It’s no secret that getting some of the lead out of your foot gives you better gas mileage. But just how much better may surprise you. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on ‘Eco-Driving’ documents one woman’s gas mileage increasing from 15mpg to 21 – a saving of 40%. The techniques are simple – accelerate slowly, coast up to red lights, keep your highway speed below 100kph – and for more advanced ‘hyper-milers’ (as hard-core eco-drivers are known), turn off your car at lights and while going down hills, and practice the ‘pulse-and-glide’.
Unfortunately, while all the tools are there at our disposal, our speed-obsessed car-as-power-penis culture thwarts us at every turn with the big money marketing and media machine tuned to a high-revving whine and bursting off the line with the smell of burning rubber.
So how can we make efficient driving cool? Is there a way to turn speed-culture on its ear, especially with younger drivers? Well, maybe an action movie about hyper-milers might not be realistic. But there are a few tricks that might work.
Create a Social Media Movement. There may only be 3% of young drivers interested in eco-driving scattered around the country, but those numbers add up when networked. A Facebook group for eco-drivers and a competition application could easily be developed, pitting mileage fiends around the world against each other. Prime sponsorship opportunity for some smart company in the eco-space. I found one eco-driving Facebook group, but it’s all in Greek!
Make a YouTube Parody. Create a ‘Fast & Furious’ style movie trailer that extols the virtues of eco-driving while portraying speed culture as the adolescent farce it really is. (Note, ‘The Passed and The Virtuous’ is available… film producers feel free to contact me!)
Pit Youth against Big Oil. Illustrate the direct relationship between personally achieving better mileage and sticking it to the man at the Exxon level. Possibly with a web site that lets you track gas savings and shows the cumulative effect our actions are having. Youth thrives on the up-yours energy of a good rebellion. Driving slow can be a statement.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Just do it and talk it up. Everywhere you can. For instance, if you’re a blogger, write an article like this one. Heck, SOMEBODY is going to read it.
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