Climate change is an increasingly worrying issue for everyone, and particularly-so after the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and the much-discussed repercussions of world leaders not acting swiftly on a series of climate measures. In the meantime, our everyday habits and practices are becoming even more important and we are having to look at ourselves and what we can do personally, while we wait for global agreements to be struck which will ultimately have a much more profound effect on climate change.
Motoring is naturally an element of our daily lives which is coming under greater scrutiny. For many years of course, vehicle manufacturers have recognised their influence on the climate via vehicle emissions and this data has now become accepted as a standard element of a vehicle’s performance specifications. But how can we reduce our vehicle exhaust emissions further while continuing to drive? There are many different ways we can do this, but some of them have drawbacks attached to them.
How to reduce your car emissions
- Car servicing – Oil that is used in our engines becomes old and might be poor quality, while air filters become clogged up over time. Servicing our vehicles allows these to be replaced, which should reduce your emissions. But not every service includes a routine oil and air filter change, sometimes this is reserved for major services or periodical ones. So booking a major service every time can become expensive.
- Use premium fuels – You will have noticed ‘premium’ fuels at the petrol pumps, and this essentially means better quality fuels that have been cleaned of chemicals and have less dirt build-up. These fuels will improve your vehicle emissions, but again, are a more expensive way to drive.
- Manage air conditioning usage – When you use your air conditioning you are using the engine, so the more you use it, the harder the engine is working and the more emissions you are creating. Using your air conditioning less, or at least on lower settings, can improve this, and having it regularly serviced will also help.
- Improve driving habits – Could you drive less and only use the car when absolutely necessary? This will reduce your emissions, and you can also try to drive at quieter times to reduce idling in traffic queues, and if you are waiting outside somewhere in your car, turn off the engine. Stop-start engines in newer cars are also a great way to reduce emissions.
- Check tyre pressure – Much like using the air conditioning, driving with low pressure tyres increases fuel consumption because the engine has to work harder. So check them regularly and keep them at optimum pressure as much as you can.
- Change your car – Of course you will only do this when necessary, but newer vehicles are better designed with more developed technology to reduce emissions, so this will be better than driving an older car. This also leads us to easily the most significant method of reducing your car emissions. If you change to a zero-emission electric vehicle (EV), your carbon footprint when motoring will disappear overnight.
Driving an electric vehicle
It is true that some of the practices above will still apply when driving an EV, although they become more of a cost-saving measure than a way to reduce emissions. There is no oil in an EV or air filters for an engine, but you can save the expense of charging your EV’s battery by using the air conditioning less, by improving your driving habits and by checking your tyre pressure. This will use up less charge in your battery and enable you to get more mileage for your money out of charging an EV’s battery.
In addition to this, EV technology is rapidly improving, so the range you will be able to achieve from a single charge of an EV’s battery will improve as time goes on, it already has over the last few years. Hybrid vehicles combine electric battery usage with traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel, so this is a good start in reducing your vehicle emissions, but a full electric vehicle uses 100% battery power and hence cuts out vehicle emissions completely. So this is by far the most effective way to reduce your car emissions.
Cost-effective EV motoring with a salary sacrifice car scheme
EVs use far fewer moving parts, so service and maintenance costs are significantly reduced with an EV, and further cost savings can be made by leasing an EV rather than buying one. A salary sacrifice car scheme offered by Pink Salary Exchange is a scheme open to all businesses, and allows an employee to exchange a portion of their gross salary for the lease cost of an electric vehicle. This is a cost-effective way for you to cut out your CO2 emissions completely and enjoy flexible and cost-effective motoring, so get in touch today to learn more.