Tag Archives: fuel

Call to replace rego with user-pays fuel levy

A riders group is seeking to scrap vehicle registration in favour of more expensive fuel through an extra state fuel levy, plus a user-pays tracking system for electric vehicles.

The Queensland-based Motorcycle Advocacy Group Facebook group which claims membership of more than 1100 riders, mainly in South-East Queensland, has sent its proposal to the national cabinet.

Unfair rego

Spokesperson David White says the current fixed-cost vehicle registration system is unfair, especially to those with multiple vehicles, while the current federal fuel excise is diminishing as vehicles become more economical.

The group wants rego axed and replaced by a state fuel levy on top of the current federal fuel levy.

“There is a need for a simple, efficient and effective way to improve road funding and a user-pays system for registered road vehicles could achieve this,” the MAG proposal says.

Motorway tolls traffic lane filteringDavid White with his 2007 BMW R1200S

“A user-pays fuel levy system for internal-combustion-powered registered road vehicles could be in addition to fuel excise.”

However, they say there would still need to be a nominal annual fee for each vehicle to cover administrative costs.

“Trailers and caravans could have their registration and insurance paid through the extra use of fuel by the towing vehicle,” the proposal suggests.

“The levy could be based on zones, a higher levy in urban zones and lowest in regional and remote zones. This may also lead to a quicker uptake of electric vehicles in cities and urban areas.

A zonal system would be fairer and more equitable as the average fuel consumption for country motorists is usually greater than the average fuel consumption of city motorists. City motorists commonly have a range of essential services close by and also have access to good public transport facilities.”

David says motorists driving and riding electric vehicles should have a user-pays system based on distance travelled via a secure tracking device that protects location privacy.

Levy advantages

David says their proposal would “help meet the current needs of those in financial hardship, boost jobs throughout the economy, lower emissions and traffic congestion, add to the health and wellbeing of the general population and boost productivity quite significantly”.

Owners of multiple vehicles wouldn’t pay onerous rego costs per vehicle under the proposal.

Riders would also be advantaged by the comparatively low fuel consumption of motorcycles and scooters.fuel gauges MBW Motorbike Writer fuel scooter economy

“As motorcyclists, we have noticed repeatedly the omissions of  motorcycles and scooters in most of the inquiries, reviews, reports and plans  that deal with land transport reform and traffic congestion,” David says.

“It is also apparent that these inquiries, reviews, reports and plans do not address some of the basic needs and aspirations of private vehicle owners.  

“Despite overwhelming evidence that reform of land transport is long overdue, these inquiries, reviews, reports and plans haven’t been embraced by the Australian people.”

User pays

There have been several other user-pays proposals over the years including a congestion tax that would be offset by cheaper rego.

In New Zealand, riders get cheaper rego if they complete a rider training course.

  • What do you think of this proposal? Leave your comments in the box below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Servos profiteering from pandemic

The shocking fuel price rise in some cities over the past few days despite the OPEC glut and subsequent 20% reduction in oil prices is nothing more than profiteering from the pandemic.

Around the world fuel prices are dropping to 17-year lows, yet in some parts of Australia, prices are rising.

In Adelaide prices are now below $1/litre for 91RON, yet Brisbane have risen more than 40c in the past two days to almost $160. Prices for PULP are almost $180.

In Sydney, the average ULP price is $134 and in Melbourne it’s $126.

Oil price war

Russia and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) act as a cartel to control oil supply to determine prices.

Earlier this month, they fell out when Saudi Arabia wanted to keep production artificially low.

Fearing the market would open up for US producers, Russia walked out of the meeting and the Saudis responded by launching a price war that has driven crude and refined oil down by more than 20%.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure petrol retailers pass on the price reductions.

ACCC boss Rod Sims said they would “name and shame” petrol retailers who gouge prices.

However, that is not good enough. Fuel companies have no shame, anyway!

