Eco-driving goes beyond EVs and hybrid cars. It involves making changes to how you drive, how you behave on the roads, and how you treat your car. By doing so, you can reduce your impact on the environment and on your wallet.
Eco-driving is smart, smooth and safe driving. This approach saves energy and enhances the environmental quality while reaping the benefits of fuel savings. One of the most effective tips to start eco-driving is to change one’s mindset when we are behind the wheels.
ANTICIPATE TRAFFIC FLOW
Over-eagerness to speed up and close in on other vehicles does not necessarily get you to your destination faster. It’s not a healthy or safe way to drive, either! You should instead try and read the road situation as far ahead as possible. Focus on anticipating the flow of the traffic. This affords a greater opportunity to maximise your car’s momentum. Keeping to a safe distance between you and the car ahead also optimises your options when traffic flow fluctuates. You can easily react to these fluctuations by easing on the accelerator pedal and keeping unnecessary braking to a minimum. The fewer stops and starts you make, the better.
MAINTAIN A STEADY SPEED
An essential tip to effective eco-driving is maintaining a steady speed at a low RPM (revs per minute). The trick is to deliver a smooth and even pace at every available opportunity. This helps to maximise your car’s efficiency and minimise emissions to the environment. Don’t put stress on your car’s engine by constantly speeding and braking — not only does it result in unnecessary fuel wastage and safety risk, it may not be good for your blood pressure, either!
SHIFT UP EARLY
Aim to drive at the highest possible gear at a low RPM. Speeding with high or even medium RPM can drastically increase fuel consumption. Shifting to a higher gear early is recommended. In most vehicles it is best to shift to a higher gear when your car reaches about 2,000RPM. When travelling uphill, choose a gear that does not require you to fully depress the accelerator pedal.
Keeping your car well-maintained goes a long way towards maximising its performance and efficiency level. One of the most basic steps is ensuring that your tyres are at the right pressure. Tyre pressure has an effect on your car’s fuel consumption. A tyre that is too low in pressure creates a greater degree of rolling resistance, as more of the tyre comes into contact with the road surface. This resistance adds to unnecessary fuel wastage. When adjusting your car’s tyre pressure, check the car’s optimal pressure as stated in the car manual.
LOSE EXCESS WEIGHT
Don’t overburden your car with unnecessary weight. Your car should not be your storeroom; remove equipment and items not in use. If transporting heavy items, don’t let it linger in your boot. The extra weight will have an adverse effect on your emissions and fuel economy. Also, use the car’s air con wisely. Blasting it and making the cabin uncomfortably cold is simply a waste of energy.
GREEN FREIGHT ASIAThe eco-driving tips mentioned above are advocated by Green Freight Asia (GFA). GFA is a non-profit regional association committed to improving energy and fuel efficiency, reducing greenhouse gases, and lowering operational costs across the entire supply chain — it often collaborates with companies, NGOs and governments towards this end.
As part of its Eco-driving Programme, GFA conducts Eco-driving workshops for its members. It also shares information from its eco-driving programme with both members and non-members via various owned platforms, including presentation decks, website, LinkedIn, newsletters, and workshops. A reason why GFA runs this programme is that eco-driving can not only save up to 20% in fuel and energy consumption for owners of transportation modes (cars, buses, lorries, etc), but also lower emission of greenhouse gases.
GFA’s vision is to create a green ecosystem, where companies can easily and conveniently make the conscious decision to use a carrier that has been certified green, with these green carriers identified by prominent labels. With sustainability an increasingly important issue, these labels give companies a competitive advantage. That’s where GFA’s Labelling and Certification Programme comes in. Companies can apply for the GFA Label to have their green credentials assessed. GFA Labels come in four rankings, each with different qualifying criteria that signify a company’s level of green credentials.
For information on GFA’s other programmes, check out this website.
AA SINGAPOREBeing the leading motoring association in Singapore, AA Singapore is ever-committed to playing a part in saving the environment through better driving techniques. Interested members can learn more about being an effective eco-driver through the AA’s Eco-Driving Workshop. Topics covered in the workshop include:
- Effects/impacts of speeding and myths of speed
- Benefits of eco-driving
- Eco-driving techniques
- Maximising fuel economy
- How vehicle maintenance affects fuel economy
AA Singapore Members enjoy a discounted rate when they sign up for this course. Check here for the next available session.