Phoenix, Arizona – Tests performed by the Ford Motor Company resulted in 48 drivers obtaining an average 24 per cent improvement in fuel economy as a result of “eco-driving”. The term refers to specific driving behaviours that affect fuel economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote safe driving.

Ford teamed up with Phoenix-based Pro Formance Group to pilot an eco-driving program for fleet customers. The program would employ certified master trainers to deliver hands-on coaching.

Over a four-day period, Ford and the Pro Formance drivers conducted validation tests with 48 volunteer drivers, who were given individual coaching on specific driving behaviours. Results verified by the Sports Car Club of America showed an average 24 per cent improvement in fuel economy as a result of hands-on eco-driving. Individual results ranged from six to more than 50 per cent improvement, depending on the driving style and ability to master the behaviours.

Among the practices that drivers can begin using on their own are driving 55 mph (88 km/h) instead of 65 mph (104 km/h), keeping tires properly inflated to the recommended pressure, and eliminating prolonged idling.

Ford launched eco-driving training in Germany in the 1990s in cooperation with the German Road Safety Council. “We are talking with fleet owners first, because they have large numbers of vehicles and drivers that could realize significant benefit from such training,” said Curt Magleby, director of Governmental Affairs at Ford. “Ultimately, all drivers can benefit from practising eco-driving, and one day it may be considered mandatory as part of all new drivers’ training.”

For more information on eco-driving, visit EcoDrivingUSA.

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