Automakers in the US have launched EcoDriving, a nationwide consumer awareness program to reduce fuel use and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. California and Colorado are the first states to support the initiative, which is sponsored by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The Environmental Defense Fund also participated in the launch of the EcoDriving initiative.
By following best practices for driving and vehicle maintenance, an EcoDriver can improve mileage by about 15%. Because EcoDriving produces the highest mileage from every single vehicle, regardless of vehicle size and age, it offers an immediate opportunity to affecting the nation’s entire fleet of 245 million automobiles.
If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households, according to the Alliance. If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled without generating any CO2 emissions.
Sample EcoDriving practices include not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to a driver’s advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning, and more.
Sample maintenance practices include knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and more.
In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free “Green Check-up Month” nationwide.
The Alliance’s EcoDriving consumer awareness campaign centers on an interactive website, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, to help drivers learn practical tips to improving their mileage and reducing their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an “EcoCalculator” to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.
As part of their national campaign, automakers pledged to reach out to government, business, educators and more. Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states, as well as major consumer organizations, in EcoDriving.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 10 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.