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The Fiat in-car system designed to help motorists with their fuel economy, thereby reducing carbon emissions, is about to make an impression in the van market, and ultimately the Fiat van leasing market.

The new eco:Drive system has proved popular for Fiat, attracting positive interest from approximately 34,000 motorists, who were able to provide information for over four million journeys. This information has been collated and analysed during a measured period of time, with the information stored on a dedicated website. The system has the ability to manage the mileage and fuel consumption retrospectively, and as a consequence, is able to offer suggestions on how to improve sustainable driving behavior for fleet van drivers.

This new feature is designed to be compatible with all Fiat commercial vehicles which use the Blue&Me; platform, including the Grande Punto and Doblo Cargo vans.

The eco:Drive system optimizes fuel consumption and the safety of the van or car fleets by measuring the mileage data including distance, time, and fuel consumption. The resulting information is then displayed to drivers individually or collectively across the company. The database is automatically updated by this system, and includes information on management costs and the mileage count for each driver. The beauty of the whole system is that it can take the information stored and evaluate the driving behavior of an individual, and their impact on fuel consumption, and offer advice on how to become more ‘eco friendly’.

Fiat designed the system in 2008, with the aim of helping motorists understand the impact their driving habits had on the environment, particularly in relation to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. With the information that they were able to gather, their intention was help their customers to change their bad driving habits. Fiat have claimed resounding success with this system, and estimate an approximate CO2 saving of 2,600 tonnes since its introduction to the market.

eco:Drive has received many international awards including Best Digital Technology (Guardian Innovation Award 2009), Best Use of Innovative Technology (CLIO Awards 2009), European Product Innovation Award (Frost&Sullivan; 2009), Green Champion (International Green Apple Awards 2009) and Cyber Lyons – Grand Prix (Cannes Festival).

Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Fiat Group Automobiles UK and Ireland, said: “Individual drivers making small savings can have a positive effect in reducing the overall fleet carbon footprint and generate significant costs savings across the business, and eco:Drive can help with this goal.”

Free to download and use (www.fiat.com/ecodrive), eco:Drive Fleet is available for all Fiat vehicles (500, 500C, Punto Evo, Bravo, Qubo, new Doblò) and for Fiat Professional commercial vehicles equipped with the Blue&Me; platform (Grand Punto Van, Fiorino and Doblò Cargo).

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