Driving is an indispensable part of daily life for many in the world. Through motorization, living standards improved in large and small ways. Cars can be the key that unlocks freedom mobility and convenience, but motorization has also created major problems with far reaching implications:
- There are over 1.2billion cars in the world, which emit substantial amounts of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, causing far-reaching negative effects on the environment and quality of life.
- Automobile accidents abound; the World Health Organization reports that traffic accidents caused 1,250,000 deaths in 2010 (latest year available).
Automobile manufacturers continue to develop technological improvements to address those issues. These solutions include Next Generation vehicles, which use alternative fuel sources as well as vehicles equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
In order to further reduce emissions globally, more efficient systems should be used. This integrated approach should cover all elements effecting emissions on roads – enhanced fleet renewal, improved vehicle technology, infrastructure investment and how the car is used. We believe that drivers can participate in the global solution as well by their driving behavior. That is the idea of “EcoDrive”.
The practice of EcoDrive is based on good driving principles. In general, it’s about smart, relaxed, fuel-efficient and safe driving. Among other things, it teaches driving fuel-efficient with smart acceleration and deceleration, and keeping a vehicle’s momentum. Our research shows that merely adding those three small driving tips gain 10% improvement in fuel efficiency for city driving.
More importantly, responsible and smart driving (one of EcoDrive) changes the way we drive collectively with positive impact for the environment and road safety. As it encourages healthy and safe driving habits, the EcoDrive mindset inspires a culture of social responsibility. With EcoDrive, drivers learn to keep calm even when the situation is not optimal; for example, they learn to smartly plan with time to spare which leads to a more relaxed motoring – a healthier choice, both mentally and physically as this behavioral change reduces stress.
Please note: to successfully participate in EcoDrive, cultural boundaries must be respected. Therefore, small aspects have to be adjusted for each country acc. to cultural specifics.
EcoDrive is a lifestyle change that can become a lifestyle evolution. Our vision consists of three pronged approach:
- Governmental regulations and policies are adopted with the aim of encouraging lower emissions, healthier and safer driving. This should focus not only on improving the environmental performance of the vehicles, but also stimulating policies to better use of cars and better usu of infrastructure.
- Responsible driving is helping to reduce CO2 emissions, which is a commonly shared policy supported by Governments and industry.
- Drivers, mindful that they can directly shape a better world through their actions, contribute with a smart driving behavior modification through EcoDrive including avoiding distracted driving such a testing while driving.
EcoDrive is an easy and effective solution to establish. When promoted globally, EcoDrive can make a significant difference in CO2 reduction; fuel efficiency; traffic congestion reduction; and accident prevention. EcoDrive techniques also encourage a cultural shift that inspires social responsibility to balance, consider needs of other road users, and a respectful use of resources. In summary, EcoDrive is a substantial contribution to greener and safer driving that can multiply into an enormous positive global effect.
Guiding Principles of EcoDrive:
- Reduces CO2 levels, which positively contributes to our future.
- Saves lives by reducing accidents.
- Preserves fuel resources.
- Makes driving safer, more relaxed and convenient.
- EcoDrive lowers stress, which improves health.
- EcoDrive encourages courtesy and culture of respect, which strengthens a feeling of well-being among all of us.
- EcoDrive can be done anytime, anywhere and by anyone.
１．Reduces CO2 levels, which positively contributes to our future.
The earth is warming and CO2 is a reason. By practicing EcoDrive, CO2 emissions can be reduced significantly (up to 15%, 2015 TML Study “integrated approach to reducing CO2 emissions of passenger cars”), which will help improve the future of the earth.（１）
２．Saves lives by reducing accidents.
The World health Organization reports that traffic accidents caused 1,250,00 deaths in 2010 (latest year available). EcoDrive counters this issue; professional drivers who apply the EcoDrive technique have fewer traffic accidents than other professional drivers.
３．Preserves fuel resources.
EcoDrive conserves fuel, no matter the form (i.e. electric, hydrogen, petrol, etc.). Even though technology greatly increased fuel efficiency, the fuel efficiency of the best “eco car” still depends on how you drive it. EcoDrive maximizes the driving experience, potentially increasing the intelligent use natural resources.
４．Makes driving safer, more relaxed and convenient.
Resisting “jack-rabbit” starts and avoiding the need to “hit the brakes” makes driving safer, more relaxed and convenient for everyone on the road. Caring about the experience of others leads to prudence, care, caution and planning. This is the cornerstone of mindfulness and respect – and we firmly believe that mindfulness and respect leads to a more peaceful world.
５．EcoDrive lowers stress, which improves health.
