DENVER The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade association comprised of car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen, have launched a nationwide effort to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The initiative, called EcoDriving, is also being supported by the Environmental Defense Fund.
By following a set of what the Alliance calls “subtle and easy-to-use” best practices for driving and vehicle maintenance, a typical EcoDriver can improve mileage by about 15 percent.
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 and understanding when to use air conditioning.
Sample maintenance practices include knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure and understanding aerodynamics.
The association states that 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. If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions. That’s 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman and child in the United States each year, said the Alliance.
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 Web site, 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 its national campaign, automakers pledged to reach out to government, business and educators. Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states, as well as major consumer organizations, in EcoDriving.