Eco-driving has been recognised as one of the most efficient measures to stimulate energy efficiency in transport at EU level. Eco-driving can be defined as a smart and efficient manner of driving, which in the best way uses the advantages of the new technologies in traffic, and at the same time increases traffic safety. As one of the vital components of sustainable mobility, eco-driving significantly contributes to environmental protection and reduction of noxious gases.
For this reason, as part of the programme Intelligent Energy in Europe – IEE, on 1 May 2010 the project ECOWILL was launched, aimed at mass implementation of the eco-driving standards in the driving lessons programme, and the implementation of the campaign and training among the licensed drivers. The project worth €3 million lasted until April 2013, and it was headed by the Austrian Energy Agency with 13 European partners, including the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar as the Croatian partner. Under the project 95 eco-driving instructors were trained and 500 eco-driving trainings were held, resulting in the fact that the training on eco-driving under the Ordinance on training of candidates in driving schools 13 January 2009. (OG 13/09) became a compulsory part of the standard training of drivers in driving schools.
Attending the eco-driving training and applying the acquired principles in practice should enable the participants to reduce fuel consumption by 10% on average, and the eco-driving training itself takes about 60 minutes.
The advantages of eco-driving are numerous:
- Reduces GHG emissions
- Reduces local emissions of noxious gases
- Reduces noise
- Increases traffic safety, contributes to the more responsible driving
- Improves driving abilities
- Reduces fuel consumption
- Reduces vehicle maintenance costs
- Reduces the costs caused by traffic accidents
- Reduces stress during the driving
- Increases comfort during the driving for both the driver and passengers
Rules of eco-driving:
- Shift up to a higher gear early, between 2000 and 2500 rpm
- Maintain a steady speed and drive in the highest gear at low rpm
- Anticipate traffic flow and adjust your driving accordingly
- When you have to slow down or stop, brake smoothly by releasing the accelerator pedal on time, and leave the engine idling
- Regularly check tyre pressure since the pressure 25% lower than the nominal tyre inflation pressure increases rolling resistance by 10%, consequently increasing fuel consumption by 2%
In order to train as many as possible professional drivers on the eco-driving principles, in 2013 the Fund cooperated with the ORYX Group on the project “Training eco-driving”, resulting in 170 training sessions and savings ranging from 8 to 18%. Also in 2013, a Call for proposals for companies was launched, under which almost 1500 trainings worth more than 2 million kunas were held, which the Fund co-financed with 700.000 HRK. Cooperation was established with the following companies: INA, Konzum, GPP Osijek, Libertas Dubrovnik, Čazmatrans, Franck, Jamnica, Tisak, Ledo, Hrvatska pošta, Zvijezda, KD Autotrolej, etc. The co-financing programme continued in September 2014 with half a million kunas approved, with the follow-up in May 2015.