Do Flags Make Any Difference To Fuel Economy?

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Flag crop Renault Fluence ZE Better Place in the rain with flagsEvery year many Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut by adorning their cars with flags. Like most I assumed these would have some kind of deleterious effect on fuel economy and one tweeter even told me they increased fuel use by 8%.

As usual I put two of these flags on my car this year. Any difference they make to my car would be exactly the same on a petrol car, it’s just the absolute efficiency of my car is much easier to measure. If my range is 120km in normal use including freeway driving at fast speeds, an 8% reduction would drop that range by 8% which is 10km.

Well it didn’t I drove to Jerusalem and back twice with the flags in place and noticed no measurable increase in electricity usage. I drove at Israel’s legal limit (ahem) of 110km wherever possible. A straight drive from my home to Gina Sakarov switching station in Jerusalem had me arriving there with 30% battery. That’s absolutely the same as I usually experience without flags.

Overall, for the couple of weeks I’ve had the flags on the car, I can see no significant increase in electricity use.

I’m sure they make some difference, but it’s sub 1% and very hard to measure, even on an electric car as sensitive to this kind of thing as mine. Rain actually makes more of a difference.

Renault Fluence ZE Better Place in the rain with flags

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