Inflation, the purchasing power crisis, global warming and now fuel shortages across the country… More than enough reasons to pay attention to your fuel consumption. And for many French people far from big cities, traveling by car is almost “mandatory”, whether to go to work, take the children to school or do the shopping. So when you can’t ride less, it’s about trying to ride better. To find out how, 20 minutes tried an eco-driving course.
An appointment is therefore made in Torcy (Seine-et-Marne) with Laurent Capillon, CEO of the Nouvelle Route, a specialist in eco-driving training. His mission from him? We learn in an hour clock in hand to drive burning as little fuel as possible. Not earned when we learn of our southern origins and our family’s reproaches about our hesitant and worrisome steering wheel. Yet Laurent, all good natured and easy familiarity, seems confident. On us and on himself: “In 80% of cases, the same big mistakes come back. »
Release clutch and brake
So we go for sixty minutes along the most beautiful departmental roads of the Ile-de-France and its 50 shades of pine trees. In general, the session is divided as follows: a few minutes of theory, a first drive without indication. Then a point with things to improve, and a second steering wheel much more efficient. “We take the opportunity to travel from the employee’s home to work, and in his own vehicle, to make the implementation of eco-responsible actions as easy as possible,” Laurent tells us. Nouvelle Route, which officiates at the IDF and PACA, attends to the companies that come to it to teach their employees, generally by company car or with gasoline included in the cost, to be economical.
But enough of contextualization, place on the road, direction Marne-la-Vallée. After fifteen minutes at the wheel, while he checks that Laurent’s gaze is not too critical, the latter stops us to take stock. Bingo, we checked almost all the wrong boxes. First complaint, the great classic of the foot constantly on the clutch: “Even when you think you’re not pressing, you stay a little on it and cause friction with the engine.” Result, a clutch pedal that will give up the ghost sooner and consume more fuel.
Second point at which we are kindly knuckle-bumped: our lack of anticipation. Basically, we don’t look far enough ahead and improvise last-second braking or acceleration, not the greenest. “As soon as you see a red light, a roundabout or a stop sign, you can release the accelerator pedal without hitting the brakes,” advises Laurent. The little scientific name for the thing, injection cutoff, allows for natural braking with zero drop fuel consumption, a significant benefit. The Grail is to be able to go around without having hit the brakes even once.
A need for anticipation that is accompanied by a precise instruction: stop hitting the rear of the car in front. “If you follow it too closely, you suffer from its braking and pace changes,” which quickly forces you to slam on the brakes, a hated gesture in eco-driving. Therefore, it is necessary to learn to look ahead, to quickly identify future braking. A technique that, according to Laurent, makes driving more active and concentrated, and therefore less boring: “Our customers say that they are more relaxed behind the wheel and more attentive”.
A car always in motion
And precisely after we have crossed these famous roundabouts, stop signs and traffic lights, we are given one last technique, a little more counterintuitive: re-accelerating frankly instead of doing our famous acceleration technique very smoothly. “What we want is a car that has been released,” insists Laurent. For that, we will not hesitate to quickly change gear: 2 should come almost automatically, and 3, 4 and even 5 do not have to be asked. Instead of looking at our kilometers per hour, what interests us is the engine revolutions: from 2,000 in a diesel and 2,500 in a gasoline, we change gear without being asked.
Come on, it’s time to see if we’ve improved. Look ahead, take your foot off the clutch, and drive as smoothly as possible. This time, Laurent takes us back in case of uneco driving, allowing us to improve. Another visit to the roads of Ile-de-France before parking and going through the dreaded toll.
And we’re doing pretty well. In our first pass we were going at an average of 47 km/h with a consumption of 8.8 liters per 100 kilometers. The second, we go to 50 km/h, with a consumption of 6.6 liters per 100. Yes, we even drive faster: “Except for long journeys on highways or motorways, we do not recommend driving slower, which is frustrating in day to day and it is not necessarily very profitable. The idea, once again, is not to drive less, or slower, but to drive better”.
Two or three last pieces of advice by the way -check the tire pressure well and don’t overload the car, any extra weight will consume more fuel-, one last promise to drive cleaner, and here we are, in just an hour, so as not to get too close never. roundabouts the same way again.
#ecological #driving #spend #gasoline