Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to kick off a new EcoDriving campaign to save consumers money at the pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.
"The EcoDriving campaign offers easy actions that all of us can take – starting today, right now – to save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit the environment," Gov. Ritter said. "By adopting EcoDriving tips, we can lower our fuel costs by 15 percent or more. And these are easy, common-sense driving and maintenance tips, like avoiding rapid starts and stops, using cruise control, reducing idling, and knowing when it's best to use your air conditioner."
Colorado and California are the first two states to support the consumer awareness campaign, details of which are available at the interactive website www.EcoDrivingUSA.com. Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared at today's news conference at the Colorado Convention Center via a live satellite feed from California.
"You can save money and save the environment by driving green," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving."
"Today's automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system," McCurdy added. "The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions."
With 240 million vehicles on the road in the United States, the benefits of EcoDriving could be significant:
· - If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.
· - If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions. That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.
Sample EcoDriving practices include:
· - Not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, and using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.
Sample maintenance practices include:
· - Knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.
In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free "Green Check-up Month" nationwide.
The EcoDriving interactive website, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, will help drivers learn practical tips to improve their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.
Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 10 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.