Green Driving Tips
The Make Cars Green Campaign aims to help reduce the impact of cars on the environment and help drivers think green before they drive.
10 points for greener motoring
1. Buy Green
- Buy Green
- Plan your journey
- Check tyre pressures frequently
- Reduce loads and avoid the need for roof racks
- Dont warm up your engine before starting off
- Use air conditioning only when necessary
- Accelerate gently and keep your speed constant
- Use engine braking
- Don't idle your engine
- Offset your CO2 emissions
When Purchasing a Car you should always take into consideration environmental performance.
- Buy an appropriate sized car for your needs.
- A more efficient greener car will cost less to run.
- The FIA Foundations EcoTest www.ecotest.eu can provide you with an easy to understand star rating system that evaluates the environmental performance of new car models.
2. Plan your journey
A well-planned journey will allow you to get to your destination in the quickest and easiest way, saving on unnecessary fuel emissions.
3. Check tyre pressures frequently
- Consider that ten minutes of unnecessary driving in a one-hour trip results in a 14 per cent decrease in fuel efficiency.
- For short journeys see if it is possible to cycle, use public transport or walk.
- Fitting Global Positioning System (GPS) in your car can allow you to know in advance the easiest route to a set destination.
A well-inflated tyre decreases the rolling resistance and thereby increases efficiency.
4. Reduce loads and avoid the need for roof racks
- Driving on tyres with air pressure at 50kPA (0.5kg/cm²) lower than it should be decreases fuel efficiency by 2 per cent and 4 per cent respectively in urban and suburban areas.
- Consider fitting your car with tyre pressure monitoring systems that allow you to know when you need to refill your tyres.
- A correctly inflated tyre increases the grip on the road and therefore is not only a greener, but a safer tyre.
Extra weight increases the consumption of fuel as does increased air resistance.
- Driving with 100kg of unnecessary onboard weight leads to a significant decrease in fuel efficiency of around 6 per cent on a medium class car.
- Check for unnecessary items in the boot of the car, such as luggage or overly large goods.
- Modern cars are built with aerodynamics in mind, a ski carrier on top of a car can increase consumption by 20 per cent.
5. Dont warm up your engine before starting off
Modern cars no longer need to be warmed up before starting off, only in extremely cold conditions.
- Slow running may be required after starting the engine; this style of driving will also increase fuel efficiency.
- Modern cars constructed with a fuel injection engine no longer require the accelerator to be pushed when starting up. Doing so will only confuse the on-board systems and increase fuel consumption.
6. Use air conditioning only when necessary
Avoid setting AC to low, as AC uses a lot of power from the car.
7. Accelerate gently and keep your speed constant
- When the outdoor temperature is 25°C, AC decreases fuel efficiency by 12 per cent.
- When it is safe to do so, opening the windows in town driving is more efficient than using AC. However, the opposite is true when driving at high speed due to air resistance.
- Other in car devices, such as sound systems, also increase consumption.
Gentle driving uses less fuel, is safer and will allow you and your passengers to reach your destination in more comfort.
8. Use engine braking
- Start off gently (20km/h in 5 seconds, for an 11% increase in fuel economy) and avoid abrupt, heavy accelerations while driving.
- Avoid tailgating as it causes unnecessary acceleration/deceleration which costs 2 per cent and 6 per cent less fuel efficiency espectively in urban and suburban areas.
- Use the highest gears possible in any given situation.
Using the natural braking power of engines saves on fuel economy.
- Releasing the accelerator when recognising the need to slow down stops the fuel supply leading to a 2 per cent increase in fuel efficiency.
- Engine braking also has the added bonus of reducing wear and tear on the brakes.
9. Don't idle your engine
When you are not using the engine of the car it is still using fuel.
- Idling for more than a minute uses more fuels than is needed to restart the engine.
- Ten minutes of engine idling (in neutral, with the AC off) wastes 130cc of fuel.
10. Offset your CO2 emissions
CO2 production as a result of transport is often unavoidable, if you do drive you can still contribute to CO2 reduction by offsetting emissions.
- The FIA has been at the pioneering end of offsetting with its carbon sequestration project commissioned in Mexico over ten years ago.