Volvo Cars Driving Academy Increases Eco-driving Classes

By: Glady Reign

The Volvo Cars Driving Academy announced that it is increasing eco-driving classes to meet the growing demand.

"By changing one's driving pattern, it is possible both to reduce fuel costs and have a favorable effect on the environment. Many companies see sound commercial sense in allowing their employees to acquire eco-driving skills," said Tommy Andersson, the head of the Volvo Cars Driving Academy.

"We offer a wide variety of courses every year, both for professional drivers and private individuals. Safety driving is still our biggest-seller, but the demand for eco-driving is increasing," explained Andersson.

The academy is the Swedish automaker's way of disseminating core values of safety and environment. Although it is a relatively unknown part of the automaker's operation, the academy has been around since 1989.

Sweden's VEAB Mark & Tradgard, selling construction services, is one of the companies that decided to let its employees undergo an eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy.

"Several of our clients demand this if we are to be included in their purchasing contracts. We work on behalf of large companies, the municipality and the Swedish Road Administration. They all wish to assist the environment so they impose demands on us suppliers," said Hakan Persson, the President of VEAB. He added, "We have ISO 14001 environmental certification. One of our stage goals in the environmental sphere is that all employees should undergo an eco-driving course at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy. We see it as a sound investment."

Since VEAB is situated in Goteborg, west coast of Sweden, the training can take place at the Volvo Cars premises. About 12 students at a time get to learn the secrets behind driving more economically.

After the classes, the students found that the difference in fuel consumption is significant. All the drivers have reduced their fuel consumption and some have also saved time thanks to the timely knowledge and the ever reliable and other Swedish auto parts. Some slashed their fuel consumption by more than 30 percent. That fact surprised Andersson. Such a big difference is rather unexpected. "The average fuel consumption reduction is about eight to ten percent, but it is possible to reach reductions of 15 percent and more" he said.

When the students at the Volvo Cars Driving Academy received their certificates, they are more than satisfied. "From now on I'll be thinking more about which road I choose. For example, I'll avoid roads with many traffic lights where the traffic has to stop so often," said Stefan Fredriksson.

The Volvo Cars Driving Academy does not deal only with eco-driving, having a particularly broad operational base. Security driving in cooperation with the police in several countries and winter driving for ski-tourists in northern Sweden and Norway are just a couple of examples.

"We tailor our courses to suit the customer's wishes and can implement them virtually anywhere. One good example is a five-day security driving course that we had in Sweden for a Russian oil company," related Andersson. "At one time we had a special course for the FBI and we've had several spectacular courses for the British High Performance Club whose members want to test advanced driving skills."

The Volvo Cars Driving Academy will continue to offer a broad-based operation. Andersson predicted courses in eco-driving will increase. "Our aim is to focus more on environmentally friendly eco-driving. For example, we are discussing cooperation with companies and municipalities regarding company cars and pool cars. It's only a matter of time before they realize what they stand to gain by giving everyone know-how about this issue," he concluded.

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