March 12, 2008 By News Report
Motor vehicles are the fastest growing source of CO2 (carbon dioxide) production, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through the installation of accelerometers that connect to internal vehicle systems and the use of an Internet-based GHG management system, the Driving Change initiative allows for the real-time measurement of a number of driving behaviors, including idling, speeding, fast stops and hard braking, which have a direct impact on fuel consumption. Performance reports, viewable via the Internet, help to educate drivers on how their driving patterns can potentially impact their individual carbon footprint.
"Driving Change can help City employees and Denver residents reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions simply by changing the way we drive," Mayor Hickenlooper said. "We're excited that Denver has been selected as the pilot community nationally for this program. It blends innovation and personal responsibility, making it an excellent fit with our Greenprint Denver agenda for proactively reducing our impact on the environment."
This unique public and private partnership provides both city employees and private citizens an opportunity to set an example of what is possible. By May 2008, Driving Change expects to have a total of 400 private and public vehicles involved in the study. Expected to set standards for cities around the world to follow, the goal of the pilot program is to determine if there is a direct, measurable and positive correlation between driving behavior and CO2 emissions.
"Driving Change pilot program results will help evaluate the impact of driving behavior and empower drivers with a tool to reduce vehicle emissions from behind the wheel of their current vehicles," said Jeff Wojahn, president of EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., lead sponsor of the Driving Change pilot program. "Our sponsorship of this very exciting initiative underscores the commitment of EnCana as a company, and its employees as individuals, to reducing our environmental impact. Over twenty EnCana employees-including me-are participating in this exciting pilot."
In Denver, where automobile emissions account for approximately 30% of GHG emissions, Driving Change puts the Mile High City yet again at the forefront of implementing environmental initiatives. Denver Public Works has been a pioneer in the "greening" of its fleet since 1993 when the City created the first Green Fleet program in the nation. The program has served as a model for several other cities, both nationally and internationally.
Today, Denver's fleet includes 144 hybrid-electric vehicles, which illustrates the city's commitment to hybrid technology as a viable solution to reduce air pollution and fuel costs. In May of 2008, Denver will become one of the first cities in the nation to acquire a hybrid-hydraulic trash truck, which is expected to produce a 25% to 50% increase