You may have heard of Eco Pedal while back during the Los Angeles auto show. In the U.S. it debuted on the new Infiniti M-sedan and is intended to help customers see an improvement in fuel economy up to 10%. Here in the states that could me ecologically minded buyers might lean toward the luxury sedan, but here at AllSmallCars.com we are more interested in how this might impact the small car segment. Imagine a Nissan Versa or Nissan Sentra with Eco Pedal technology—10% fuel economy could really make a difference.
First things first, how does the Eco Pedal work? Basically, it is part of the fuel management system that monitors fuel consumption, accelerator inputs and other variable recorded by the onboard computer. The system is able to recognize when the car is being driven more aggressively than is efficient and tries to encourage more efficient driving by giving a slight resistance to the foot pedal. Of course, the system can be turned off, but the idea is that it is a subtle reminder that you can change your driving habits and possibly see up to that 10% improvement in fuel consumption as we mentioned before.
Our understanding is that this technology will eventually filter down to lower price cars and we hope to the smaller and more fuel-efficient cars. If you can imagine, a Nissan Versa could get up to an additional 3 miles per gallon on the freeway brining it much closer to the Fiesta’s 40 mpg rating that has excited the small car industry. There hasn’t been any announcement from Nissan to indicate if or when other cars will get the Eco Pedal, but we would highly encourage them to keep the green story going. Besides, the current generation loves the tech stuff, so it can’t hurt sales.