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Car Energy Check: save money and protect the environment

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Save money as well as fuel and energy while driving? The Car Energy Check makes it possible. Markus Peter of the Swiss Auto Trade Association (AGVS) tells us in an interview what improvements can be done during the half-hour vehicle check. 

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    Markus Peter

    Markus Peter is Head of Technology and Environment at the Swiss Auto Trade Association (AGVS). He's one of the AGVS team of experts on the 20min.ch vehicle advice column and answers questions about the environment and technology.

Mr. Peter, who is behind the Car Energy Check and what is its aim?

The AGVS and its affiliated Swiss garages carrying out the work are behind the Car Energy Check (AEC).
The aims of the Car Energy Check are to:

  • protect the environment,
  • reduce costs and carbon emissions, as well as 
  • save fuel and energy. 

Thanks to the vehicle check, the active AEC garages can promote customer satisfaction and loyalty. EnergieSchweiz supports the project conceptually and financially. Other partnerships exist with EcoDrive and with AXA of course. Thanks to the lower energy and fuel consumption, the driver not only contributes to protecting the environment, but also saves money. 

How can I get the Car Energy Check carried out on my car?

The Car Energy Check  website shows an interactive map so that you can find your nearest AEC garage. The check is made up of two parts: firstly, the workshop checks energy and consumption-related points and corrects any defects. After that, the vehicle condition is recorded in a web application and a certificate is produced accordingly. In a final personal discussion, the garage then explains the certificate to the customer, detailing what was already optimized and how even more energy can be saved. The Car Energy Check certificate also shows how much energy can be saved by switching from the current car to an electric one in the same vehicle segment.

What are the benefits and costs for me as the car's driver?

If the recommendations on the AEC certificate are implemented, you can achieve savings of up to 20 percent  in fuel consumption and fuel costs. For you, this means first and foremost a change of mindset. For example, getting used to having your tire pressure checked regularly  or only switching on the air-conditioning when necessary.

What is the savings potential in real terms?

Drivers with a gas or diesel vehicle can on average save up to 200 liters per year in fuel consumption. 

What other tips do you have for environmentally conscious behavior?

At home, at work or when you're on the road, only switch on the electronic equipment that you actually need. You can often make major savings with small  measures , such as setting the air-conditioning correctly. In addition to the Car Energy Check, I recommend taking an individual  EcoDrive driving course. Anyone about to buy a car can exert a positive influence on the energy footprint of their purchase by checking the fuel consumption and energy efficiency category in advance. Furthermore, the comparison on the AEC certificate between the current car and an electric one from the same vehicle segment can be the first indication of this. 

Free Car Energy Check for AXA customers

If you have insured your car with AXA and it is undergoing a repair following a claim, you can benefit, on request, from a free Energy Check in around 200 partner garages.

12 savings tips

These measures can help you save on fuel and reduce your vehicle's carbon emissions:

  1. Check your tire pressure regularly
  2. Remove unnecessary weight from the car
  3. Remove the roof rack
  4. Only switch on the air-conditioning from 18° C
  5. Use cruise control
  6. Use automatic start-stop systems
  7. Only switch on seat heating and other energy-consuming functions when necessary
  8. Change to a higher gear early and drive in a high gear or select automatic gear mode 
  9. Keep an eye on the road ahead
  10. Let the car cruise with your foot off the gas pedal , also downhill
  11. Step on the gas and use the highest gear possible on uphill stretches
  12. Make optimum use of recuperation and control functions in electric and hybrid vehicles 

You can find specific savings tips for your vehicle type on the EcoDrive website, the alliance for smart driving.

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