Day after day, energy demand in the European Union is on the rise. And as fuel prices reach new highs, we are all faced with a huge challenge: how can we reduce our consumption and greenhouse gas emissions without having to invest in new technology?
||There’s a simple answer: EcoDriving. A few good habits, which any driver can learn and use with any vehicle, will help save money, prolong the life of the engine and actively contribute to protecting our planet.
||For example, don’t warm up the engine before taking off. You consume more by keeping the engine running for more than a minute than by switching off and restarting the engine. Also limiting air conditioning use can decrease your consumption by 5%. So air conditioning should only be used when really necessary.
Check your tyre pressure regularly. Under-inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by 4 to 5%.
||While these practices are easy to adopt and seem perfectly logical, it’s also very important to adapt your driving habits. AN-TI-CI-PA-TION is the key! Any acceleration of your vehicle feeds fuel to the engine so it is important to anticipate traffic flow to avoid any change in your speed. The name of the game when it comes to consuming less is to reach your cruising speed fairly quickly and then to use the highest gear possible. You have to shift up quickly and try to keep your vehicle at a stable speed as long as possible.
||Voice-in Bernard Goffart:
"You shift into third, and accelerate to increase the RPM… That’s it… Then change straight into fifth gear. That’s it, you’ve got it. So from time to time you can skip a gear."
In the past few years, a number of ecological driving consultation centres have been set up in different parts of Europe. The idea is to compare a driver’s results on a first test run where the person drives in his usual way and a second where the person follows the advice we have just given.
||Voice-in Bernard Goffart and the pupil:
"On the first run, we were at 7.3 litres per 100 km. What do you think our score was this time? Six litres?
We reached 4.96 litres.
By applying these rules to the letter, this driver covered the 10km run one minute and 14 seconds faster than the first time, while consuming 23 cl less. He drove 3km without using the accelerator and used the brake only half as much as for the first run. Over 10km, based on a petrol price of €1.40 per litre, the driver saved 35 cents. For an annual distance of 25,000km, that comes to a savings of 875 Euros.
||So EcoDriving offers big savings with the adoption of a few easy habits.
||ITV Ari Vatanen, MEP and former rally driver:
"It’s just being logical, it’s good for the economy, good for the life of your car and most importantly, it’s much less stressful, it’s very good for the mind!"
||To encourage everyone to adapt their driving habits and thus to save appreciably on fuel costs with almost no effort, the European Commission has decided to team up with Europia, the European Petroleum Industry Association, to promote EcoDriving. A major awareness raising campaign will be launched in several thousand service stations to inform drivers about these simple and effective solutions.
||ITV Panos Cavoulacos, President of Europia:
« We, in the oil industry, will not only improve the efficiency of our own operations but we believe we have a role to play in making that behavioural change happen among our consumers.»