During this coronavirus crisis, many workers are being stood down and are struggling to meet basic requirements such as house repayments, let alone inflated fuel costs.

The federal and/or state governments should be able to enact laws in a time of crisis to stop profiteering. They could extend it to toilet paper hoarders!

The federal government is waiving fuel excise for airline operators, so maybe they can also do the same for motorists.Fuel petrol servo service station helmet pulp ulp premium profiteering

Profiteering

Some may say that fuel won’t be in high demand during the pandemic because people will not be going out as much.

However, that does not give fuel companies the right to gouge prices for those who need fuel such as emergency workers, nurses, police, transport operators, etc.

Also, what about those who stay home and need to do some motorcycle stunts in their house to stave off boredom while in isolation!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

EzySt fuel app offers riders discounts

A new free app called EzySt not only shows you where the cheapest fuel is near you, but also offers special discounts and can find the cheapest fuel on your planned ride route.

Unlike existing fuel price apps and schemes, it is not based on crowd-sourced information, but real-time data from local fuel retailers and Government reporting schemes.

The app is free and will work to show you cheap fuel near you and on your planned ride if you load your route into the map.

EzySt has completed a successful trial in Western Australia and is now available in Queensland and NSW with other states and territories to follow.

Sign up for EzySt dealsEzySt fuel saver app

To access special fuel and other servo deals, you have to sign up.

However, if you value your privacy, you can still use all the other attributes of the app without signing up, such as route selection and choosing your preferred fuel type by RON value.

I entered my email details several days ago and have yet to receive any discount deals.

If you do get a deal, you don’t have to take it straight away, but can save it.

You can also sign out at any time and choose to have the app only work when being used or working in the background all the time, but that will reduce your phone’s battery.

Many riders don’t care about the price of fuel, only the quality for their pride and joy.EzySt fuel saver app

Savings

However, if you are interested in exploiting the fuel economy benefits of a motorcycle, this app could save you precious dollars.

EzySt app has been several years in the making and is the brainchild of Sydney-based company The Pricing Project who developed other fuel industry software such as PriceScape and PriceSync.

It is led by former Caltex executives Mick Jarvie and Ben Everitt, and technologist Damian Funnell.

However, it is not limited to Caltex.

Participating retailers include the EG Group (Caltex / Woolworths), independents Puma Energy, Pacific Petroleum, New Sunrise, and several dealers operating under nationally recognised brands.

EzySt is now available through the App Store and Google Play, and can be followed on Facebook at @EzySt.

Fuel economyFuel economy service station helmet pulp ulp premium

Click here if you would like to make more savings by increasing your bike’s fuel economy.

Be aware that using a higher RON value than the manufacturer’s recommendation may not have any fuel-saving benefits.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Does premium fuel give bikes a boost?

Using a premium fuel with a higher octane than specified by the motorcycle manufacturer will not improve engine power or economy, RACQ technical officer Steve Spalding advises.

He says the energy content of fuel is the same no matter what octane rating it has.

“We see a lot of claims made about using premium fuels over standard and often motorists/riders believe they get a benefit from their use,” he says.

“The reality is by using a fuel with a higher octane than specified, there is only an economic or performance benefit if the engine management system can utilise the higher octane. Some will and others won’t.”

The anecdotal evidence of riders saying they get more power and higher range from a higher octane than their bike needs may simply be justifying to themselves the extra expense of PULP, Steve suggests.

Steve Spalding DIY bike maintenance Easter safety message duty easter pulp ulp premium
Steve Spalding

Premium advantages

However, there are other advantages to using a PULP fuel over ULP.

“Some premium fuels such as Caltex and BP advertise they have additional cleaning additive packages that can offset the need to periodically buy fuel cleaners,” Steve says.

However, riders would have to work out if it is cheaper to pay the extra price for PULP over ULP rather than buying the occasional cleaner additive.

It may have been an economically wise decision about a decade ago, but the price differential between ULP and PUP has crept up and is now about 12-14c a litre.

