Planning your journey
It’s not always easy to know what transport options are available when making the transition from the car to other modes of transport, but the benefits of leaving the car at home, even if it is one day a week makes good sense. We are here to help you plan and make choices about the other ways to get to and from work, around town or further afield.
Although driving a car is the least sustainable choice of travel it is sometimes a necessity and there are ways in which you can reduce the impacts of car travel on the environment; save money, reduce energy use, CO2 emissions and pollution.
We have set out below some eco-driving tips that are simple ideas that really make a difference.
Servicing: get the car serviced regularly to maintain engine efficiency.
Before you go
Lose weight: extra weight means extra fuel so if there’s anything in the boot you don’t need on the journey take it out
Easy does it: drive smoothly, accelerate gently and read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking
Rolling: if you can keep the car moving all the time, the better; stopping then starting again uses more fuel than rolling
Is it best to idle or switch off?
You might be tempted to switch off the engine every time you stop after all many cars now have automatic stop-start systems that do just that but is switching off manually the best thing for your wallet or the environment?
As a general guide, for a warm car in daylight conditions in mild weather, turning the engine off for a wait of around a minute or more will probably save fuel. A cold engine, cold weather, or additional electrical loads will all extend the period you’d have to be stationary to get a benefit from switching off.
Is it a good idea to coast?
Although it used to be quite a common practice to save fuel, rolling downhill or approaching a junction with the car out of gear is inadvisable because the driver doesn’t have full control of the vehicle. You lose the ability to suddenly accelerate out of tricky situations:
Don’t waste time having difficulties in finding the way to your destination – use our useful tips above and you will be sure to embark on a smooth journey. With Smarter Travel you can not only plan your trip, but you will easily and seamlessly travel from door to door using all means of sustainable travel options available to you.
The future of car travel is electric
If you’re thinking about a new car, why not look at a hybrid or electric vehicle? Today’s electric and hybrid cars can drive over 320 kilometres on a single charge and you could save yourself hundreds of pounds compared to petrol or diesel cars. Visit Goultralow.com to find a handy ‘home charging calculator’ that can help you to find out how much does it cost to charge an EV at home. Also, there are almost 20,000 public charging point connectors in the UK including rapid chargers.
There are significant benefits to driving electric or hybrid vehicles; they are cheaper to run than combustion engines, potentially saving up to two thirds of the cost on petrol or diesel (see a ‘Journey cost savings calculator’ here), they are cheaper to maintain because hundreds of fewer moving parts and associated mechanical problems, and they are better for the environment with no exhaust emissions (EV do not even have exhaust!).
To find EV charging points through the UK visit the handy Zap Map website.