Automakers Introduce EcoDriving Consumer Awareness Initiative

by Benjamin Jones on August 19, 2008

Recently, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers announced an initative called EcoDriving, aimed at educating consumers on how to drive more efficiently to reduce fuel usage. When you head on over to the site, the first thing you will notice is Governor Schwarzenegger’s welcoming voice, as he explains to you a bit of what EcoDriving is about.

First, I must say that I feel slightly vindicated by this announcement. I have long been a fan of the term EcoDriving, since it hints at many of the reasons people do it (eg, environmental, economics, etc). Hypermiling, by contrast, just sounds extreme. Knowing nothing about either hypermiling or ecodriving, I think most people would choose ecodriving just because it doesn’t sound insane. And when you couple that with all the negative press surrounding hypermiling (regarding issues like drafting and hyperinflation of tires, which I am against), ecodriving is by far the friendlier, more accurate term for the way most efficiency-minded people drive, in my opinion.

Compared to EcoModder’s list, the EcoDriving campaign is definitely much simpler, but it’s those core practices that can be expanded upon by people who want to get even better mileage. The most exciting things about the fledgling EcoDriving initiative are the interesting tools to help drivers understand EcoDriving, like this game. Granted, it’s a little hard to steer in the game and you’ll likely crash a few times (killing your EcoRating), but it’s an interesting, interactive way to show people how driving style impacts efficiency.

In the end, it all comes down to education and accessibility. So if you’re really interested, go check out some of the printed materials and show them to your friends, family, or just drop them around work where other interested people might find them. If you’re really motivated, sign up for the EcoModder forums to discuss getting the most out of your car on a daily basis. I really like this campaign’s hands-on approach, and I think it will work to make ecodriving accessible to a lot more people.

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1 Marcus S August 23, 2008 at 5:25 pm

This kind of thing pops up again every time gas prices rise. I have a copy of popular mechanics from 1958 with an article on MPG rallies and contests. Another article polls readers on what they want from Detriot. Guess what? Top of the list is better fuel economy. 50 years of automakers shafting consumers… My bet is that they will find a way to do it again. Corporate culture is rotten. Compost it.

Ecodriving is yet another co-opted slogan for something not Eco at all. Like sustainable oil fields. What’s next? Sustainable war? Wait, that one’s taken too.

My question is why have they not been doing this all along?

Love and carbon neutral hugs,


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