Drive Green, Save Green
Did you know?
Fuel makes up a large part of vehicle expenditures, but car payments, insurance, finance charges, maintenance and repairs add up, too. The American Automobile Association estimates that the average sedan cost $8,946 to operate in 2012.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, transportation is the largest single expenditure for the average American, other than housing. In 2010, transportation cost more than food and more than twice the health care costs of the average U.S. household.
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds.
Save money and improve air quality all from your driver’s seat! Through “eco-driving”, individuals and organizations can achieve fuel conservation results as high as 30 percent just by changing the way they drive and manage their vehicle(s). Added bonus, eco-driving is even safer!
Here are a few tips on how to be an eco-driving road warrior:
- Choose Wisely, Don’t “Super-Size” It: When you’re in the market for a new vehicle or choosing between them for trips, pick the one with the best fuel efficiency (or even an alternative fuel vehicle, like a hybrid or Flex Fuel vehicle). Smaller vehicles get better gas mileage, saving money and reducing emissions.
- Be Smooth, Coast to Coast: By easing into stops and starts you will be more likely to stay in the RPM “sweet spot”, using less fuel as you go about your business. Go the extra mile with eco-driving by coasting (safely!) on the downhills.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Keeping your speed under 65 miles per hour whenever possible will have you stopping at the gas station less and breathing easier.
- Lighten Up: Take a good hard look in your trunk and decide what you really need for the next trip. Less weight means less fuel burned. While you’re at it, remove unneeded roof racks and anything else that will be a drag on your savings.
- Don’t be Idle: Modern vehicles don’t need to warm up, so idling any longer than 30 seconds means wasted fuel and money, and extra air pollution.
The Clean Transportation Group at the North Carolina Solar Center offers half-day hands-on eco-driving training sessions for organizations. Please contact CleanTransportation@ncsu.edu for more information.
Preview the Solar Center’s Eco-driving training here!
NC Department of Transportation – Drive Green to watch short video and download printable flyers with 10 eco driving tips.