Nevada County, Calif., has increased vehicle fuel economy by an average of 7% after using SmartPedal for a year, according to a case study released by the company. The county’s fleet consists of about 300 vehicles — mostly Fords — and is managed by Fleet Services Manager Scotty Borror.
The county wanted to improve mileage and reduce fleet operating costs. To do so, it installed SmartPedal, a device that monitors the up-and-down motion of a vehicle as it travels, determining the effect of this motion on the driver’s use of the accelerator pedal and automatically correcting the pedal signal to eliminate unwanted changes in power demand. This process happens dozens of times per second.
The county tracked mileage and fuel consumption for a one-year period from June 2018 to 2019. During this time, the combined average mileage increased for each platform with the device. The average gain for most vehicles was between 5.9% and 9%, with an overall average of 7%. On average, each vehicle used 38 fewer gallons of fuel than the prior year, for an estimated fuel savings of $134 per vehicle annually (with fuel averaging $3.50 per gallon). With an acquisition cost of $299, the payback cost from fuel savings is estimated to be 2.3 years.
“Responsible management of public funds is one of our highest priorities. We’re always on the lookout for ways to increase efficiencies without a large capital outlay or extensive training needs,” Borror stated in the case study.
The project also documented an average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 752 lbs. per vehicle annually, according to the report.