Reducing your emissions
Your driving habits, the type of vehicle you drive and driving conditions will affect your vehicle's environmental impact. Follow these tips to reduce your emissions with your current vehicle.
Minimise your vehicle use
Planning your travel ahead could mean fewer trips and more efficient and cheaper travel than unplanned decisions made 'on the go'. Some other considerations to minimise vehicle use include:
- Use alternative transport such as catching the bus, train, tram or ferry, which are often cheaper than driving. You could also walk or cycle depending on the distance.
- Go to shops nearest to you whenever possible to reduce the distances you travel by car. Walk or cycle to your local shops if you can.
- Plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than several trips to save both time and fuel.
- Avoid peak-hour traffic whenever possible.
The more a vehicle carries, the more fuel it uses. Minimising the cargo your vehicle carries can reduce your fuel consumption.
Service your vehicle regularly
Keeping your vehicle well-tuned will minimise its environmental impact by reducing running costs and extending the vehicle’s life.
Monitor speed and acceleration
Unnecessary acceleration and driving at high speeds can both increase fuel consumption and emissions. High speeds result in high fuel consumption. At 110 kilometres per hour (km/h) your car can use up to 25% more fuel than it would at 90 km/h. When you need to drive at high speeds, maintaining a good distance from the car in front will prevent abrupt braking and needing to accelerate back up to full speed by ensuring you can see upcoming traffic lights changing or cars turning.
Reduce fuel wasted in idling
Fuel waste is minimised by stopping the engine whenever your car is idle. By switching the engine off, even for a short period, you will save more fuel than is lost from the burst of fuel involved in restarting the engine. Some newer vehicles have an auto-stop function which means the engine is switched off when the car comes to a stop and the vehicle does not need to draw power from the engine. The net increased wear and tear from this practice is minimal.
Minimise aerodynamic drag
Increased air resistance leads to an increase in fuel consumption, in some cases by over 20%. You can reduce your fuel consumption by only opening the window or carrying extra parts on the vehicle’s exterior (i.e. roof racks, spoilers) when necessary.
Look after your vehicle's tyres
Looking after your tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption, it will also extend tyre life and improve handling. You should inflate your tyres to the highest pressure recommended by the tyre manufacturer and make sure your wheels are properly aligned (remember to keep your spare tyre inflated as well). Tyres with a lower rolling resistance can also help reduce fuel consumption.
Drive in high gear
Most engines run more efficiently at around 1,500 to 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm). Change through the gears before your car reaches 2,500 rpm to run more efficiently. Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car builds speed.