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Advanced Training and Education for Safe Eco-driving of Clean Vehicles (ACTUATE)

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ACTUATE worked with public transport operators to develop, test and conduct safe eco-driving trainings for drivers of different clean vehicle types. So far safe eco-driving training was only available for diesel-engine vehicles. Therefore, the nine project partners developed and introduced training concepts for drivers of different clean vehicle types including trolleybuses, hybrid buses, ebuses equipped with "supercapacitors" (as on-board energy storage system) and trams. ACTUATE worked with five operators from four different European countries, who together operate approx. 500 trams, 310 trolleybuses and 19 hybrid buses, to improve the energy-efficiency of their clean vehicle fleets and to extend their leading position as demonstration sites for clean vehicles. In conclusion, the project was based on a sustained change in driving habits. It laid a particular focus on drivers as the pivotal element for better driving performance and energy saving. Through the use of encouragement campaigns, the trainings were designed to achieve immediate energy savings and to motivate the drivers to use their newly acquiredeco-driving skills in the long term. The outputs and results of the project – such as minimum training criteria for safe eco-driving, training materials and communication campaign templates – will help other public transport providers to educate and train their own drivers in a tried and tested manner.


Our results show that eco-driving boasts a huge potential to make bus and tram fleets safer and significantly more energy efficient. By training drivers how to operate the vehicle adapting an eco-driving style, entire electric bus and tram fleets can be made much more energy efficient. Thus, several thousand Euros and vast quantities of energy can be saved per vehicle and year. This also means a reduction of air pollution and CO2 emissions in our cities. Furthermore, it creates an even bigger environmental advantage for clean public transport vehicles over comparable diesel vehicles or private cars.
  • Based on the overall reduction of energy consumption by 4,5% as a result of the eco-driving trainings applied in ACTUATE’s public transport partner companies, this leads to primary energy savings of 549 tons of oil equivalent per year and a reduction of 2.938 tons ofgreenhouse gas emissions per year
  • More than 1.700 drivers have been trained with ACTUATE’s training programmes for safe eco-driving of clean vehicles (800 tram and 944 bus drivers).
  • More than 250 training sessions have been carried out.
  • More than 1.500 training rides have been evaluated to determine energy savings potentials of safe eco-driving behaviour.
  • More than 90% of the trained drivers rated the overall quality of the ACTUATE training as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.
  • More than 40 multipliers have been skilled to train tram drivers in Leipzig and Brno in safe eco-driving.
  • More than 70 trainers from 28 public transport operators have been educated in train-the-trainer workshops to perform the safe ecodriving trainings at their companies.
  • More than 70 drivers tested the ACTUATE e-learning modules to refresh drivers’ knowledge on eco-driving and rated the modules almost completely as successful and recommendable.

Lessons learned

If you would like to implement ecodriving in your organization, we have the following tips:
  1. Be well organized and plan ahead when introducing safe eco-driving training programmes
  2. Understand the existing levels of energy-consumption in your fleet of different public transport vehicles, so that you know what the established benchmark is and how much energy can be saved by introducing eco-driving
  3. Higher energy savings can be reached through the use of measurement devices. Install these easy-to-understand and highly-illustrative tools
  4. Make sure the senior-level management is committed to the eco-driving training programmes
  5. Don’t misuse the data resulting from the monitoring of energy consumption for the purpose of controlling individual driving performances
  6. Organize the practical parts of trainings in small groups of not more than 4 to 6 people, so that you can engage all drivers suffieciently in the training session
  7. Make use of illustrative training material such as brochures, color codes or short driving instruction movies
  8. Make sure the senior management embraces/ promotes a learning culture in your organization, which includes both internal as well as external communication
  9. Make use of an in-house motivation campaign that supports your goals with visually appealing material, a fun rewards system and – if agreed – financial incentives for the drivers
  10. Promote your eco-driving related goals with a creative advertisement campaign to gain support from the public

Partners and coordinator

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Rupprecht Consult - Forschung & Beratung GmbH
Contact point: 
Wolfgang Backhaus
+49 221 60 60 55 - 19


Key documents

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In brief

01/08/2012 to 31/01/2015
Contract number: