2.1. Eco-driving

Rail vehicles eco-driving

The design of older rail vehicles did not always take into account the energy consumption required for them to reach their top speed. When the distance between two stations is short, a vehicle will be accelerating to its top speed just before braking. This is wasteful and relatively inefficient.

Simulations should be made to investigate rail vehicles’ consumption at various speeds and potential delays on the network that could result from an ecodriving scheme. If delays prove acceptable, the network regulation software can be adapted to set parts of the network in eco-driving mode. Drivers must be trained and appropriate signalling must be placed to inform drivers about the new speed limits.

Bus and technical fleet eco-driving

With inappropriate driving behaviour, drivers consume more fuel than they should, resulting in higher energy expenditure for the company. Eco-driving means smarter and more fuel-efficient driving. It requires major behavioural changes that can only be obtained by training people and raising their awareness about the benefits of a more sustainable way of driving. The use of a display indicator is recommended, as it gives drivers information about their driving behaviour in ‘real time’, helping them improve their driving style. It also enables the company to monitor the driving style and fuel consumption of each vehicle. The telematics system can be easily removed and installed in another vehicle when a fleet is replaced.

The following steps should be followed when implementing an eco-driving scheme for bus drivers:

  • Train a trainer inside the company or hire a professional trainer
  • Define a training plan for the drivers (theory and practice sessions)
  • Install specific metering equipment on some vehicles for training purposes
  • Communicate about the eco-driving programme and its objectives
  • Evaluate the drivers’ interest after the training
  • Motivate the drivers in the long term and give feedback on the global fuel savings
  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of equipping all buses with an eco-driving display indicator.