I first met Danny the founder of Greendrive at the Founders Institute startup launch program about 2 years ago. Back then it was a “cleantech business creating new automotive technologies to increase vehicle efficiency and reduce emissions” (snooze). In layman’s terms he was building a widget that plugged into a port on your car to help you reduce your CO2 emissions. It sounded quite ambitious and to be honest I didn’t really believe he would make it happen (or that people cared enough about CO2 to buy it unfortunately).
I’d read about hypermilling and had gone looking for guides on some of the techniques they used but never really found much. I was super passionate my carbon footprint and driving a slow car at the time so I started doing what I could (driving even slower) to improve fuel efficiency. My only metric was a mental calculation of litres per 100 km each time I filled up the petrol tank and fastidious use of the trip meter in the car.
Not long after I started my fuel efficiency journey we bought a newer more efficient car which displayed litres per 100 kms on the dash that made the process easier. It was faster than the old car so I just drove it at the same speed, held up traffic a little and my fuel efficiency numbers got better. I used tricks like keeping the revs as close to the peak torque of the engine as I could and never reving it hard.
This kind of worked except I shared the car with my wife who wasn’t quite so anal about it and killed my numbers every time she drove. Eventually my interest wained a little, the inner hoon resurfaced and I went back to driving harder and less efficiently.
So on meeting Danny I got where he was coming from but I also appreciated that unfortunately most people don’t care enough about carbon emissions to make this mainstream, it’s also hard to keep their interest. There needed to be other benefits. Saving money is a huge one and a constant visual reminder for when someone over took you in a Camry and you had to beat them was mandatory.
I caught up with them 6 months after I’d first met Danny and Ian had joined him as a non tech co-founder. They were making progress and extending their thinking to all the other benefits of tracking what a car was doing, how it was performing and where it was going.
2 years on they’ve honed their focus, changed their name to GoFar, built a team and just this week launched an amazing product that you can order on Kickstarter. It does everything above and more via a beautiful smart phone app and in car display. Rest assured this is a very real well funded project that will certainly be delivered. Check out their video for a quick overview (warning: viewing could be costly as you’ll certainly buy one).