Hello from Toulouse, France

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by groar, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    I'm Denis.

    I'm eco-driving since a few months. The first reason is to lower my eco-footprint, as I began to do it for electricity and water. The bonus is the money saving ;)
    We wanted to buy a new car, but we chose to install a 3kWc solar panel system :cool: so the new car will have to wait... and the most important isn't the car you drive, it's the way you're driving it ;)

    We have 2 old diesels (7 and 11 years). We were averaging 7l/100 (33mpg) for our daily commutes. By changing schedules and/or routes, we are now averaging less than 6l/100 (39mpg). I don't have instant feedback in my car (the older one). I'm trying to lower the speed and DWB as much as possible because the car has DFCO. I'm trying to change gear sooner at 2000rpm, but at the beginning the ICE wasn't happy to be at 1500rpm. I changed for high-grade diesel and after half a tank the ICE was happy to be at 1500rpm. Now after 1.5 tank, the ICE is happy to accelerate from 1200rpm. This will certainly permit me to have more improvement :)

    Have fun,

  2. sailordave

    sailordave Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. My family name is Bordelon. Do you know any Bordelon's in France? My relatives include Benoit, Chiasson, and Angele. One way you can learn how to save gas is to watch the BBC show Top Gear. If you see them drive in anyway that you do then you'll know not to drive that way. The area where you drive,...is it flat, have hills, or is it in the mountain areas? That could make a difference in your fuel efficiency.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Groar:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG!

    ___Fortunately, your Solar System will possibly come into great use with your next vehicle as I suspect you may skip the super diesels and hybrids altogether and go directly to a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). The Smart ForTwo and the Nissan/Renault Megane are two that come to mind and both chassis and shell’s are made in your home country if I am not mistaken?

    ___As for your two diesels, it sounds like you are improving your techniques quickly and 5L/100 km is just a stones throw away :)

    ___Good Luck

  4. scissorhands

    scissorhands Well-Known Member

    I have a 1990 Citroen BX 1.9D and my last name is Collette. Down under here in New Zealand and Australia the French diesels rule the fuel economy sector. Bonjour
  5. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Bonjour Denis! I hear great things about the French diesels like the Renault dCi. I hope some day we will get them here.
  6. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    Sorry for the delay...

    sailordave: I don't know any Bordelon but it seams a French name. I know several Benoit. I don't receive the BBC and I'm "read only" in English. In fact after 2 years in several European projects, my oral English is better but not fluent enough to understand oral in real time :/
    To learn how to drive, I read cleanmpg and ecomodder principally : very good sites with lots of information :) Main problem : lots of words I didn't knew a few months ago so I may not understand all nuances, but I'm improving both my English and my ecodriving skills :)
    My daily commutes are rather flat, as our visits to my wife's family, but it's hilly to visit my family (trace from Toulouse,fr to Bayonne,fr on Google Maps - you may have seen this trip lately during last "Tour de France"), but we manage to be at official highway FE :)

    Wayne: about the solar panels, all the electricity will be sold, so the ROI is about 10 years. As we have several systems running 24/7, if we were selling only unused electricity then the ROI would be more than 20 years. As this is a very big investment for us, this later option wouldn't have been viable.
    Currently we are planning to replace a car in 2 years and I'm dreaming about a Prius :) but there are more and more little cars with big FE.
    About electric vehicles, I looked at electric 2 wheelers, but none has enough speed and enough range for my daily commutes (50 miles at 50 mph) :(
    Smart and Renault, as Peugeot and Citroen, are French. Renault has a lot of garages, which is great because my wife and I are often changing the place where we are working; but other make are more and more interesting has they have more efficient cars with equal reliability.
    Currently my wife is getting better FE than I have, but she commuted every days these last 2 weeks, while I commuted only 3 times, so I saved 70% :)
    I bought a scangauge this week-end, but I hope it will be compatible. The pins of the OBD2 plug is ISO compatible, but I don't know if the car is OBD2... If it is compatible I hope I will be able to improve quickly :)

    Collette: I knew french cars are sold all over Europe then to Africa as second hand. I learned they are sold to Australia when I heard about a FE record with a stock little peugeot (IIRC).
    I went to south hemisphere only once in French Reunion Island where my brother is living. I did loved the blue see :) does your beaches have as transparent water ?

    Mike: Renault and Citroen are doing very well with their diesel. This is thanks to French bonus/malus system (1) based on CO2 emissions. Nearly no gasoline has bonus, while nearly all little diesel has bonus. To maximize the number of bigger cars without malus, they are improving their bigger diesels and with the generalization of low-sulfur diesel next year, the particle filters will improve too :)
    First CommonRail (Renault dCi or Citroen HDi) were consuming 10-20% less than turbo, and newer CR have improved this by 10-20% :)
    (1) you have to pay a tax if your new car emits too much CO2 (up to 2000€/3000$) while you may receive money if it's a low emission car (up to 700€/1050$); until end of 2009, hybrids under 120g/km receive 2000€ :)

  7. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    It seams an angel touched me during last weeks... I got 4.91l/100 (48mpg) while previous tank was 5.93l/100 (40mpg) and car is rated 6.7l/100 (35mpg) for EPACombined... this is a 25% saving in diesel and CO2 :)

    See the megane's fuel log (hope EcoModder garage is welcome here ;) ) in my signature.

