Being an Eco Motorist does not necessarily mean changing your car for an electric or hybrid version. There are many ways that you can reduce your cars carbon footprint and its affects on the environment without spending any money. This guide will cover:
Eco driving means energy efficient use of your car. Consuming fuel costs money and produces CO2 emissions which have a negative impact on the environment. There are many ways in which using smart driving techniques can reduce fuel consumption, therefore improving safety and lowering emissions.
10 smart rules for eco driving.
1. Read the road ahead Try to anticipate traffic flow as early on as possible. Using your cars own momentum and increasing stopping distances. Slowing gradually rather than at the last minute and using your gears to decrease speed can all reduce fuel consumption. Being aware of what is happening ahead as early as possible helps you do this. 2. Try to maintain a constant speed at low RPM. Maintaining a constant low RPM and speed in as high a gear as possible rather than increasing and decreasing speed can save on fuel consumption. Constantly stopping and starting and driving at high speeds increases stress, reduces aerodynamics and burns fuel. AA studies show that driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph. 3. Change gear at earliest opportunity. Try not to labour the engine and change gears upward at an optimum engine speed of around 2,000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2,500 rpm in a petrol car. Full throttle acceleration should be avoided if possible. On occasions where you need to accelerate more forcefully, try skipping gears. This can help to save fuel by getting you to your target gear and rpm faster. 4. Decelerate smoothly and try rolling. When slowing down or stopping, decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear as this uses less energy. If you can keep the car moving all the time , rather than stopping and starting (rolling) then so much the better. Stopping and starting uses more fuel than rolling. 5. Check your tyre pressures regularily. Keeping your tyres properly inflated will reduce fuel waste. Under inflated tyres create resistance and so use more fuel. Check your vehicles handbook or inside door for correct tyre pressure dependant on load. 6. Keep windows closed when driving at higher speeds, streamline and lose dead weight. Having windows open when driving at speed, carrying items on a roof rack or driving with a full boot unnecessarily can all increase aerodynamic drag and therefore consumes extra energy and fuel. Close windows, buy a streamline roof box and only carry what you need. 7. Combine short trips, drive off immediately after starting the engine and turn off when stationary. Stopping and starting all the time and sitting stationary with the engine running uses unneccesary fuel. Dont warm the car up before setting off, leave as soon as you start the engine. If you stop and wait for someone or are stuck in a traffic jam, stationary for any period, turn the engine off. Similarily, you can combine short trips so that you just make one journey. Cold cars use more fuel than those that are kept running. 8. Have your car regularily checked and serviced and use the specification engine oil. Get your car serviced regularly (according to the manufacturer’s schedule) to maintain engine efficiency and use the right specification of engine oil. 9. Consider using public transport or car sharing. It may seem obvious, but not using your car or using a means of transport which means that only one vehicle is on the road instead of several, will cut down on fuel consumption and pollution. Why not try cycling or walking as this will not only be more eco friendly but will mprove your health. 10. Buy a low emission car or consider upgrading to an eco car.
Vehicle emissions are a major contributor of greenhouse gases. Choose a low emission car or a fuel efficient model with reduced CO2 emissions. Cars with cruise control can decrease fuel consumption.
Being an eco driver always starts with decreasing emissions. The government are helping with incentives for those who use low emissions vehicle with tax incentives. You can check on the fuel consumption and emissions data of your current vehicle or one that you are considering buying, new or used, through the government website. In addition, The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is a team working across government to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV). They are providing over £900 million to position the UK at the global forefront of ULEV development, manufacture and use. This should help reduce greenhouse gases and pollution from our roads.
The recent VW fuel emissions scandal which saw VW and other manufacturers cheating on emissions testing has thrown more emphasis on testing. for more information, see the our guide from Auto Fuel Fix.
The ULEV are also providing plug-in car grants for those who wish to convert to a new electric plug-in car or van. Consider buying an electric car or hybrid (one which runs on either electric or fuel).
Hybrid cars are a combination of battery driven electric motor and conventional combustion engine (ptrol and/or diesel) and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. They boast outstanding fuel economy and low tax rates, saving the driver a tidy penny alongside their positive impact on reducing damage to the environment making then eco friendly. These days they can be plugged in at home to charge batteries. The advantage that they can be fuelled traditionally reduces anxiety of some drivers about driving distance using electric alone. It has to be said that hybrid and elctric powered vehicles these days have very good performance levels and are extremely quiet to boot.
The eco motoring future seems to be gearing towards hydrogen fuel cell cars. Similar to a battery-electric car, a fuel cell car dispenses with the internal combustion engine altogether.
Fuel cell cars are significantly more energy efficient than conventional vehicles. If renewable energy is used to generate hydrogen, then lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are virtually zero. With the exception of water vapour, this is a true zero-emission car. For more information on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars.
Another great way of eco-motoring is to use second hand or salvage car parts. The more we can recycle any working and reuseable parts, the less waste we are producing. Accident damaged vehicles or End of Life vehicles are disposed of or sold on by the insurance company after being written off to authorised salvage and recycling plants such as AFF Vehicle Services. The Salvage vehicles are then either sold as damaged repairable cars for sle or they are dismantled and all reusable parts removed to be sold as salvage parts. By using salvage parts, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money and in addition you are reducing waste. Less waste always has a positive effect on the environment. The comprehensive guide to buying salvage parts on AFF Vehicle services will help you understand what you are looking for and what to look out for.