Tests performed by Ford Motor Company and Pro Formance drivers found that 48 motorists coached by eco-driving experts saw results ranging from 6% fuel economy improvement to more than 50%, depending on their driving style and ability to master eco-driving behaviors. The average fuel economy improvement was 24%.
Eco-driving instructors coached drivers to employ smoother breaking and accelerating, monitor their RPMs and drive at a moderate speed. 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.
People are actually trained to do this? I presumed most people are aware their driving habits do not optimize fuel economy, but for various reasons (high time preference, not wanting to focus on something so seemingly trivial, image, etc) did not try to adjust those habits to lower fuel usage.
I need to finally get that damn bumper sticker I regularly wish I had when I'm on the road, especially when someone rides my tail, starts gesticulating, looks backwards over his left shoulder, zips by on my left while initially glaring in my direction before reacting in a host of ways to my best exagerrated Hillary smile gleaming right back at him, and then swings back into the right lane in a failed attempt to cut it close, since he's going faster than I am. The sticker will read "Relax, I'm teaching you to be a better driver".
A couple of years ago, I revealed my 'secrets' to obliterating the EPA listing for the stallion I've had since I depleted my savings to buy it on my sixteenth birthday. The EPA, notoriously known for being overly optimistic, states an average economy of 23 mpg. I get 31 by doing a few simple things (admittedly, I compromise out of courtesy when it is socially or professionally necessary to do so):
- Inflate all tires to 42 psi.
- Never top 55 mph.
- Keep engine rpms under 2,000 at all times.
- Never use the AC.
- Crack the driver's side window an inch, leaving all others up.
- Ease the accelerator slightly during accelerations to cause a premature gear shift (it's an automatic).
- Study traffic signals assiduously as I approach from a distance, attempting to minimize the use of braking by speeding up or coasting depending on the point in the intersection's cycle.
The EPA estimates that eco-driving techniques will increase the average driver's fuel efficiency by 15%. I've been able to realize more than twice that. It's really not something you need professional instruction to pull off. Just make a game of it. Among the most satisfying victories you will have is when someone does to you what I described previously, beats you by a few hundred feet to the next intersection at which he has to come to a complete stop, and then gets to enjoy you cruising by him at 45 mph as you anticipate the signal turning green and thus do not have to slow at all, leaving him behind with the opportunity for the process to repeat itself on your way to the next major intersection.
Sounds like a pretty crappy game to you? Well, do it for Mother Earth or to impoverish the House of Saud, then!