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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Personal: Transportation

Coasting to decelerate

Rising gas prices, greenhouse gas emissions, wear and tear on your vehicle - whatever your reason for wanting to drive more efficiently there are simple changes you can make that will benefit both your wallet and the environment.

Coasting to decelerate is an easy technique that will help to reduce your fuel use, as well as, the wear and tear on your vehicle's tires and brakes, resulting in lower maintenance costs and fuel consumption.

Removing your foot from the accelerator as early as possible and allowing the vehicle to decelerate by coasting, rather than braking, is a good fuel-saving technique.

Most modern vehicles are equipped with fuel injection systems that cut off the flow of fuel to the engine within a rpm range when the accelerator is released.

In other words, when you take your foot off the gas, you are getting a free ride since no fuel is being delivered to the engine cylinders.

To demonstrate the grey car will use hard breaking and the blue car will coast to decelerate

A fuel consumption gauge connected to the blue car shows that when the driver releases her foot from the gas and coasts to decelerate, the LHK or litres per 100 km and the LPH, or litres per hour, both drop to zero. The grey car continues using gas during this time as the driver leaves her foot on the gas until breaking is necessary.

If all drivers in Canada practiced fuel efficient driving we could prevent 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, save 2.6 billion litres of fuel and approximately $2.6 billion in fuel costs.