    I'm currently trying a cardboard lower grill block and I'm building cardboard rear wheel skirts, even if megane's Cd is rather good at 0.32.

  8. Vooch

    Vooch Well-Known Member


    Welcome !

    Please help us understand how a European family can live driving such small cars ?

    How do you fit all the family groceries in such small cars from a HyperMarche ?

    What happens if one has to do a project around the house - how does one carry the material from the Hardware store ?

    How does one take one's children to activities such as their weekend sports activities ? How is it possible to fit kids and equipment in such small cars ?

    How is it possible to go on a family vacation in such small cars ?



    proud ex owner of a 1956 DS19 :)
  9. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    Updated with a cardboard rear wheel skirt...

    May be because a lot of families have two cars : one "smaller" and one "bigger" ?

    At the beginning you buy a smaller car and then a bigger one. Then the bigger becomes bigger...

    We have two cars that share the same chassis. They are as long as a prius. The first one is a sedan, while the second one is a monospace (one-box) which is taller and so has much more room to carry objects or people.

    I know a few single people who have only a small car because they are living in city and do not use their car so often. If they need to carry something then they can borrow a bigger car to a friend, or rent a truck.

    Very small cars, such as smart, are rare.

    For children activities, they are more often playing soccer or rugby, than piloting a boat. Even in this case you don't have your own boat, you use the one from the club and you don't have to manage it.

    About holidays, more and more take the train and rent a car at destination. But it's more difficult with children so families use their bigger car.

    Of course as American people, French people are complex and I can't describe all the situations. I described what I see around me.

    In France these cars are mythical. IIRC they had rear wheel skirts :)

  10. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    FYI : groar's solar panels thread (EcoRenovator)


    My PV solar panels are connected to the grid and I'm an electricity producer at least :cool:

    For more information and to ask questions, consult my thread on EcoRenovator (Ecofriendly DIY Home Projects) :
    groar's solar panels thread - EcoRenovator

  11. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    Just wanted to have a little fun by comparing first and last results...

    So after 2 years of daily work, some aeromodding and a diesel FAS kill switch :

    Which is :
    • 59.73L for 1902.2km ie 3.140L/100 and 53.13% saving
    • 15.78gal for 1182.2mi ie 74.91mpg and +113.4% over EPA.

    A lot of thanks to Wayne, Sean, Andrew and so many others that the whole Internet bandwidth wouldn't be enough ;)

    Have fun,

  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    WOW Denis! Almost a 100% improvement! Great job and it's nice to see people all across the world working to increase their mpg.

    Do you have any sort of guestimate of what your current average is saving you on your fuel as a yearly number?

    According to Google:
    59.73 liters = 15.78 gallons

    71.02 Euros = $94.6910

    This looks like your current price is about $6.00 per gallon. Is this correct?
  13. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Great job Dennis. Keep up the great work your doing. :)
  14. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    Thanks :)

    msirach, I have an OOo spreadsheet in which I enter distance, volume, total price, unit price and $/€, then it auto-magically calculate too much metric and US data :cool:

    The unit price is effectively around 5.4-6.2$/gal since 1.5 year and has been up to 8.944... In France half price is taxes and taxes on taxes, but it seams the price isn't high enough, or now considered by more and more people as a right to pollute :(

    • In 2008 (06-12) I paid 474.60€ and saved 138.82€, ie 23% (674.64$ / 198.39$).
    • In 2009 I paid 879.13€ and saved 614.58€, ie 41% (1219.77$ / 857.70$).
    • Since the beginning of the year, I paid 792.9€ and saved 619.82€, ie 43% (1027.59$ / 802.47$), which isn't significantly better than 2009 because I made a lot of personal and professional highway trips.

    Have fun,

  15. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very


    I'm back :) not as much as before, but I'll spend some time here from time to time.

    IRL things changed a few : during Xmas holidays I decided to leave my job and my profession. I'm currently learning sophrology. That is a huge change as I'm in computing since 26 years, including 15 professionally. I'm always selling my computer security skills to earn enough to live until end of 2015 when I should have my diploma to begin my new career.

    The other big change is that I changed the daily 12 espresso by 6 teas, mostly white.

    The lack of daily commute makes my average lower than what I had last summer in my P2 : from 69 to 60mpgUS... but I never consumed so few gas : 1.2L~0.3gal per day.

    Weather is currently sunny @ 32°C~90°F max. Now @ 1AM it's 26°C~79°F...

    Have fun,

  16. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Welcome back, Denis ! Good luck with your new career.
  17. Gord

    Gord Super Moderator Staff Member

    ^ x 2 ^ - sounds interesting!
  18. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    We missed you! I'm glad to hear it's because you were busy, and not bad news.
  19. groar

    groar X-Frenchy: very

    Thx :)

    Andrew, I changed the "bad news" into opportunities :D

    Gord, Sophrology is very interesting. Conceived from Yoga, Zen... it permits harmony between mind and body. Lots of techniques permits to improve concentration, body consciousness, sleep, stress...I'm discovering a few techniques only, I'm conquering a fewer number and none transformed me yet, but I know that in a few months it shall be the case slowly but surely.

    Funny thing is that Sophrology permits positive thinking and stress management, what I applied by my own before deciding to change my life :D
    Per example when you are going to sleep, think about 3 positives events that append during the day, and thank those who permitted them. You got better sleep and wake up, and relations with others are improved.

    Have fun,


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