May 20, 2009 Alliance to Save Energy
Savvy Consumers Can ‘Drive Down’ Gasoline Expenses With
‘Drive $marter Challenge’ Tips, Resources
Alliance to Save Energy, 13 Diverse Partners,
Launch Phase Two of National Fuel-Efficiency Campaign
Washington, D.C., May 20, 2009 – As the heavier driving season approaches, the Alliance to Save Energy and 13 diverse public- and private-sector partners are launching phase two of the award-winning Drive $marter Challenge campaign. Consumers can learn to “drive down” their gasoline expenses with good vehicle maintenance and wise driving habits.
“Why spend more at the gas pump than you have to – especially in the midst of such a tough economy?” asks Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “The Alliance projects average U.S. household spending of about $2,200 on transportation fuel this year,” she added, “so it just makes sense to keep your gas bills in check as you enjoy summer travel by being a frugal and savvy driver.”
As with phase one in 2008, the heart of the Drive $marter Challenge campaign is an interactive website (www.drivesmarterchallenge.org
) with a calculator showing visitors exactly how much money they can save – typically hundreds of dollars a year – on fuel for their specific vehicle by adopting six simple vehicle care and driving tips. The website now includes 2009 vehicle models and continues to provide a wealth of additional money-saving tips in English and Spanish. It also offers myth-busters and resources ranging from information on biking, carpooling, and public transit to mapping out the shortest route to your destination and finding the cheapest gas along the way.
“Our campaign is specifically aimed at keeping more money in drivers’ pockets and reducing the number of trips to the pump,” said Callahan. “With the summer driving season about to begin, the Drive $marter Challenge can give a big boost to consumers’ pocketbooks.”
To highlight the campaign’s social aspect, the calculator also displays a running tally of the cumulative money, gallons, and CO2 emission savings of everyone who has “taken the Challenge” by pledging to follow through on any or all of the six fuel-saving steps. The calculator thus demonstrates that even small actions by large numbers of people truly add up to measurable benefits. As a reward, each visitor committing to the Challenge can download a $10 coupon towards the purchase of Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy motor oil.
“ExxonMobil is proud to be a leading sponsor in the Alliance to Save Energy's Drive Smarter Challenge campaign,” said Sherri Stuewer, ExxonMobil vice president of environmental policy & planning. “To meet the world's growing energy needs while reducing environmental impacts, increased energy efficiency is essential. This campaign gives drivers the information they need to use energy more efficiently, helping reduce their costs and environmental footprint.”
Another continuing innovative feature of the campaign is the Drive $marter Challenge Broadband Media Website at www.drivesmarterchallenge.org/broadband
, which includes all of the campaign’s downloadable elements – five radio public service ads in English and Spanish, a :60 TV news segment, B-roll footage in multiple formats for TV, images, photos, logos, and seven podcasts by a NASCAR driver. This site also includes a Spanish “Driving and Saving” song, in the popular reggaeton Latino beat, which is downloadable to MP3 players, iPods, and cell phones.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) will once again support and extend the campaign by awarding prizes to the top counties in three population size categories for the most entrees to the Challenge.
“NACo is excited about helping counties educate their residents on fuel-saving tips and encouraging their participation in the Drive $marter Challenge,” said NACo President Don Stapley, supervisor, Maricopa County, Ariz. “From July through November, we will see which of the nation’s 3,068 counties can most effectively spread the Drive $marter message and get the most residents and employees to access www.drivesmarterchallenge.org
and learn how they can save money by being more fuel efficient.”
Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, commented: “The League of American Bicyclists is delighted to be part of the Drive $marter Challenge, both as a smart alternative to driving at all for short trips and because smart driving is safe driving, and that benefits everyone – drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.”
The Drive $marter Challenge campaign partners are the Alliance to Save Energy, American Petroleum Institute, American Public Transportation Association, Car Care Council, Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ExxonMobil, League of American Bicyclists, NASCAR, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Independent Auto Dealers Association, National Fuel Funds Network, National Low Income Energy Consortium, and Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Be Tire Smart.