Although driving a car is the least sustainable choice of travel, it is sometimes a necessity. 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.
For cars without an automatic stop/start system, here are three questions to help you decide whether you should be switching your engine off or sitting idle.
1. Is your engine warm?
2. Do you expect to be staying put for at least 3 minutes?
3. Does your car have a good battery?
If you answer yes to all three, it’s safe to say it’s worthwhile switching off your engine.
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 it costs 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 of hundreds of fewer moving parts and associated mechanical problems, and they are better for the environment with no exhaust emissions (EVs don’t even have an exhaust!).