09/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This year, Americans -- whether consumers, activists or policymakers -- are deeply concerned about rising gas prices, energy security and climate change. They are legitimate concerns and Automakers share them with you. Indeed, we don't just "feel your pain"...we've been feeling some of our own, as well. As a result, we are working to increase fuel economy, while also enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Automaker research and innovations can and will make a positive impact for all of us. In the meantime, though, nobody can alleviate your pain at the pump as quickly as... you.

We are launching EcoDriving in order to put those gas-saving, cost-saving and environment-saving tools in your hands immediately.

EcoDriving is aimed at providing consumers with tips to show how regular vehicle maintenance and simple changes in driving habits can lead to significant improvements in fuel economy and reductions in automobile carbon dioxide emissions. It is practiced in other parts of the world and is proven to provide fuel economy improvements. In fact, a typical EcoDriver can improve mileage by about 15%.

But since today's automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system, you need to know some subtle and interesting things about your car in order to reduce your fuel use and CO2 emissions. As they say, knowing is half the battle. Once you know, though, the steps are simple and easy to follow.

EcoDriving is about making sure you know what you can do, and how you can do it with the car you already have.

EcoDriving can extract the highest mileage out of every single vehicle, regardless of size or age, so it gives us the opportunity to have an impact on our nation's entire fleet of 240 million automobiles. The benefits can be significant for each individual driver. For the entire country, the benefits could be huge...

  • If just 50% 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.

Last year, Alliance members supported a tough, new national energy law (EISA) in Congress. This will have a profound impact.

  • EISA raises fuel economy to an average of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020 -- that's an historic 40 percent increase in mileage.
  • EISA will lower oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels a day, saving 18 billion gallons of gasoline a year.
  • EISA will push the auto industry to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide by a minimum of 30 percent.

Automakers continue developing and introducing innovative technologies to increase mileage and reduce CO2 and we intend to deploy every technology possible. But a comprehensive program, with innovative market-based approaches and collaborative partnerships, will allow us to go farther and faster in our efforts to reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gases. By practicing EcoDriving, consumers can save money and the environment.

There is a role for each one of us to play in solving these critical issues. We are asking you to be our partner. One EcoDriver at a time.