there is an argument to use less oil, but it will be a while still before production constraints force that reality upon the world. So we’re left with the cost issue. And who could believe that the government wants to reduce speed limits because it cares about us motorists and wants to save us money? (This is the same government that wants Gauteng motorists to pay 66c/km in tolls, remember, which is almost the equivalent of doubling the fuel price.)

    Besides, it is highly debatable whether reducing the speed limit actually reduces fuel consumption to any great degree. A car is at its optimal efficiency in any gear at approximately its torque peak. It is no coincidence that the torque peaks of many cars coincide with freeway cruising speeds of 120 – 140km/h, to accommodate those general speed limits world-wide. If speed limits are reduced, it’s arguable that modern cars will show increased average fuel consumption, because they will spend more time driving around on the back side of their torque curves. That means the engine is not operating in its optimal speed range for efficiency, which means more acceleration is required, and more gearchanges too, pushing up consumption. Ironically this is most noticeable in small-engined cars which are often driven by people who are hit the hardest by fuel price rises.

    Indeed, one’s average fuel consumption in round-town driving at the urban speed limit of 60km/h is often double that obtained in freeway driving at 120, for the simple reason that urban driving requires many changes in speed, and that is the main cause of increased fuel consumption. The most efficient trade-off between speed and economy is to maintain a constant speed, in the highest gear possible, as close to the vehicle's torque peak as you can. Reducing speed limits below typical freeway cruising speeds will not really aid this cause.

    wasted

    More fuel is wasted by people who accelerate in town when they don’t need to than by people who drive at 120 instead of 100, and I can demonstrate this practically to anyone who cares to watch. In fact, in a previous car of mine, I proved that it’s easily possible to obtain a 38% reduction in fuel consumption over the vehicle’s factory-stated fuel consumption, and I did so with four people in the car without resorting to any bizarre “hypermiling” tactics like pumping the tyres to three bars or limiting my top speed to 50km/h. No, I did it with the same combination of planning, anticipation and smoothness that my company teaches to defensive driving trainees every day. We have clients who recover the cost of training every nine months through fuel savings alone thanks to their employees using these very same techniques. If Minister Peters wants people to use less fuel, for whatever reason, the simplest method would be to advise the Minister of Transport to overhaul the licensing system so that people learn techniques of safety and economy right at the start when they get their licences.

    Actually, the Department of Energy is the very last agency which should be talking about making it the driver’s responsiblity to save fuel. If the DoE was doing its job, it would already have fast-tracked upgraded refineries and fuel standards so that South African fuels can be used in Euro V engines which are more efficient and less polluting. It would also be insisting that the CO2 tax collected on the purchase price of new cars be used solely for environmental purposes, rather than going into general revenue where it might end up paying for anything from budget vote parties to SAPS overtime. Oh, and it might also be supplying fuel sales data to the RTMC so that the government can issue a fatalities / 100m km figure for the first time in 5 years.

    The bottom line is that Peters’s utterances are nothing more than election-time antics from a Minister of an under-performing department. There is no evidence that speed limit reductions will improve road safety or significantly reduce fuel consumption and Peters should confine herself to the urgent tasks that require her attention rather than adding clutter to the national discourse.
    "Man is still the greatest miracle and the greatest problem on this earth"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDough View Post
    South Africa needed to cut its fuel use because the country was the pariah of the world and under an oil embargo.
    This is not true. In the 70s the whole western world was under an arab oil embargo.

    In Britain petrol pumps even went dry.

    The US had major problems that saw a motoring rethink towards fuel consumption.

    SA was not spared.
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    Just yesterday there was a fred about working from home.

    Maybe encourage that, with tax breaks to companies, subsidised internet etc. Fewer cars on the road = less fuel used and less traffic jams = less fuel used, and less traffic jams / fewer cars = better traffic flow and less consumption. Not to mention reduced spending on maintaining and upgrading roads, less spending on hospital bills and MVA payouts for victims of car accidents .......

    I sommer go home right now to do my bit...

    Seriously, we (as a global automotive community ) have gone a bit over the top. It is possible to commute using 3x less fuel than we currently do. Efficient public transport, smaller "micro" cars, modern fuel injected scooters & mopeds....there are many ways we can cut back.

    This is a hole we dug for ourselves to some degree. But reducing speed limits is not going to help. Just calculate the losses over a year if everybody spent just 12 minutes extra per day commuting: 50 work hours ( one weeks normal labour) per person per year......

  16. #16
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    Default Speed reduction

    Now on Sky News: British DOT discussing to lift speed limit on highways from 70mp/h (113km/h ) - 80mp/h (129km/h ) to get a better flow of traffic.
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