We’ve made huge strides in the last two decades to becoming a greener, more environmentally friendly country with state mandated recycling, levies on carbon emissions and education programmes to raise awareness. But there is one sector that needs special attentions. Transport.
All of the actions listed below can reduce the energy consumption of your motoring. Why not see what you can do to play your part?
What Car To Buy?
It is now mandatory under British and EU law for the motor industry to clearly advertise the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars, allowing consumers to make informed purchasing choices on both environmental and economic grounds.
This requires the placing of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions labels on all new cars on display for sale or lease at forecourts, showrooms etc. All points of sale or lease for new cars must also display posters with this information and include it in all promotional literature and material.
Ask the sales person for the Guide to Passenger Vehicles Fuel Economy & CO² Emissions. This Guide was published to provide consumers with relevant information on fuel efficiency on both urban and rural travel basis and on CO2 emissions on the purchase of any new passenger car.
The Guide contains: driving tips for improved environmental performance; the ten lowest CO2 petrol and diesel Cars; fuel economy and CO2 emission for all makes and models of new passenger cars.
When To Use The Car
Avoid using your car for short or unnecessary journeys a cold engine uses significantly more fuel than a warm engine: use public transport, cycle or walk instead. This will also reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your engine
Plan ahead by combining trips (shopping, school runs etc.), try to use less congested routes, avoid rush hours, car share with work colleagues.
Things To Remember When Driving
Driving at high speed (over 50 mph and especially over 60mph) uses more fuel and causes more pollution. Your fuel consumption and pollution increase in comparison to an economic norm of 50mph.
Vs a Norm of 50 mph Fuel Consumption increases Emissions rise by Noise increases by;
- At 60 mph 17% 15% 26%
- At 70 mph 29% 36% 46%
After starting the engine, it is best to drive off immediately. Idling causes pollution and excessive fuel consumption.
Depress the accelerator gently to drive away and change to a higher gear in time.
Do not approach traffic lights at speed. If it is clear that you will have to stop, begin slowing down well in advance.
Even if you only have to wait for 30 seconds, it is more economical to switch the engine off and start it again when necessary.
To drive economically you need to maintain a sufficient distance between yourself and the next vehicle. This way there is less need to react suddenly; you can brake and accelerate more smoothly.
Avoid over-revving the engine unnecessarily and drive in a gear position suitable to road conditions.
On bends, reduce speed in time and accelerate smoothly when you are halfway through a bend. Late, heavy braking before a bend followed by rapid acceleration leads to excessive fuel consumption.
If you watch the roads ahead and anticipate any likely problems, your driving style will become smoother and better controlled.
An aggressive driving style can lead to an increase in fuel consumption of 10-12% above average. This results in environmental pollution 30-40% higher than normal. An energy aware driving style can save up to 13% on fuel consumption and is better for the environment and for your wallet.
Operating the Car’s Equipment
Avoid drag. Where possible keep all windows closed and ensure that the doors, bonnet and boot are securely fastened.
Switch the rear screen demister off when the window is clear because when it is switched on your fuel consumption rises by 3% – 5%.
Close the widows and use the vents instead because when your front window is half open your fuel consumption increases by 5% at 50 mph (or 10% if you are driving at 70 mph)
When your sunroof is open fuel consumption rises by approximately 4%.
When it is half open it increases by approximately 3%.
Use air-conditioning sparingly – running air-conditioning continuously increases fuel consumption significantly.
Maintaining Your Car
Tyres in good condition and at the right pressure improve both safety and fuel consumption. Be sure to check your tyres regularly.
Ensure your car is properly and regularly maintained. Poor engine lubrication, wheel alignment and poorly adjusted brakes can increase fuel consumption.