Trans­forming fleet efficiency and sustain­ab­ility

Eco-driving is a style of driving that prioritises maximising fuel efficiency and minimising CO2 emissions. Eco-driving shouldn’t be confused with eco mode, a techno­lo­gical feature in modern vehicles designed to improve energy efficiency. This guide is an essential resource for fleet managers. It outlines the envir­on­mental and economic benefits of eco-driving, introducing nine key driving practices that promote efficiency and sustain­ab­ility.

What is eco-driving and how does it benefit fleets?

Eco-driving is a type of driving that intends to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent the overcon­sumption of fuel. Imple­menting this driving style offers fleets three key benefits.

Reduced costs

Adopting fuel-ef­fi­cient driving practices can reduce your fleet’s fuel consumption by up to 15%. Driving behaviours like speed, idling and accel­er­ation impact your fleet’s total fuel spend. They can also influence your insurance premiums: Fuel-ef­fi­cient vehicle speeds are safer, meaning fewer likely accidents. Eco-driving produces less wear and tear on your vehicles, helping you save on repair maintenance costs.

ev van driver pro8475 cam50
eco-driving: co2 emission

Lower CO2 emissions

The type of fuel your vehicles use can determine how much CO2 emissions you save with eco-driving. Generally, the CO2 output for diesel is higher than petrol and LPG. With that said, ecological driving behaviours do contribute to lower fleet emissions. Especially when driver coaching comes into play. According to Fleet Europe, eco-driving training on average results in long-term fuel savings of 6%. That adds up to significant savings on your fuel spend as well as your CO2 output.

Decreased risk of accidents

As noted by Fleet Driver Training, eco-driving enhances safety by strength­ening focus and anticip­ation. Because it’s highly anticip­atory, helping drivers perform with alertness and caution, ecological driving tends to eliminate some behind-the-wheel stress. By travelling at slower speeds, drivers have more reaction time for braking or switching lanes when needed. All of this adds up to a decreased risk of incidents on the road.

accident with vehicles

Top 9 eco-driving practices for fleets

The UK government is striving to reduce emissions by roughly 80% by 2035, reaching net zero by 2050. This makes eco-driving an imperative for fleets, which face increas­ingly strict compliance standards. Here are nine consid­er­a­tions to help your fleet adopt eco-driving.

Cold start

The likelihood for the overcon­sumption of fuel is highest after a vehicle has just started. When an engine is still cold, a vehicle driving through an urban area can consume 45% more fuel on the first kilometre and 25% on the second kilometre. Save fuel by driving at a moderate speed and accel­er­ating gently for the first five kilometres. It’s not necessary to let the engine run to "warm it up," as that only increases fuel consumption.

temperature display, cold start eco-driving
engine speed display

Engine speed

Gear shifting can make a difference in how efficiently your engines run. We recommend shifting gears at the optimal revolutions per minute (RPM):

  • 1200 to 1500 RPM for diesel engines
  • 2000 to 2500 RPM for petrol engines

When driving above 40mph, it’s more fuel-ef­fi­cient to shift into a higher gear.


Smooth accel­er­ation is an effective fuel-saving tactic. It requires pressing moderately on the accelerator pedal when starting a vehicle or speeding up. Conversely, aggressive driving (rapid accel­er­ation, sharp turns, frequent lane changes, etc.) guzzles fuel and increases the risk of accidents.

gearstick lever

Engine braking

Engine braking is the process of slowing down a vehicle by releasing the accelerator and downshifting rather than stepping on the brake pedal. This form of “braking” can help save fuel. Relying less on the brake pedal also extends the life of your brake pads and emits fewer toxic particles.

Speed regulation

Maintaining a constant speed is another way to reduce fuel consumption. On highways, activate cruise control when it’s safe and appropriate to do so. Regulating speed will improve your fleet’s overall fuel efficiency, reducing costs as well as emissions.

steering wheel functions: cruise control
motor exhaust


A vehicle at standstill consumes between 0.5 and 1 litre of fuel per hour. When your fleet vehicles are running but stopped for more than 30 seconds, turning off the ignition prevents wasting fuel.

Tyre inflation

Properly inflated tyres are essential to eco-driving. Internal data from the Bridgestone group shows that an under­in­flation of ±2 bars for all tyres on a heavy vehicle:

  • increases fuel consumption by up to 2.5%
  • reduces the lifespan of tyres by 25%
  • limits the possibility of retreading
  • can result in tyre failure
digital front display TPMS warning
air condition controller

Air condi­tioning

Air condi­tioning can increase your fuel consumption signi­fic­antly, with a 10% spike on highways and a 25% jump in built-up areas. Cooling down a vehicle can be as simple as parking in the shade. If it’s necessary to use the air conditioner, open the windows to evacuate the heat first, and don’t cool the vehicle more than five degrees less than the outside temperature.

Vehicle maintenance

A poorly maintained vehicle can consume 10% more in fuel than one that is well maintained. So, there’s a link between regular vehicle maintenance and fleet sustain­ab­ility. Regularly changing the oil and air filters keeps engines in optimal condition.

digital front display: oil change required

How to empower drivers to adopt fuel-saving techniques

Adopting a fuel-saving driving style across your fleet requires patience and collab­or­ation, but the reductions in cost and envir­on­mental impact make the effort well worth it. Engaging drivers through training and recognising their contri­bu­tions to fuel efficiency are key steps in this process.

Coaching and training:

With a performance tool like OptiDrive 360, you can analyse fuel consumption patterns histor­ically and in real time, making it easy to determine whether driver training could improve fuel efficiency. You can also empower drivers with real-time feedback, enabling them to adjust their driving performance in the moment.

fleet manager with tablet
save money piggy bank with eco driving

Incentive programmes:

Demon­strating appre­ci­ation for drivers who success­fully reduce fuel consumption can motivate the entire fleet. Acknowledge and reward drivers who meet fuel-saving criteria, enhancing their commitment to eco-driving practices.

Optimised planning:

Traffic congestion signi­fic­antly increases fuel consumption due to idling. Help drivers avoid traffic jams with optimised route planning, utilising reliable GPS and up-to-date traffic information to save on fuel and reduce idling time.

fleet manager analysing fleet
fleet manager with tablet

Regard them as valued stake­holders:

Drivers play a crucial role in your fleet's success. Involve them in discussions about fuel efficiency, valuing their insights and suggestions. Their daily experiences can offer valuable perspectives on improving driving behaviours and reducing in-cab power use.

Integrating eco-driving into your fleet management strategy

Looking for more advice on adopting eco-driving to enhance fleet efficiency and sustain­ab­ility? Take advantage of Webfleet’s 25-plus years of expertise and request a free consultation with us.

Your consent is required

In this section, external content is being embedded from .

To display the content, your consent is required for the following cookie categories:

  • Targeted Advertising
  • Analytics
  • Person­al­ization
  • Essential

For further details, please refer to our privacy policy. If you are interested in how ###vendor_name### processes your data, please visit their privacy policy.