How To: Improve Your Gas Mileage

TreeHugger prefers not to drive, but we know there are times and circumstances where you have to climb behind the wheel. For all of those times, there are a couple new projects out there to help us all keep the gas consumption low and efficiency high. LowCVP, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, just finished up their "Low Carbon Road Transport Challenge," which called on policy and academic communities to contribute new or innovative proposals to enable the UK to accelerate the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels and help meet climate change targets. One of the winning entries came from Associate Professor Steven Cousins at the School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science at Cranfield University, whose idea is to develop new instrumentation for cars that keeps track of carbon emissions and gas mileage, to better help drivers practice more efficient driving. The conclusion of the tests done by the Professor were this: "The widespread adoption of ergonomically excellent vehicle instrumentation will improve the driver’s understanding of the costs and benefits of vehicle use, and has great potential to improve the choices we make. The evidence points to long-term changes in behaviour arising from time and money displays and more immediate responses to gear change indicators and the like."

This is interesting, but still at the theoretical level, for anyone who wasn't involved in the test, at least. Little did we know that such a device is already in wide use in Finland. Econen is a Finnish fuel consumption meter, which adapts to the way of driving and helps to drive more economically. In addition to the meter, Econen also offers a training program to improve driving efficiency and maximize the benefits of having the meter onboard. There has been a 15 percent reduction in fuel use and a four percent increase in productivity thanks to the smoother driving by users of Econen's meter. ::Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and ::Econen via ::Hugg