“Fuel makers have worked out that people will buy it, not often on an evidence-based reason,” Steve says.

Steve says fuel companies and retailers make the most profit from the sale price of PULP.Fuel petrol servo service station helmet pulp ulp premium

Steve also points out that while ULP also has cleaning additives, it just doesn’t have the additional cleaners in some of the higher octane fuels.

However, it is certainly more convenient to have the cleaner additives in the fuel than having to periodically buy and add the fluid separately.

Steve also says PULP has lower levels of sulphur.

“While these are beneficial in reducing the build-up of engine internal deposits, they won’t make the bike travel further for each litre of fuel purchased,” he says.

“The best advice is to use the fuel specified for the bike.”

Low octane risksDirty fuel premium

Most modern motorcycles recommend a minimum of 95 or 98 RON.

If you fill up with a lower octane rating you run the risk of harmful engine detonation and pinging, Steve warns.

Also the higher sulphur content in RULP can damage catalytic converters and prevent them from working properly.

Some motorcycles have knock sensors that sense detonation or pinging and alter the ignition timing to effetely down-tune the engine.

Knock sensors are a preservation measure in case you are stuck at a remote service station that doesn’t have premium fuel.

Lastly, with E10 being common in services stations, ensure your bike is compatible with it before using, older carburettor models shouldn’t use an ethanol-based fuel.

Click here for more advice on using ethanol fuel in motorcycles.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Do you really need a bigger fuel tank?

Some adventure bikes are big and heavy enough already, so adding a larger fuel tank seems an unnecessary addition of weight.

Do you really need up to 500km of range when service stations are a maximum of about 250-300km apart even in the remote outback?

It’s also extra weight right over the front wheel; just where you don’t want it in soft sand and mud.

Reasons for bigger fuel tank

However, Robin Box of Safari Tanks says there are many reasons for carrying extra fuel.

“It’s true that there aren’t many occasions when you’ll need the full 500km range that our larger tanks offer, but things don’t always go to plan,” he says.

“For starters, with a bike’s standard tank you will often have enough fuel to get you to where you’re going, but that will often mean topping up three to four times a day, just so you have enough fuel to get to the next fuel stop.

“It will probably also mean that you’re only half filling your bike every time you stop, and the novelty of that wears out pretty quickly.”

His comments come in a press release about their new $1140 34-litre tank for the Honda Africa Twin which provides up to 500km of range.  The standard tank is 18.9 litres.

Honda Africa Twin Safari tank Adventure fuel tank
Honda Africa Twin with Safari tank

Fuel tanks in many touring and adventure bikes are getting smaller as bikes become more fuel efficient. It’s also done to reduce weight and costs.

Robin says a bigger fuel tank is an “insurance policy” that you have more than enough fuel to do the job.

“Nobody likes getting low on fuel, and we all know the feeling of staring at the fuel gauge in sparsely populated country when the tank gets below a quarter full. It’s nobody’s idea of fun,” he says.

“Carrying extra fuel will also give you peace of mind should that next petrol station – just 250km away – be out of fuel, and it does happen.”

Robin says that on several occasions he has had to camp for a couple of days to wait for a fuel truck to arrive after bad weather or a breakdown delayed delivery.

I also encountered an outback servo that had a power failure and couldn’t pump any fuel. We eventually siphoned some out of the owner’s truck and I paid top dollar for the privilege!

After that, I carried a five-litre plastic gerry can on the back rack as my own insurance policy. It also meant I didn’t have extra weight over the front wheel.

Adventure fuel tank
Back-up fuel on a three-state Transalp adventure

Exploring

It’s not just about surviving a lack of fuel, Robin says. It also presents extra opportunities to explore.

“The extra range also gives you the option of checking out that side track you’ve been told about or, in some instances, even turning back and retracing your steps if weather or other events put your trip in jeopardy,” he says.

“The extra fuel range helps to bring out the serious adventure capabilities for those who like the long haul.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com