Published on Wednesday July 26, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.
Since the rise in fuel prices, the Vias Institute has organized twice as many eco-driving training courses. We tested the formula, resulting in an effective reduction in consumption.
“Take advantage of the descent and the inertia of the vehicle to stay in 6th gear as long as possible without having to brake the engine. You will put yourself in 3rd, without going into 4th just before the roundabout,” advises Jean-Noël Vanclooster, eco-driving trainer for Vias. In an Institute car, we travel around Nivelles, in towns and on the expressways.
During a first course of 15 kilometers covered in 22 minutes, we had a consumption of 7.7 liters per 100. Jean-Noël Vanclooster looked at our driving style in particular the management of the clutch, giving some prevention advice : “By anticipating as much as possible, you have to brake less, and therefore you consume less because what consumes is restarting the vehicle. And then you save your brake pads.”
During the second journey, which was perfectly identical to the first, the coaching was much more sustained, with a very rapid change from one gear to another. “The engine allows you to do this from 1,200 revolutions. The idea is to consume 0 liters as much as possible, that is to say by staying in fourth gear and maintaining an average speed with decelerations. You should definitely not put yourself in neutral because the fuel injection continues. We then consume up to 0.4-0.5 liters per hour. Modern cars have increasingly sophisticated systems to tell you when to change gear,” explains the Vias trainer.
Back at the center, we covered the same distance faster (18 minutes) but with an average consumption of 7 liters, almost 10% less. “We have to put this back on longer journeys. It all depends on the traffic density, it is difficult to practice eco-driving in traffic jams,” recognizes Jean-Noël Vanclooster. Our initiation took place on a rather powerful diesel, which made it possible to shift gears from 1,200 revs. Back in your own car, you have to adapt a little depending on the engine. “The advice is also valid for a species,” explains our trainer.
Rush on training
We only did a short initiation. “Individuals can have a whole day on the track and on the road for 325 euros. For companies, the coach travels to the location and takes each participant for 1h30. The cost is then €235,” explains Benoît Godart, spokesperson for the Vias Institute. Since the rise in fuel prices, demand has doubled. The complete training is now provided once every two days at the Nivelles center. It might be surprising that Vias organizes eco-driving courses because this does not directly relate to road safety. “On the contrary, by wanting to save on fuel, we adapt our driving and we have every chance of avoiding an accident,” concludes Benoît Godart.