DENVER– Automakers have announced EcoDriving, a comprehensive nationwide effort to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce fuel use, and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The industry also applauded California and Colorado for being the first states to support this consumer awareness program. The Environmental Defense Fund also participated in the launch of the EcoDriving initiative.

"You can save money and save the environment by driving green," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment. Drivers don't have to wait to buy a new, fuel-efficient vehicle to start reducing fuel costs and CO2."

By following a set of subtle and easy-to-use best practices for driving and vehicle maintenance, a typical EcoDriver can improve mileage by about 15 percent.

EcoDriving produces the highest mileage from vehicles, regardless of vehicle size and age, so it offers an unmatched reach in addressing energy and climate issues by potentially affecting the nation's entire fleet of 245 million automobiles. The program's benefits are potentially significant:

If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.

If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2 emissions. That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman and child in the United States each year.

Sample EcoDriving practices include avoiding tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, and understanding when to use air conditioning.

Sample maintenance practices include knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, and understanding aerodynamics.

In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free "Green Check-up Month" nationwide.

The Web site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test, and a variety of educational tools.  

For more information, visit