Fiat adds to green accolades

The eco:Drive technology, a method of reducing emissions and improving fuel consumption in Fiat cars, was awarded the Green Development award in the BusinessCar Techies 2010 – a prestigious series of awards run by BusinessCar magazine.

Developed with computer giant Microsoft, the eco:Drive technology uses a Blue&Me information system displayed on a small screen to offer advice on more efficient driving, from when to change gear to suggesting optimum speeds.

Eco:Drive technology is available on a number of Fiat cars, including the hugely popular 500 and 500C city car, as well as the Fiat Professional van range.

The result is up to 15 per cent reductions in CO2 emissions, and the system has proved popular with fleet users hoping to downgrade and save money on emissions-based company car tax.

"Fiat’s eco:Drive Fleet system really impressed the judges, with the system’s ability to make a real difference to fuel use, and therefore a business’s running costs, key to its victory," says Paul Barker, BusinessCarEditor.

"The clever use of technology – with drivers or companies able to download the data direct from the car – is exactly the sort of application that the BusinessCar Techies seeks to reward."

The eco:Drive system is complemented by Fiat’s award-winning range of engines, including the Fiat Group’s 1.4-litre Multiair Turbo, named the best new engine of 2010 at the International Engine of the Year Awards.

Fiat models also use cleaner engines and innovative technology such as Start-Stop – a system whereby the engine switches off when the car is stationary – to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.

Fiat is one of only three manufacturers to boast average emissions under 130g/km. By 2015, EU legislation states all manufacturers must reduce emissions below 130g/km.

The popularity of the frugal Fiat 500 city car and the Italian manufacturer’s range of other small city cars and superminis means it is easier for Fiat to meet the EU targets early.