Do Flags Make Any Difference To Fuel Economy?

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


Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian is an indigenous rights activist fighting for indigenous people who’ve returned to their ancestral homelands and built great things.

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