Denver, Colorado – The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has announced EcoDriving, a comprehensive U.S. program designed to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon dioxide emissions. California and Colorado have become the first states to support the consumer awareness program, which also includes participation by the Environmental Defense Fund.

“You can save money and save the environment by driving green,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance. “Through EcoDriving, ten top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Govenor Schwarzenegger and Governor Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving. Drivers don’t have to wait to buy a new, fuel-efficient vehicle to start reducing fuel costs and CO2, though I do encourage everyone to buy one of our new fuel-efficient vehicles immediately.”

By following a set of subtle and easy-to-use practices for driving and vehicle maintenance, a typical EcoDriver can improve mileage by about 15 per cent. “Today’s automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system,” McCurdy said. “The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions.”

Sample practices include not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, and understanding when to use air conditioning. Vehicle maintenance includes knowing which motor oil to use, and understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and aerodynamics.

The consumer awareness campaign centres on an interactive website at EcoDrivingUSA.

As part of the national campaign, the Alliance hopes to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving. “We’re all in this together, so there’s a role for each one of us to play in being part of the solution to these critical issues,” McCurdy said. “Automakers are aggressively developing and introducing new technologies, but it takes 15 years or more for these technologies to become widespread on the road. EcoDriving helps consumers reduce carbon dioxide emissions today.”

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association that includes BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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