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Fuel Efficiency Calculator

Narcissus

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Apr 3, 2005
Messages
401
Hey all,

Sorry to ruin the fun, but I have a quick 'question' for you all... imagine a program that would let you track the fuel that you used in each and every one of your vehicles. All you do is enter which of the three fuel grades you put in, how much it cost and how many k's you had travelled since last filling up. All of this information goes into a quick little table that tells you which fuel is best "dollar for kilometre" for each of your cars. That is to say, it essentially works out how much you are paying per kilometre travelled for each of the three grades of fuel ofr each of your vehicles separately.

Imagine it tells you how much extra you would have saved or spent (compared to current prices) for each of the grades and imagine it can let you type in something like "the premium is going for $x / L" and have it tell you something along the lines of "if premium is $x / L, you'll do better to buy the regular if its $y / L or less".

Now... I'm hoping this is all making sense so far.

So my questions are:
1) Would you use a program like this?
2) How much would you expect to save by using a program like this?
3) Would it matter that you were restricted to three fuel grades?
4) Would it matter that there were no graphs or anything else that would 'complicate' things?
5) Would you buy a program that does this and if so, how much would you pay for it?

I know that this may not be the best spot to ask for feedback on something like this, but you're the closest to a 'study group' that I could find on short notice!

A little background: basically, I have this program written. I'm just testing the waters to see if it's worth it and if so, I'm hoping to grab a couple of you to test it for me. After that, I'm looking to sell it (pretty cheaply) and will offer a discount for any and all silvertails.net members.

Thanks for any feedback guys!
 

Normie

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Jul 18, 2004
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I think that you may be on a bit of a winner with this program as I have not heard of any other like it!
I am sure that many people would buy the program (if the price is right) to enable them to save $ in the long run.
At the moment, petrol prices have come down from the $1.40 mark BUT I am sure they will go up again and that's why this is a winner! You would need to market it on the cost of the program vs the potential weekly/fortnightly/monthly savings.

So my questions are:
1) Would you use a program like this? If it saved me money - yes!
2) How much would you expect to save by using a program like this? At least $10-$20 per tank
3) Would it matter that you were restricted to three fuel grades? 3 grades is good - don't complicate it for "dummies"
4) Would it matter that there were no graphs or anything else that would 'complicate' things? Keep it nice and simple but maybe have the option of graphs for the visual people like me
5) Would you buy a program that does this and if so, how much would you pay for it? If it has the potential to save me money - Yes. Hopefully priced around the $20-$50 mark


Good luck :clap:
 

Narcissus

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Joined
Apr 3, 2005
Messages
401
Goldie: thanks for the encouragement!

To be honest, unless you have a huge tank, I couldn't see you saving that much per tank. However, there definitely would be savings. Now that I've all but finished it up, I'm going to start punching in the numbers for my own car and see what happens.

I'll see what I can come up with for graphing: it's a 'nice to have', but deciding on something interesting to graph is another thing! Maybe I could graph the amount spent on each grade, plus the amount you would have saved if you had always bought the most efficient?

$50-$100. Wow. Let's just say I intend it to be a fair bit cheaper than that! My goal is to make it pay for itself within a month or two of using it so once I know how much I can save, then I guess I can price it... but it will definitely be cheaper than that, let me assure you!

So: once I tweak everything out, would you be interested in 'testing' it for me?
 

Dan

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I have seen the first version and tested it out over two tanks, it was pretty handy
 

Normie

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I have a Kia Carnival that has a 75 ltr tank and is a thirsty beast - 13 to 15lts per 100km on unleaded!
If you want quick sales - around $20.
I would be more than happy to be a tester - but not a testee :doh:
 

Canteen Worker

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You haven't got the balls to be a teste!!! (Too much hanging around anyway - no job security either - always facing the sac!!!!
 

clontaago

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hmm not sure Narc.

How do you establish a "base" consumption figure? I imagine you have to fill up once with all 3 grades to get this? Even then the driving conditions would vary slightly on each drive.

