November, 2008

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors


ASHI Member Recommends “EcoDriving” National Fuel Use/CO2 Reduction Program

EDITED BY ASHI STAFF

Roger Hankey, an ASHI Certified Inspector who serves on the Technical Committee, recommended the Web site EcoDriv-ingUSA.com as a resource for home inspectors. The Web site represents a nationwide effort to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturer’s’ EcoDriving consumer awareness campaign centers on an interactive Web site, www.EcoDrivingUSA.com, to 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.

Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have committed to engaging consumers in green driving. Drivers don’t have to wait to buy a new, fuel-efficient vehicle to start reducing fuel costs and CO2. By following a set of subtle and easy-to-use best practices for driving and vehicle maintenance, a typical EcoDriver™ can improve mileage by about 15 percent.

“Today’s automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.  “The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions.

EcoDriving produces the highest mileage from every single vehicle, regardless of vehicle size and age, so it offers an unmatched reach in addressing energy and climate issues by potentially affecting the nation’s entire fleet of 245 million automobiles. The program’s benefits are potentially huge:

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, 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.
As part of their national campaign, automakers pledged to reach out to government, business, educators and more. Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states, as well as major consumer organizations, in EcoDriving. “We’re all in this together, so there’s a role for each one of us to play in being a part of the solution to these critical issues,” added McCurdy.

“Automakers are aggressively developing and introducing new technologies, but it takes 15 years or more for these technologies to become widespread on the road. EcoDriving helps consumers reduce carbon dioxide emissions today,” said McCurdy.

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. For more information, visit the Alliance website at www.autoalliance.org.