A driver training module which can improve fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent and lead to significant vehicle emission reductions has been launched today by two of the UK’s leading fleet driver training companies, IAM Fleet UK and Drive & Survive – part of IAM Commercial.

With fuel prices still high and the effect of transport use on the environment under constant scrutiny, IAM Commercial has developed ecolution to help companies reduce fuel bills and their carbon footprint.

“Fuel and vehicle costs are a core part of a company’s fleet expenditure. ecolution teaches simple driving techniques which are easily adopted in everyday driving behaviour, and have a significant impact on fleet running costs,” said IAM Commercial Head of Training, Simon Elstow.

“ecolution includes an overview of things a driver can do to their vehicle to improve fuel consumption, such as ensuring tyres are at the correct pressure and unnecessary excess weight is removed.

“On-road training then includes repetition of the same driving route three times, with the average speed and MPG recorded in the first and final laps to compare overall MPG saving.”

Driving in a more ‘eco-friendly’ manner has many ongoing benefits, both environmentally and economically, with the most significant of all reductions being fuel efficiency.

“Poor fuel efficiency is often a result of erratic driving behaviour and is characterised by harsh braking and rapid acceleration. ecolution develops driver hazard perception and promotes smart, smooth and also very importantly, safe driving techniques,” said Mr Elstow.

“As a result of this, vehicle repair and maintenance costs are reduced which can also see an improved residual value of vehicles, as well as increasing a fleet’s overall operational efficiency.”

And the benefits extend to the individual driver as well.

“For a driver, ecolution training can help reduce stress levels and enhance driver satisfaction through a greater understanding of vehicle operation. Savings can also be made as the driver implements the techniques they learn when driving their personal vehicle,” said Mr Elstow.

ecolution techniques can also assist companies to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment by supporting a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.

Results from ecolution trials show that, for an average fleet of around 3,000 company drivers, companies could see an average annual fuel bill reduction of more than £300,000, which could also be coupled with significant CO2 savings of up to 3,000 tonnes per annum.

“This is a significant saving which demonstrates that driver training is an investment that has ongoing benefits for a company with fleet drivers,” said Mr Elstow.

These savings can be calculated on ecolution’s online calculator, the ecolator – located on the ecolution website at ecolution.uk.com, where vehicle type and average miles travelled annually are compared with current fuel prices to give a clear measure of current expenditure and the savings companies can make on an annual basis by implementing ecolution driving techniques.

Eco-driving techniques are a key part of advanced driving and IAM Commercial is the only UK driver training provider who are accredited by the Energy Saving Trust to teach these techniques.

“Eco-driving techniques have been a significant part of the overall safer and smarter driver training that IAM Commercial has provided for more than 20 years,” said Mr Elstow.

“As leading experts in this field, the Energy Saving Trust selected IAM Commercial trainers to take this internationally renowned training course and further develop these skills, and IAM Commercial is now the only UK driver training provider who have this training.”

“ecolution training features some of the key principles of advanced driving. The techniques you use to save fuel can also make you a safer driver,” said Mr Elstow.

“Planning ahead, driving smoothly and keeping moving will not only save fuel in the long run, but also make you, and other road-users, more aware of your next move.

“Sticking to speed limits reduces the chances of a collision as well as minimising wind resistance which can increase fuel consumption, and ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy not only optimises fuel efficiency, but assists in your long-term safety as well.

“At a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high and companies are looking to reduce fleet operating costs, adopting simple driving techniques can provide a starting point to help reduce the effects of this,” said Mr Elstow.