Experience to believe

petronas-mystery.jpg

If you are a reader of Paultan or the Star online, you might have seen the photo above before. Well, last Wednesday was the media launch for the "Experience to believe" campaign that selected staff have been in on earlier in the year. Apparently the branding guys took some of my comments and incorporated it in the presentation slides to the media. I tend to comment alot on these things if given the chance.

Anyways, what is this "Experience to believe" campaign you may ask? Basically it is a public field trial of the new fuel we have been developing here at where I work. When I say we, it doesn't really include me but I participated in the internal trial that is this "Experience to believe" campaign.

So, how does it work? Well, first we had to apply to the organisers via email providing them with the details of our car, year and make. They selected us based on how our cars and daily commute conditions suited their certain criteria such that they would get a good spread of users that could represent the various target consumers. I was selected so the first thing I had to do was come for a briefing by the organisers.

At this meeting we were briefed on the background of this project, what they wanted to achieve and how. We were also told to keep this secret but since the media campaign has begun then I guess I can tell you guys abit about it. I still can't tell you about the actual product which I will call Product X, inline with what the branding guys are calling it.

After the briefing, our cars were inspected to make sure they are in good running condition, oil levels, battery charge and tyre tread wear levels were all checked and recorded in the booklet below. What fuel and lube we currently use was also recorded together with the current vehicle mileage.


We were then told to come back after we'd emptied our current tank so that we can fill up with Product X. once filled up, we were asked to record our experience each day running on Product X. We were asked to comment on how our car performed and felt in terms of ease of starting, acceleration, power, smoothness and fuel economy. All very subjective i would say accept for the last - Fuel economy. As I am one who is very particular about fuel economy and has a good feel of what kind of fuel economy I could get out of my car, I decided to concentrate more on this performance area of the fuel. The other areas though can vary between fuels are not very easily noticeable to the untrained observer. Like, if you drive a normal 1.6 litre car, can you really think you can detect a 2-3% increase in power? Erm... I don't think so. So to be really fair, I decided to be more methodical and set my own little "experiment" for Product X.

So once I had emptied my current tankful, which is always a Petronas fuel anyways, I went in to get my tank full. Before that they inspected my car once more to confirm the first inspection results. I then filled up with 35 litres of Product X. My car's tank is a 40 litre tank so there was actually 5 litres of residual fuel left inside my tank. An insignificant portion they told me. So the trial began. I zeroed my Odometer and started to drive my daily routine as normal. As expected, I couldn't really feel any noticeable difference if compared to the current fuel I use. There might be improvements, lab tests could probably confirm that but in the field, the average Joe would be hard pressed to find any difference. But I was closely monitoring my mileage.

After a week plus using Product X, I finally emptied my car's tank. I filled up my tank with my regular fuel and the pump indicated that I had filled up with 35 litres of fuel. This was excellent as It confirms that I had used the exact amount of fuel for this "experiment" of mine. On my current fuel, my car's mileage on a full tank can range from 500 km to 600 km depending on whether I was ever stuck in any traffic jams on that tank. This time the traffic was average. I was expecting a range of at least 550km which was my average mileage on a tankful.

I was pleasantly surprised when the odometer read 580km - 30km more than the average on my current fuel. Therefore, I can confidently say that my experience with a tankfull of Product X gave me better fuel economy and savings per litre or how a certain oil company puts it "lebih kilometer" on a tank full...

I am not sure when the new product will be publicly launched but when it does, do try it out. Trust me, I've tried it.... =)