THE manager of a major Gloucester taxi firm is using a city automotive technician to trial technology which could save up to 15 per cent on the company's fuel bills.
Charlie Morgan, of Mottec Automotive, is the only licensed partner in Gloucester of Viezu Technologies, which has created the eco-friendly and fuel-efficient engine remapping system.
The same technology has recently been adopted by telecoms giant BT, which expects to save £3million after rolling the system out across its fleet of 24,000 vans.
Now John Taylor, contract sales manager at private hire firm Andy Cars, is trialling the system on his own car. If effective, he plans to recommend it to the 70 drivers the company employs, for use on their vehicles. The systems costs £299 and modern diesel engines are particularly suitable for the service.
Mr Taylor said: "With prices at the pumps so high these days, anything that cuts down on fuel consumption and helps the environment too has got to be worth doing."
Mr Morgan said engine remapping had changed from being a tactic used by people looking for more power in their cars into a growing trend for improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.
The process, which involves reprogramming the software on the car's Engine Control Unit (ECU), can take a couple of hours to complete.
Mr Morgan, who has worked in the automotive trade and engine diagnostics for more than 35 years, said: "The more recent the vehicle, the more scope there is, but the process will work for any company looking to save fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions."
He added there was no increase on a company's insurance premium for the reduced fuel emissions or the improved economy achieved through engine remapping.
The system works by Mr Morgan carrying out an initial diagnostic scan of the ECU, to check there are no current or intermittent faults, before taking a reading of how the engine ECU software is set up.
He then sends the results off to Viezu Technologies, along with the requirements of the customer.
Viezu then sends back the modified software for Mr Morgan to upload on to the car's ECU.