28
Aug
08

Eco-Driving Improves Fuel Economy

Ford tests show Eco-Driving can improve fuel economy by an average of 24 percent.

Tests performed by Ford Motor Company show that motorists coached by eco-driving experts can significantly improve the fuel economy performance of their cars, trucks or SUVs.

Eco-driving refers to specific driving behaviors that can improve fuel economy, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote safe driving. Ford and Phoenix-based Pro Formance Group have teamed up to pilot an eco-driving program for fleet customers. The program would employ certified master trainers to deliver hands-on coaching to maximize mileage in everyday driving.

Ford’s eco-driving initiative builds on the recent launch by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, of a comprehensive nationwide effort to promote eco-driving at http://www.EcoDrivingUSA.com.

Proven Results
Over a four-day period, Ford and the Pro Formance drivers conducted validation tests using volunteers from Phoenix who were given individual coaching on specific driving behaviors. The Sports Car Club of America verified the results, which showed an average 24 percent improvement in fuel economy as a result of hands-on eco-driving training.

The 48 total drivers who took part in the validation tests saw results ranging from 6 percent fuel economy improvement to more than 50 percent, depending on their driving style and ability to master eco-driving behaviors. Eco-driving instructors coached drivers to employ smoother braking and accelerating, monitor their RPMs and drive at a moderate speed.

Maximizing Mileage
Among the eco-driving practices that drivers can begin practicing on their own are driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph, keeping tires properly inflated at the recommended pressure, and eliminating prolonged idling. Hands-on instruction is critical for achieving full potential of eco-driving since instructions for eco-driving techniques must be customized after instructors have had the opportunity to observe individual driving habits and then provide coaching for more fuel efficient driving techniques.

To learn more about how you can maximize your mileage, please see the accompanying list of 10 eco-driving tips.

Certified for Success
Eco-driving training was launched by Ford in Germany in the 1990s in cooperation with the German Road Safety Council. In the only industry-based drivers’ eco-training course, specially trained and certified instructors run programs for several target groups including fleet drivers and customers. Several of the master trainers recently traveled to Ford in Dearborn to teach the coaching techniques to drivers with the Pro Formance Group. They will now leverage Ford of Germany’s eco-driving expertise to develop a pilot program that would certify eco-driving instructors to train Ford’s fleet customers.

Ford is working with Pro Formance which also provides training for Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programs aimed at teen drivers. Pro Formance instructors typically come from a racing background and have an intimate knowledge of a vehicle’s mechanics and their handling dynamics. They have hundreds of hours of experience observing driving behavior and communicating how best to maximize a vehicle’s performance for fuel efficiency and safety.

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