Eco driving is easy!

It’s all about patience and anticipation.

An everyday scenario on our roads

Aggressive driving – braking, accelerating, braking, accelerating – wastes a lot of fuel. Try to avoid this style of driving in the city, where it makes more sense to slow down early and let the car coast rather than wasting expensive fuel by accelerating up to every crossroads and braking at the last second. Patience, forward thinking and optimum use of the vehicle’s momentum are the key to eco driving. At a medium speed you are more relaxed, you cause less noise pollution and your fuel consumption is substantially lower. The same applies to highways and motorways.

The time you save by driving aggressively on a busy motorway is hardly worth it. You can confirm this by checking your arrival time on the vehicle’s navigation system. Leave a good distance between you and the car in front to give yourself more room for manoeuvre. Also, change lanes early if there is an obstacle ahead and accelerate/decelerate sensibly.

Use high gears and low revs!

Manual transmission

Use 1st gear to get the car moving
2nd gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
3rd gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM,
4th gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
5th gear up to approx. 2,000 RPM
6th gear at your cruising speed.

Don’t accelerate up to maximum revs before changing gear. Instead, accelerate quickly (full-load acceleration). Drive in 1st gear for the length of your vehicle and then shift up quickly into the other gears when you get into the medium revs range (1,500 – 2,000 RPM). This allows you to achieve your target speed faster so that you can cruise along in top gear. Also try shifting up two gears at a time, e.g. from 3rd to 5th or 4th to 6th.

Automatic transmission

Lift your foot off the accelerator briefly when accelerating and the car will shift up into the next higher gear. We recommend that you use the eco mode or D settings with automatic transmission vehicles. Driving at low revs doesn’t harm modern engines, but driving at high revs does. It also unnecessarily increases fuel consumption and harms the environment.

Uphill driving
Very high fuel consumption

e.g. driving uphill at 60 km/h
3rd gear 2,600 RPM = 13.1 litres
4th gear 2,000 RPM = 11.5 litres
5th gear 1,500 RPM = 9.8 litres

Traditional uphill driving methods are outdated. In the past we shifted down a gear before the incline to make the most of engine power. This isn’t necessary today because the engines in modern-day cars achieve optimum torque in the range of 1,400 to 2,000 RPM, which means you can easily drive uphill in a higher gear today. The accelerator pedal should be pressed all the way down to the floor (or approx. ¾ of the way down with a manual transmission). This reduces your fuel consumption.
Why? Fuel consumption depends on RPM, not accelerator pedal position. At a low RPM in a high gear you use less fuel.

Downhill driving
Zero fuel consumption

Driving downhill is much easier because the vehicle’s overrun cut-off helps you out. Select a suitable gear and use the engine brake as usual. The fuel supply is cut off, reducing your consumption to zero. This only works if you leave the car in gear, so don’t disengage the clutch. With a disengaged clutch you will be using fuel unnecessarily.
Test out these techniques in built-up areas, on highways and on motorways. They really work!

Switching off the engine benefits everyone

A good idea

Switch off the engine whenever practical. Vehicles with start/stop technology are designed to operate at optimum efficiency all the time. It makes sense to cut the engine if you are stationary for more than 30 seconds: so switch off at every railway crossing and in motorway traffic jams. When the engine is running idle it consumes between 0.8 and 1.5 litres of fuel per hour. 3 minutes of running idle uses the same amount of fuel as driving 1 kilometre at 50 km/h. When you drive in built-up areas you will inevitably find yourself standing at traffic lights, junctions or in heavy traffic. Try turning off the engine in these kinds of situations, or at railway crossings. But leave the ignition switched on so that the electrical consumers and lighting stay on, which ensures that other road users can see you.

Less can be more

Remove unnecessary loads!

Additional fuel consumption with
roof rack: approx. 0.7 litres
roof box: approx. 1.5 litres
bicycles: approx. 2 – 4 litres.

Anything on the roof, such as bicycles or roof racks/boxes, turns the vehicle into a real fuel guzzler. The aerodynamic drag caused by these superstructures substantially increases fuel consumption. Think about what you’ve got in your boot too. There may be items in there that you don’t need. The rule of thumb is: for every 100 kilograms lower vehicle weight, fuel consumption is reduced by up to 0.5 litres per 100 kilometres. So get rid of your fuel guzzlers!

Check your tyre pressure!
Do it every other time you refuel (or after approx. 2,000 kilometres).

If the tyre pressure is too low, you aren’t just putting yourself at risk, you’re also using more fuel. The tyres have less traction, wear out faster and have high rolling friction, which increases fuel consumption.
Some people think that the new tyre pressure control systems have eliminated the need to check tyre pressure, but they’re wrong because these systems don’t identify tyre damage. For the sake of your safety, check your tyres regularly for both damage and pressure (when the tyres are cold). And don’t forget to check the spare tyre if you have one. The tyre pressure values can be found on the inside of the fuel tank flap, on the driver’s door or in your service booklet.

Make optimum use of electric consumers!
External 30° C – air conditioning setting 21° C

Large temperature differences are bad for your health and bad for your fuel consumption. We’re not suggesting that you don‘t use the air conditioning at all on hot days, because we know that hot temperatures inside the vehicle impair concentration. But do you really need to have it switched on all the time?
Try using the air conditioning only when absolutely necessary and you’ll save a lot of energy. In the city it means a fuel reduction of up to 4 litres . Sometimes it’s healthier and more economical to open your window or sun roof: but not on the motorway, because fuel consumption is only 0.3 – 0.7 litres there. Park somewhere shady. If that isn’t possible, open all your windows just before you set off so that the air-conditioning doesn’t have to cool down the heat (up to 50° C) that has accumulated in the vehicle while it was parked.

Do you really have to drive that short distance?
High consumption = very high carbon emissions

In the warm-up phase the engine uses a lot of fuel and carbon emissions are particularly high. If you only have a short distance to travel, why not do the environment a favour and walk or cycle. Everyone knows that driving in the engine’s warm-up phase isn’t good for the engine, uses a lot of fuel and causes pollution to the environment and the neighbourhood. Fasten your seat belt before you switch on the engine, and always set off quickly at medium speed.

Is it really that easy?

Yes it is! Traditional driving techniques are not suitable for modern cars. Modern-day vehicles have a lot of electronic components that make a different style of driving possible and enable their more efficient use.

Today’s technology makes optimum use of the low torque range possible, allows the driver to shift up gears quickly, or even skip a gear, and to drive at a low RPM. This reduces carbon emissions, saves fuel and cuts costs.

Does that mean driving much slower?

Not necessarily. Most of the time you’ll arrive at your destination faster. Driving with forethought isn’t hard. All you have to do is change ingrained driving habits.
Constant braking, shifting down, accelerating and shifting up isn’t just annoying, it also uses up a lot of time and fuel.

Why me?

You spend a lot of your time in the car, so you can make a difference. The abundance of cars on the roads today is putting a burden on the environment and depleting our natural resources. Vehicle running costs have increased exorbitantly. For example, the price of diesel has gone up by around 40 percent per litre since 2005. Maintenance costs for tyres, clutch, brakes etc. are just a part of the total vehicle costs. Comprehensive insurance costs and excess damage costs are going to explode in the future as a result of the assistance systems that are now built into the majority of vehicles (dashcams, LED headlights, laser light, radar sensors on bumpers, etc.).

You can reduce these costs considerably by making simple changes to your driving style.

Try it out! You’ll be surprised at how easy and effective it is.