How you drive directly affects the amount of emissions produced by your vehicle. Ecodriving is a smooth, flowing and anticipatory driving style which aims to reduce fuel consumption.
Fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions are closely linked. Ecodrivers use less fuel, and therefore have lower vehicle running costs and emit less greenhouse gases.
- Ecodriving requires no capital investment, and the techniques apply to any type of vehicle;
- Ecodrivers are skilled drivers, able to maximise the value of their fuel;
- Ecodrivers save money, and are a valuable asset to employers;
- Skills transfer from professional to private driving;
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from driving – great for the environment and corporate emissions reduction targets;
- Reduces air toxic emissions, which improves the occupational health and safety of staff around vehicles in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces;
- Reduced maintenance costs due to less vehicle wear and tear; and
- Ecodrivers are typically safer drivers, and studies indicate they are less stressed and fatigued when driving.
Key Ecodriving Techniques
The following techniques are easily learned and, over time, become fuel saving habits:
- Avoid unnecessary idling. If you are going to stop for more than a few seconds, except in traffic, turn off the engine. Remember, idling gets you nowhere.
- Look up, plan ahead and mind the gap. Scanning the road ahead and maintaining a safe following distance allows you to anticipate traffic and adjust your driving accordingly.
- Drive smoothly. Keep a steady speed. Accelerate slowly and brake gently when needed.
- Smart use of air conditioning. Maintain your comfort without wasting fuel.
- Use your gears effectively. Change up through the gears quickly and drive with a low RPM.
You can complement ecodriving to reduce your fuel use, and lower emissions even further, by considering:
- Vehicle maintenance. Regular servicing and maintenance reduces fuel consumption. Tyre choice can make a substantial difference to fuel use.
- Vehicle operation, including vehicle choice, loading and aerodynamic drag. The shape and weight of your vehicle – including what loads it carries – can significantly impact fuel consumption.
Once you've mastered the fundamentals of ecodriving, check out our ecodriving pro tips.