bgodette wrote:Braking doesn't matter. If the hill didn't exist you'd expend only the energy needed to accelerate, the extra needed to climb is being converted to potential energy which is recovered on the way back down...
Braking matters a great deal. If you use fuel to drive up a hill, coast down the other side, then brake from 60mph because your destination is at the bottom of the hill, more energy is converted to heat than if you drove around the hill and arrived at (say) 20mph, which means more fuel will have been consumed.
As for hills & valleys along the route: the impact on fuel economy of driving over a particular hill depends on the drivetrain and speed of the vehicle. If it's too steep to stay in top gear (and lockup for automatics) and/or the engine has to richen the mixture, then the hill will reduce fuel economy.
Whether the 20mph, winding road around the hill is more fuel-efficient, also depends on the drivetrain.
I just don't see how an app can take these factors into account. It can only be making generalizations; e.g., give preference to straight & level roads that average 40-60mph, and apply a penalty for faster & slower roads, hills etc.. If it isn't at least doing that, the "green" claim is pure marketing.