Driven couple sets world record for fuel economy
A Melbourne couple has set a new world record in the United States by driving more than 2600 kilometres - or longer than the distance from Melbourne to Townsville - on a single tank of fuel.
Rosebud residents John and Helen Taylor last week covered 2616.9 km across nine US states in their three-day drive from Houston, Texas, to Sterling, Virginia, in a diesel-engined Volkswagen Passat.
The pair is among the world's leading exponents of economical driving and has collected more than 90 world records in the US, Europe and Australia with their extreme efficiency.
The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Passat they drove averaged 2.8 litres per 100km for the trip, with the diesel fuel used estimated to cost just over 3c per kilometre.
''We're excited to have broken the record for the longest distance driven on one-tank of fuel,'' Mr Taylor said. The Taylors distance themselves from ''hypermilers'', a sub-culture of drivers known to go to extreme lengths to achieve efficiency, including stripping weight from their car, drafting behind heavy trucks and rolling through intersections to retain momentum.
The Melbourne couple completed their trip in an unmodified car with 54 kilograms of luggage on board. And to prove anyone can emulate their feat, they drove during daylight hours to ensure they experienced real-world traffic conditions.
In 2006 the Taylors drove around the world using less than 24 tanks of fuel, covering 28,970 kilometre journey in 78 days in a Volkswagen Golf. They have also driven the 2438 kilometres from Melbourne to Rockhampton on a single tank of fuel in a Peugeot 308.
Mr Taylor said a major motivation was to inspire others to drive more economically.
''If everyone in Australia saved just 10 per cent, a conservative amount of fuel, that would give Australia a saving of $5.2 million a day,'' he said. ''Imagine the amount if you times it by 365 days a year.''
Mrs Taylor said anyone could cut their fuel bill by up to 40 per cent by following a few basic rules.
''Don't over-accelerate, don't over-brake, always read the road ahead, and take off nice and gently,'' she said.