When a human being is stressed, the heart rate rises and the blood pressure increases – and over time, this causes negative health effects. Further, stress can trigger a seizure or stroke for a person with an underlying health problem – and if this happens while driving, the consequences can be dire. The skill set developed through EcoDrive reinforces a calm and conscious mindset which encourages the skill set developed through EcoDrive – this is a satisfying stress-management feedback loop that inspires “grace under pressure” when behind the wheel of an automobile.
６．EcoDrive encourages courtesy and culture of respect, which strengthens a feeling of well-being among all of us.
Education and respect are foundation of good behavior. EcoDrive encourages drivers to behave respectfully on the road, which translates to patient and thoughtful driving. Courtesy is catching! This includes avoiding all forms of distracted driving such as improper use of mobile devices. It is recommended that drivers refrain from taking their eyes off of the road.
７．EcoDrive can be done anytime, anywhere and by anyone.
EcoDrive changes the way we drive. These simple changes encourage an important shift in the driver’s mindset and behavior on the road – globally. They remember that they are their own precious cargo and outside the vehicle are partners. They learn to “let to” because they understand that even when things are not optimal, a calm driver is a safe driver.
EcoDrive promotes safer driving; limits stress; and improves comfort; students of the technique evolve into patient and considerate drivers. Further, the good new habits learned through EcoDrive can be practiced and perfected by any driver in any vehicle on any road, anywhere in the world.
EcoDrive is cultivated in the small space between the engine and the trunk, yet it’s effect expands throughout the world.
（１）See for example TML study: http://www.tmleuven.be/project/aceacars/home.htm
- Accelerate Gently.
- Maintain a steady speed and keep a safe distance to the car in front.
- Slow down by releasing the accelerator
- Make appropriate use of air conditioner.
- Do not idle the engine while standing still.
- Plan your trip to avoid congested route.
- Check the tire pressure regularly.
- Avoid unnecessary loads to reduce weight.
- Respect Parking rules and regulations.
- Monitor the Fuel Efficiency.
When speed is increased at relaxed pace, it boosts fuel efficiency by 10%. Aim for a speed of 20km/h in 5 seconds, which is a gentle acceleration that contributes to safer driving. Using lowest possible engine speed (rpm) helps improving fuel efficiency; especially low rpm driving at steady speed saves fuel and reduces CO2.
２．Maintain a steady speed and keep a safe distance to the car in front.
Maintain a steady speed because tailgating leads to unnecessary acceleration/ deceleration, resulting in 2-6% better fuel efficiency (or: lower fuel consumption) measured in urban and suburban areas.
３．Slow down by releasing the accelerator
Rather than engaging the breaks, release the accelerator to slow down at traffic lights, stops signs and gridlock; this behavior corresponds with 2% gain in fuel efficiency.
４．Make appropriate use of air conditioner.
The AC function is for cooling and dehumidifying only so select the temperature wisely. Please note that continuous use AC function at 20°C (77F) when outside temperature is 25°C results in a 12% loss of fuel efficiency.
５．Do not idle the engine while standing still.
When waiting or loading/unloading, make a habit of turning your engine off rather than let it idle. Ten minutes of engine idling with the AC off wastes 130cc of fuel.
６．Plan your trip to avoid congested route.
Check traffic information to avoid congested areas and save time and fuel. Ten minutes of unnecessary driving in a one-hour trip results in a 17% drop in fuel efficiency.
７．Check the tire pressure regularly.
Driving on tires that have air pressure lower than 50kPa (0.5kg/cm3) could decrease the fuel efficiency by 2% in urban areas and 4% in suburban areas. Additionally: underinflated tyres are a safety risk. Timely replacement of motor oil, oil filters, etc. also contributes to improved fuel efficiency.
８．Avoid unnecessary loads to reduce weight.
Weight is a key factor in fuel efficiency performance. Driving with 100kg of unnecessary weight causes a 4% loss in fuel efficiency. Another factor is aerodynamic drag, which can be reduced by removing exterior rack equipment when not used.
９．Respect Parking rules and regulations.
Illegal or imprudent parking causes traffic congestion, which leads to lower fuel efficiency, increased emissions and a higher risk of accidents.
１０．Monitor the Fuel Efficiency.
If possible, monitor fuel efficiency with vehicle’s onboard equipment. Otherwise, calculate fuel efficiency at the time of refueling to full tank with this equation: Distance driven (km) ÷ Refueled amount (Liter) = fuel efficiency (km/L).
|Please note: to successfully participate in EcoDrive, cultural boundaries must be respected. Therefore, small aspects will be adjusted for each country.