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Eco-driving: Strategic, tactical, and operational decisions of the driver that influence vehicle fuel economy


  • Sivak, Michael
  • Schoettle, Brandon


This paper presents information about the effects of decisions that a driver can make to influence on-road fuel economy of light-duty vehicles. These include strategic decisions (vehicle selection and maintenance), tactical decisions (route selection and vehicle load), and operational decisions (driver behavior). The results indicate that vehicle selection has by far the most dominant effect: The best vehicle currently available for sale in the U.S. is nine times more fuel efficient than the worst vehicle. Nevertheless, the remaining factors that a driver has control over can contribute, in total, to about a 45% reduction in the on-road fuel economy per driver—a magnitude well worth emphasizing. Furthermore, increased efforts should also be directed at increasing vehicle occupancy, which has dropped by 30% from 1960. That drop, by itself, increased the energy intensity of driving per occupant by about 30%.

Suggested Citation

  • Sivak, Michael & Schoettle, Brandon, 2012. "Eco-driving: Strategic, tactical, and operational decisions of the driver that influence vehicle fuel economy," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 96-99.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:22:y:2012:i:c:p:96-99
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.05.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barkenbus, Jack N., 2010. "Eco-driving: An overlooked climate change initiative," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 762-769, February.
    2. Sivak, Michael & Tsimhoni, Omer, 2009. "Fuel efficiency of vehicles on US roads: 1923-2006," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3168-3170, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Strömberg, Helena & Karlsson, I.C. MariAnne & Rexfelt, Oskar, 2015. "Eco-driving: Drivers’ understanding of the concept and implications for future interventions," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 48-54.
    2. repec:eee:energy:v:140:y:2017:i:p1:p:365-373 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alam, Md. Saniul & McNabola, Aonghus, 2014. "A critical review and assessment of Eco-Driving policy & technology: Benefits & limitations," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 42-49.
    4. Ye Li & Lei Bao & Wenxiang Li & Haopeng Deng, 2016. "Inventory and Policy Reduction Potential of Greenhouse Gas and Pollutant Emissions of Road Transportation Industry in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-19, November.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2017:i:1:p:28-:d:124022 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gennaro Nicola Bifulco & Francesco Galante & Luigi Pariota & Maria Russo Spena, 2015. "A Linear Model for the Estimation of Fuel Consumption and the Impact Evaluation of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-18, October.
    7. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:7:p:1029-:d:105194 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Schall, Dominik L. & Mohnen, Alwine, 2017. "Incentivizing energy-efficient behavior at work: An empirical investigation using a natural field experiment on eco-driving," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 185(P2), pages 1757-1768.


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