YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano recently launched a pilot EcoDriving Training Program for city employees that could help reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent.
The workshops will be led by EcoDriving Solutions trainers, all current or past race car drivers, who are trained and certified as master ecodriving instructors by the German Road Safety Council, which pioneered ecodriving in Germany in the mid 90’s with support from the Ford Motor Company. The trainers have worked at various world-famous driving schools with thousands of hours of behind-the-wheel training experience.
Ecodriving techniques include keeping the vehicle moving forward and maintaining momentum for as long and efficiently as possible. Any time a driver takes the foot off the gas pedal or hits the breaks, the harnessed energy built up in the vehicle is destroyed. Rebuilding energy, speed, and momentum requires additional acceleration, which correspondingly uses more fuel.
The training will take the participant through all aspects of momentum management including the fundamentals of idling, to acceleration and shifting, speed, cruising, coasting, and braking, all while keeping safe driving practices in mind.
“These EcoDriving workshops are an exciting opportunity to demonstrate that small changes in driver behavior can lead to big savings at the gas pump,” Spano said in a statement. “The techniques can be used anywhere by anyone, so it’s not only going to cut the city’s fuel bill, it’s also going to help our employees to save money and improve air quality in their daily lives.”
The city spends $1.5 million annually on fuel for the city’s fleet. The program saves taxpayer dollars, reduces vehicle emissions, and increases roadway safety.
The target for the training is city workers whose job responsibilities involve a significant amount of time behind the wheel including Parks and Public Works staff, Office for the Aging van drivers, building inspectors and fleet managers.