Commentary

June 2016

Peter Boag 
President & CEO, Canadian Fuels Association
 

Smart Drive Challenge Saves More Than Fuel

 

Today we live in a world where data increasingly influence our lives – just in the palm of our hand, we can now track calories, steps, clicks, likes, and much more. However, most of us don’t pay nearly as much attention to the fuel that goes into our cars, and the mileage that comes out of it. 

To help consumers save more than fuel, our Association is presenting sponsor of the Smart Drive Challenge as part of our promise to help Canadians get more value through efficient fuel use. The Challenge is a data-driven program designed to engage, educate, challenge and reward drivers to improve their fuel economy while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

GHGs contribute to climate change, an environmental challenge that we all face. The road transportation sector accounts for 19 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Finding ways to get from A to B more efficiently is one of the most cost-effective ways to tackle GHG reduction without foregoing the huge benefits that transportation has on our daily lives. Slightly changing our driving habits and planning our routes more efficiently are positive and easy steps that can deliver environmental benefits greater than any single technological breakthrough, regulation or infrastructure investment.  At the same time, better driving habits deliver considerable savings to fuel consumers. 

The Smart Drive Challenge uses Canadian technology:  data loggers from FleetCarma that track and analyze vehicle use, fuel economy, idling and driving behaviors.  All these metrics are broken down by trip and graphed to show their trend over time.  Personalized ‘dashboards’ on drivers’ smart phones, tablets or home computers provide participants real time feedback on their driving habits and impact on fuel consumption. Coupled with online training and resources, participants have the knowledge and tools to save money at the pump and benefit the environment.  The objective is to reduce participants’ fuel use and related GHG emissions by at least 15 percent.

The Smart Drive Challenge kicks off in Toronto in June and by the end of the year will see some 500 drivers participating in Toronto and Hamilton, Victoria and Metro Vancouver.  

Smart Drive Challenge is a program of Scout Environmental, presented by the Canadian Fuels Association and supported by Ontario Ministries of Energy and Transportation, and Natural Resources Canada.  Other program collaborators include the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, University of Toronto, University of BC and FleetCarma.

“Our vision is that transportation is important for Canada’s economy and for how Canadians get around, we’re trying to help people reduce the amount of fuel they consume and the GHGs they produce while enabling them to save money – all by changing their driving behaviour," said Ian Morton, CEO of Scout Environmental.

Are you up for the Smart Drive Challenge?  For more information and to sign up, go to smartdrivechallenge.ca