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What is eco-driving ?Bruneau

The company JM Bruneau is doing whatever it can to contribute to the building of an environment-friendly world. At the same time, JMB tries to stimulate its clients to do the same thing with giving them extra information on the subject. Among others, eco-driving is one of the advices. The « Bond Beter Leefmilieu Vlaanderen » (Federation for a Better Environment in Flanders) is considered to be the trailblazer when it comes to the diffusion of information on eco-driving.

Eco-driving refers to the strategic use of all the technical possibilities of the car (or the vehicle in general) and the fuel in order to drive in the most economic way. This means that eco-driving involves the adaptation of your driving style in a way that it is more ecologically and economically well-balanced. Several studies have proved that their is a slightly small, but pratically neglectable, difference between an unadapted driving style and eco-driving. When you drive more carefully, you will save approximately between 2 and 3 liters fuel for every 100km. Even the difference in the medium speed would almost not be noticed : between 2 and 3 km/hour. Next, you will find some extra advice to adopt a more environment-friendly driving style :

Short or long ride

Always try to avoid short rides with your car. In this case, it is better to take the public transport. If you do need to go for a long ride, try to choose for the most efficient way, without lots of detours. This explains why it is necessary to determine always exactly the way before you head out in your car. When you want to park your car somewhere, always try to do this following the rules, i.e. in the direction of the traffic flow, since this allows you to leave the parking lot without having to execute complicated manœuvres with a cold engine. Leave as fast as possible without pushing too much the accelerator. It is also definitely not recommended to preheat the engine before driving away. If the engine is cold, try to avoid to push immediately the accelerator. In case you already know that you will need to wait more than half a minute in a particular spot, it is better to turn off the engine.

Speed-related

Always try to drive at a constant speed, and when you need to change to a higher acceleration level, do this as fast as possible (e.g. counting from 2000 rpm). Just don’t drive too fast. Starting from 100km/hour, the total fuel consumption will depend mostly on the speed. Moreover, it is also recommended to be concentrated when driving and to try to speculate what could happen in the traffic in a minute from now. This allows you to drive in the most economic way and it gives you the opportunity to let the vehicle drive at its end when you approach for instance a crossing or some traffic lights. Abruptly slamming on the brakes will therefore not be necessary and at the same time, you will be reducing your total fuel consumption to zero. On the other hand, when you need to slow down, just press softly on the brake pedal in stead of changing the acceleration level and connecting again.

Others

Another important factor is the tyre pressure, since the 4 tyres establish the only contact between the vehicle and the underground. In case you don’t know which is the correct tyre pressure, you can always ask some advice at your car dealer. Either way, when this is too low, it will cause you a lot of trouble. Furthermore, you better do not attach top boxes, roof racks nor bicycles stands to your vehicle, when it is absolutely not necessary. Spare this for weekend trips or for travelling, since these particular accessories result in an supplementary fuel consumption of 35%. The same happens when you turn on the airconditioning. So, we will give you in this situation the same advice : don’t use it when it is not really necessary.

One remark : there is also a downside to eco-driving. Although the general emission of gases is strongly reduced, the separate components of the engine will wear out faster and pollute more quickly. After all, these components can only be cleaned with harmful, chemical products that won’t do any good to the preservation of the environment. In conclusion : as a driver, you will need to find the golden mean between « moving at a snail’s pace » or « racing like a F1 pilot ».