Fiat SpA: Green Machines – Ranieri Honorati

Employers are under pressure to crack down on environmentally unfriendly vehicles and boost their fleets' green credentials. Ranieri Honorati, fleet and used cars marketing director, Fiat SpA, explains how it's award-winning in-car system can save both fuel and money, and reduce CO2 emissions.

How does eco:Drive Fleet work?
Ranieri Honorati:
The system analyses the smoothness of acceleration and deceleration - whether the driver changes gear in good time and keeps a fluid average speed - all of which is then summarised in an easy-to-understand eco:Index. The way it works is simple. Drivers download the eco:Drive application to their PC, selecting their preferred language. Data is transferred from the car to the PC through a USB key, but we are currently working to launch a mobile solution, leveraging on smartphones, to deliver an easier and faster user experience.

The system aggregates this data into an online dashboard, giving managers an instant overview of their fleet's efficiency. They can monitor average fuel consumption and mileage, the CO2 emitted, fuel and money saved so far, and projected savings over the next 12 months. Fuel efficiency can also be viewed for individual vehicles and drivers, helping managers to see at a glance where extra support may be needed.

Why should finance directors be particularly interested in eco:Drive Fleet?
Businesses can cut their fuel consumption and take a huge step towards fulfilling their corporate responsibility goal with this unique tool.

It makes carbon reduction the responsibility of everyone by transferring the initiative away from businesses and towards individuals. So carbon reduction is no longer the preserve of corporate fleet managers buying costly eco-innovations that have taken years to develop and which also incur significant upfront costs. With eco:Drive Fleet, managers and drivers have a free-to-download, easy-to-use tool that makes CO2 savings realistic and achievable for drivers, and measurable for managers.
The savings have been proven. On average, people using eco:Drive Fleet cut their CO2 emissions by 6%, but the best drivers canachieve a saving of up to 16%.

How does eco:Drive Fleet, alongside Fiat's Blue&Me platform, contribute to an enhanced driver experience and improve road safety?
With eco:Drive it's possible to achieve real driver behaviour change. We have seen that eco:Drivers are better drivers, learning to anticipate change in traffic flow so that they stop and start less frequently and drive at a more consistent speed, gaining both in terms of fuel-cost saving and also safety.

On top of the eco:Drive experience, the Blue&Me system allows functions such as voice call with loudspeaker, mobile phone address book service and the media player to be operated safely without ever removing the hands from the steering wheel.

What reaction have you had from clients?
The system was a success from its very first day, with one company that attended the launch demonstration placing an order for 80 Fiat cars. Other companies have joined the project - Liquigas, Iper, Gas Natural, Gi Group - and there are more than 200 active users.

How efficient are Fiat's fleet vehicles from a cost and environmental perspective?
Meeting the increasing demand for mobility while reducing the environmental and economic impact represents a strategic mission for Fiat. That's why we offer a wide portfolio of ecological and economical solutions.

As a result of this sustainable, focused approach, Fiat, for the fourth year running, is the brand that has recorded the lowest level of CO2 emissions by vehicles sold in Europe in 2010, with an average measurement of 123.1g/km. We also ranked first as a group, with 125.9g/km. On top of this, for the third consecutive year, Fiat has been recognised as a sustainability leader with its inclusion in both the Dow Jones Sustainability World and Dow Jones Sustainability Europe indexes.

Which Fiat Group vehicles are delivering the best total cost of ownership (TCO) and which ones have been showcased at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show?
In Frankfurt we presented the new Fiat Punto 1.3 Multijet II 85hp, which is positioned top of its segment in terms of TCO.
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta with the innovative twin clutch transmission (TCT) was also presented. It returns outstanding performance: a top speed of 218km/h, 5.2l/100km over a combined cycle, 121g/km of CO2 and just 7.7 seconds to accelerate from 0-100km/h.

Ranieri Honorati, fleet and used cars marketing director, Fiat SpA.