Monday, September 10, 2007

Volvo Cars Driving Academy Teaches Eco-driving

Volvo Cars Driving Academy Teaches Eco-driving

With these days’ in dire need for “environmental cars”, Volvo Cars Driving Academy is having a growing demand for its eco-driving course.

Tommy Andersson, chief instructor at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy, commented it is possible to lessen fuel costs and have a better effect on the environment through changing one's driving motive.

The Volvo Cars Driving Academy is a relatively unknown division of Volvo Cars' operations. It has been around in various forms since 1989 giving instructions in winter driving, safety driving, and security driving.

Andersson explains the academy offers a wide variety of courses every year for professional drivers and private individuals. He explained further safety driving is still their biggest-seller, but the demand for eco-driving is increasing.

VEAB Mark & Trädgård, a Swedish construction service provider, is one of the companies that opted to enroll its employees in the eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy.

Håkan Persson, President of VEAB, says many of their clients demand the course if they are to be included in their purchasing contracts. He adds that they work on behalf of big companies, the municipality and the Swedish Road Administration. He affirmed their ISO 14001 environmental certification. He also said allowing employees to undergo an eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy is a wise investment.

Like many of the Academy's students before, the VEAB employees are small groups (12) and the students are skeptical and most believe they already drive with a green foot or at least know how to.

They first get to drive a set urban route with the Volvo Cars Driving Academy's cars, which are equipped with measuring devices for exact fuel consumption. A lesson in eco-driving then follows. And then, students drive the same route again, applying their newly learned eco-driving skills.

Students at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy are more than satisfied when they receive their certificates.

Stefan Fredriksson, landscape gardener, commented that from now on, he will be thinking more about which road he would choose. He continues that he will avoid roads with many traffic lights where the traffic has to stop so often.

Andersson predicts that enrolment in the Academy's eco-driving course will increase. According to him, his aim is to focus more on environmentally friendly eco-driving. For example, he said, they are discussing cooperation with companies and municipalities with regard company cars and pool cars. He further said that it is only a matter of time before they realize what they stand to gain by giving everyone the knowledge about this issue. Since Volvo is targeting an eco-friendly drive, expect that toxicity of emissions form its cars’ internal combustion engines are reduced because of its Volvo catalytic converter.

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