Eco-driving: here’s how to save 10% of your fuel
By Yannick Hallet Since the rise in fuel prices, the Vias Institute has organized twice as many eco-driving training sessions. We tested the formula, resulting in an effective reduction in consumption.
“Take advantage of the descent and the inertia of the vehicle to stay as long as possible in 6th gear without having the engine brake. You will put yourself in 3rd, without going through 4th just before the roundabout”, advises Jean-Noël Vanclooster, eco-driving trainer for Vias. In a car belonging to the Institute, we criss-cross the surroundings of Nivelles, in urban areas 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 trip, perfectly identical to the first, the coaching was much more sustained, with a very rapid transition from one gear to another. “The engine allows you to do this from 1,200 rpm. The idea is to be as much as possible in 0 liter consumption, ie by staying in fourth gear and maintaining an average speed with decelerations. It is important not to go into neutral because the fuel injection continues. One then consumes up to 0.4-0.5 liters per hour. Modern cars have more and more sophisticated systems to tell you when to change gear,” says the trainer from Vias.
Back in the center, we traveled the same distance faster (18 minutes) but with an average consumption of 7 liters, almost 10% less. “We have to put that back on longer journeys. It all depends on the density of traffic, which is difficult to practice eco-driving in traffic jams,” admits Jean-Noël Vanclooster. Our initiation took place on a rather powerful diesel, which made it possible to shift gears from 1,200 rpm. Back in your own car, you have to adapt a bit depending on the engine. “The advice is also valid for an essence”, specifies our trainer.
Rush on training
We only did a short initiation. “Individuals can have a full day on 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. Full training is now provided once every two days at the Nivelles center. One might be surprised that Vias organizes eco-driving courses because this does not directly concern road safety. “On the contrary, by wanting to save on fuel, you adapt your driving and you have every chance of avoiding an accident,” concludes Benoît Godart.
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