The Energy Saving Trust (EST) and AA DriveTech have teamed up to drive down fuel consumption through a partnership that builds eco training techniques into AA DriveTech’s core driver training courses in England.

Backed by the Department of Transport, this joint initiative aims to help up to 6,000 employees who drive for work to become more fuel efficient and safer drivers in the next year. With average savings of up to 15% on fuel costs, a typical business driver covering 12,000 miles a year could expect to gain annual savings of £200-£250.This means the scheme could create savings of up to £1.5M for participating organisations.

Research by EST on pilot schemes showed that 99% of drivers found the techniques learned during the training to be useful for their day-to-day driving, with many achieving much higher savings than expected on the day.

The initiative integrates the EST innovative training methods into the AA DriveTech’s market-leading courses, with each driver completing two laps of a pre-defined road circuit which simulates a full range of common driving scenarios. Comparative MPG figures and average speed figures are recorded for each circuit both before and after the driver receives practical and easy to follow coaching; each driver is given a driver report to show what they’ve achieved on the day.

Andy Wheeler, head of Academy within the Driving Services Division of the AA commented; “We’re really excited about partnering with the Energy Saving Trust. We both have in-depth knowledge, built up over many years, of how to coach drivers to achieve tangible and sustainable fuel reduction. Together we can achieve our shared aims of increasing driver safety and driving down fuel costs. The carbon emission and air pollution reductions realised through this driver training are addition important benefits.

AA President, Edmund King commented “There is a great fit between the AA and the Energy Saving Trust. Exploiting each other’s expertise and experience means our training will be market-leading and deliver proven business and environmental benefits”

Andrew Benfield, Group Director of Transport at Energy Saving Trust, said “We’re delighted to be working with the premier name in training for business drivers. AA DriveTech, part of the AA, shares our goals and by working together, we can achieve large-scale change in driver attitudes and behaviour to reduce fuel costs, bear down on carbon emissions from business travel and improve driver safety”.