Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eco-Driving Could Save 22 Billion Gallons of Gas A Year

Tests performed by Ford Motor Company and Pro Formance drivers found that 48 motorists coached by eco-driving experts saw results ranging from 6% fuel economy improvement to more than 50%, depending on their driving style and ability to master eco-driving behaviors. The average fuel economy improvement was 24%.

Eco-driving instructors coached drivers to employ smoother breaking and accelerating, monitor their RPMs and drive at a moderate speed. Among the eco-driving practices that drivers can begin practicing on their own are driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph, keeping tires properly inflated at the recommended pressure, and eliminating prolonged idling.

Hands-on instruction is critical for achieving full potential of eco-driving since instructions for eco-driving techniques must be customized after instructors have had the opportunity to observe individual driving habits and then provide coaching for more fuel efficient driving techniques, Ford says.

The US consumes close to 150 billion gallons of gasoline annually, according to the US Energy Information Administration. If every American practiced eco-driving and got the EPA-estimated 15% benefit in fuel economy, more than 22 billion gallons of gas would be saved.
I think that would be a good idea for the US to incorporate eco-driving into standard drivers ed. I read about another country doing this (Sweden maybe?) but I am drawing a blank at the moment as to who that was.

Drill, baby, drill! Learn to drive, baby, learn to drive!

via Green Car Congress


Audacious Epigone said...

A couple of years ago, I posted my 'secrets':

- Inflated all tires to 42 psi.
- Never topped 55 mph.
- Kept engine rpms under 2,000 at all times.
- Never used the AC.
- Cracked the driver's side window an inch, leaving all others up.
- Eased the accelerator slightly during accelerations to cause a premature gear shift (it's an automatic).
- Studied traffic signals assiduously as I approached from a distance, attempting to minimize the use of braking by speeding up or coasting depending on the point in the intersection's cycle.

I beat the EPA estimates, which are putatively too optimistic, by nearly 40% and continue to do so today. Neat that it's being studied, but I always assumed most people knew they could drive more efficiently, but would rather average 50mph from start to finish (including lights, etc) instead of 44mph on a half over drive across town--better to save those three minutes than increase your fuel economy (and by extension reduce total fuel consumption) by 25% or more! We have our priorities, right?!

Audacious Epigone said...

Here's the post if by chance you're interested.

Fat Knowledge said...


Good stuff. About your assumption that people know they could drive more efficiently, I think there is truth in that. But, I don't think that people know how large the impact is, and I don't think that all people know the most efficient ways to drive. If you incorporate it into drivers ed, then they know the skills to begin with. If they choose to drive fast, well at least they will know how much the saved 2 minutes of times cost them in extra gasoline.

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