Australian couple Helen and John Taylor, well known for several international fuel economy records, decided to turn their holiday in South Africa into a fuel-economy record attempt.
They set out to circumnavigate South Africa using less than 140 litres of fuel and chose a Toyota Prius hybrid for their record-breaking route of 4431.6km, which would take them from Johannesburg, through to Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and finally back to Johannesburg.
The Taylors commented on SA’s roads: ” South Africa is an immensely beautiful country. Driving through the countryside is like driving through the USA, Australia, Scotland and New Zealand all in one day.”
Their first refuel was recorded in Pofadder in the Northern Cape after completing 1100.2 km and using 34.368 litres of fuel.
For purposes of completing the record attempt, the couple was only allowed to stop at pre-determined Shell fuel stations, where the station manager was tasked with recording fuel levels, unsealing and resealing the fuel tank and documenting the process.
“Our best figure in the Prius was 2.4 litres/100 km over a 50km section. We travelled at normal speeds but the road works and constant stop/go sections dropped our average speed to 53km/h for the section,” the Taylors said.
The 2.4-litre record translates into an average of 41.66km/litre, which shatters any previous SA fuel consumption record.
The final consumption figure was 3.148 litres/100km and was certified by the independent technical auditor. To achieve the record breaking figure, the couple used 139.488 litres of fuel over the 4431.6 km journey.
The Taylor’s fuel consumption figure beat the official 4.1 litres/100km figure of the Prius by 23%