Dan I would be interested in seeing what figures you came up with?
 

Matabele

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So my questions are:
1) Would you use a program like this?

Yes

2) How much would you expect to save by using a program like this?

It would be very handy for me as there are heaps of different vehicles about the place and I think it would help us change a lot of our habits. For my organisation it could potentially save thousands?

3) Would it matter that you were restricted to three fuel grades?

It would depend what they are. Unleaded, PRemium and Deisel would be the obvious generic ones. Gas?

4) Would it matter that there were no graphs or anything else that would 'complicate' things?

No - but can you transfer the data to Excel so you can generate your own for presentations etc?

5) Would you buy a program that does this and if so, how much would you pay for it?

Yes - for a personal use program maybe not more than $25. For commercial use maybe up to $200 depending on the size of the corporation.
 

clontaago

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Mata if you are looing for Fleet savings LPG is the way to go, not a program like this.
 

Matabele

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Yeah, no doubt of that for a fleet. But when you're the money man for a charity with no "fleet" but just a haphazard conglomeration of cars, knowing their quirks and being able to track it would be very useful.

For instance, our pizza shop in Dubbo has 4 different delivery vehicles. It would be very good for me to quantify which vehicle is the most efficient and make that the primary vehicle and then prioritise the rest of them in order of their efficiency. Seems this program could make that quantification easier?

I've just switched over to gas and am trying to make as many converts as possible. ;)
 

Narcissus

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Apr 3, 2005
Messages
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clon: Yep, you're right. You would need to fill up on each up the different fuels to get a good "base". I definitely wouldn't want to bet my life on the 'scientific accuracy' of it, mainly because there are way too many things to factor in to get an absolutely accurate calculation. However, for the amount of data that is required to be input, it's pretty good as a guide.

Mata: the three fuel grades are just 'generic' grades... you can name them whatever you want. For the first release, I would prefer to stick with a graph over exporting to Excel (mainly because of time constraints) though I can see where you're going with this. To be honest, I had never even considered the possibility of a poor man's "fleet tracking". Not that you're a poor man :)

Regarding pricing: I was thinking more along the lines of $9.95 (with a $1 or $2 discount for silvertails.net members).

I'll have a play with the code over the weekend and see what I can come up with. It's all just a matter of making sure that even if I can't get the features in then at least I can make sure that the data's ready in the future.

Thanks guys!
 

Dan

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charge them $20 Lincoln
 

Matabele

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I am a poor man Narc. :(

With your pricing I would encourage you to not go cheap, especially if you are pricing it for corporates. Management types are wankers and won't think something is worthwhile unless they pay through the teeth for it.
 

Dan

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clontaago

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I am a poor man Narc. :(

With your pricing I would encourage you to not go cheap, especially if you are pricing it for corporates. Management types are wankers and won't think something is worthwhile unless they pay through the teeth for it.
Corporates wont go for it, they get all the reporting they require through their current fuel card suppliers. A program like this would just mean more work for fleet managers, they wont be interested.

This would be more a mum and dad type seller.
 

Narcissus

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Apr 3, 2005
Messages
401
Fluffy: you're right that any one can do this in Excel. My theory is that for the people that are able to do that, though, the time it will take them is worth more than the $9.95 I'll be charging. Less if they're from ST :)

Also, although most cars are tuned to a specific octane level, this only tells a person how to get the most km / L. My app is more tuned towards reporting $ / L which I think is the key to really knowing which fuel grade to purchase!

Anyway... I'm almost there :) I've added a graphing feature to show amount spent on all of the grades over time, as well as how much could have been saved over that time. At the moment I'm just wrestling with a new way of storing the data so that users can decide what happens with some of it.

Suffice to say I appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions and I'm definitely in the home stretch (though it is taking a little longer than I expected :) ). I'll be looking for a few people to test it from an interface point of view soon, so will start hassling people again as soon as that is ready.
 

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