As any regular follower of Green-Car-Guide will know, we would like to see a large and accurate fuel economy read-out as a main central item on the dashboard in front of the driver on every car. If you’ve ever driven a Toyota Prius, you’ll know that the prominent and informative fuel consumption display encourages you to try and beat your last mpg read-out, and makes you very aware when you drive with a heavy right foot.
So it looks like Nissan is the first manufacturer to publicly announce the adoption of our idea! The company says that all future new models will be equipped with a fuel efficiency gauge to give drivers more information on how their driving style directly relates to fuel economy. The fuel efficiency gauge will also be equipped in current models scheduled for minor product refreshes – unfortunately this does not seem to include any UK models.
The gauge provides the driver with both instant fuel-efficiency and average efficiency readings. For example, by accelerating, the driver would instantly see an increase in fuel consumption reflected on the gauge. Based on Nissan’s trials, drivers have tended to improve their eco-driving habits over time, prompted by the real-time fuel-efficiency readings. Driving improvements also included smoother acceleration and braking, which potentially could lead to an average 10% improvement in fuel-efficiency.
In January 2007, Nissan introduced the eco-driving information service through its CARWINGS navigation system to promote more economical driving habits. CARWINGS services include listing the average fuel-efficiency of CARWINGS members on the CARWINGS website via monthly rankings and weekly web updates on green driving techniques.
Through the installation of the fuel efficiency gauge on the instrument-cluster as a standard feature on all new models, Nissan says it will extend the awareness of eco-driving to a wider driving audience.
The introduction of the fuel efficiency gauge is in line with the company’s overall efforts to launch a wide range of environmental technologies under the Nissan Green Program 2010 mid-term environmental action plan.