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New Shell Research Busts Myths On American Drivers' Views About Fuel Efficiency

HOUSTON, April 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For years, American car culture has influenced US motorist behavior, affecting everything from what we drive to how we drive and maintain our vehicles.   Shell announced results from a new national study today that provides insight into current US driver attitudes on fuel efficiency and compares them to those of drivers in other countries. The results counter some common myths about national views on energy use, revealing that Americans care about using energy resources wisely, understand the importance of fuel efficiency and want to learn more about how to save fuel.  



From this study's findings, Shell also announced the US launch of Target One Million, as part of its Smarter Driving program.  The goal of this initiative is to show one million people worldwide how easy it is to become more fuel efficient. 

The survey results show:
  • Americans are more concerned about energy waste compared to other countries surveyed[1], with half of US drivers bothered by people wasting energy and 54 percent seeing it as a waste of resources beyond just money.
  • US drivers recognize the positive impact of fuel efficiency both financially and out of respect for the planet's resources.  Seventy-seven percent see being fuel efficient as an important way for them to personally use resources in a more sustainable way, while 86 percent also see it as important for saving money.
  • While 63 percent of drivers indicate a willingness to change their driving behaviors to be more fuel efficient, nearly one in three US drivers also indicated they don't know how to drive more efficiently. 

When it comes to maintenance behaviors, the survey showed that while most US drivers take care of their vehicles' basic needs, they could do more to be fuel efficient.  Items noted include:
  • Half of the people surveyed keep items in the trunk of their vehicles, with 23 percent using it as a permanent storage space, and
  • Many are not servicing their vehicle properly, with 40 percent missing maintenance checks and another one in 10 not getting regular maintenance done on their vehicles.

"Shell has more than 100 years of experience showing the world's drivers how to get more out of their fuel," said Elen Phillips, vice president, Shell Fuels Sales & Marketing Americas.  "From this new research, it's clear that Americans want to know more.  Programs like Smarter Driving and Target One Million are extremely important in demonstrating simple changes motorists can make to their driving habits to become more fuel efficient and to save at the pump."

Shell Smarter Driving and Target One MillionShell developed a Smarter Driving program for motorists to help them go further on less fuel by helping them "M.A.P." their own journey to Smarter Driving.  M.A.P. stands for:
  • Maintenance:  Perform smart maintenance before you drive;
  • Actions:  Practice smart behaviors while you're behind the wheel; and
  • Products:  Purchase smart products and services without sacrificing price or quality.

As part of Smarter Driving, the launch of the Target One Million initiative in the US means the release of an interactive, online mini-game, the Shell Smarter Driving Challenge at  The game has been designed to be shareable across social media platforms.  It shows motorists how a few simple changes to driving habits, such as ensuring proper vehicle maintenance and using high quality products, like Shell fuels and lubricants, can help them stretch their fuel purchases.  To date, more than 300,000 people globally have taken the challenge.

Appropriately, Shell announced this new program and the research findings on fuel efficiency at the seventh annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas running this weekend in Downtown Houston.  Phillips added, "Shell Eco-marathon isn't about breaking speed records or racing other teams to the finish line, instead, the competition honors the students who go furthest using the least amount of energy."

Fuel efficiency experts John and Helen Taylor, also known as the world's most fuel efficient couple, are helping launch the Target One Million initiative at the event.

"We are thrilled American motorists want to learn how to drive more fuel efficiently and be kinder to their wallets at the same time," said Helen Taylor.  "The Shell Smarter Driving Challenge mini-game is a fun way to learn, without taking too much time.  Learning to be a smarter driver doesn't have to be a hassle; it's easy!"

Visit for more information.

The Shell Smarter Driving Survey was commissioned by Shell and conducted by Edelman Berland, an independent market research and insights firm.  An unbranded online survey was conducted in March 2013 and randomly sampled 1,591 American drivers across the U.S.  A result of 50% is +/- 2.5% at the 95% confidence interval. 

About Shell Oil Company

Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas, marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes, generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice.

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