Greener driving

Greener driving means selecting the most fuel efficient vehicle, and making changes to the way in which you drive.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average UK driver could save between £300 and £350 each year just by driving smarter. As well as the saving on fuel, efficient driving will reduce wear and tear on your car. So, what is greener driving?

Read on to find out how you can change your driving habits for cleaner, greener driving.

Before you set off

  • Empty your boot and car of unnecessary items. The lighter your vehicle, the less fuel it will consume.
  • Remove roof racks and roof boxes to ensure that your car is as aerodynamic as the manufacturer intended. This will reduce the air drag on your car and make it more efficient.
  • Check your fuel gauge. If you need to fill up check for local petrol stations and petrol prices.
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly as under-inflated tyres will increase your fuel consumption and are likely to be dangerous. Many petrol stations allow you to check and inflate tyres for a small charge (sometimes it’s free!).
  • If your car has air conditioning use it as little as possible, as your vehicle engine has to work hard to power it. If you are driving at a low speed it is better to open the windows to ventilate the vehicle.
  • There’s no need to warm the engine before you set off – modern engines don’t need to be warmed up, so idling before you start a journey simply wastes precious fuel.

Whilst you’re driving

Drive as smoothly as possible and avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking. Every time you break you are effectively wasting the fuel that was used to accelerate the car. If you anticipate the road as far ahead as possible you should be able to decelerate early rather than need to break.

Reduce Speed Now sign
Slower driving is more fuel efficient, driving very fast uses more fuel.

If your vehicle is a manual try shifting to a higher gear as soon as possible as driving at a lower engine speed reduces fuel consumption.

If your vehicle is stationery for more than a couple of minutes switch the engine off (if it is safe to do so). Modern vehicles use virtually no extra fuel when they’re re-started without pressing the accelerator so you won’t waste lots of fuel by turning the car back on.

If you’re travelling at 60mph or more ensure that all windows are closed as the aerodynamic drag on your car of an open window at speeds of 60mph or more adds to your fuel usage.

Alternative fuel vehicles

Hybrid fuel vehicles using alternative fuels such as Hydrogen, bio-methane, compressed & liquefied natural gas, and ethanol are becoming more commonplace. At the same time, electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and our city is putting charging points in place to support owners.

plug-in-chargingThere are currently two electric vehicle charging points in the city situated in the Victoria Centre Car Park level 2 white zone, and there are plans to provide electric vehicle charging points at the new Nottingham Station Car Park and also at selected Park and Ride sites. The City Council is currently undertaking feasibility work to determine the best locations.

The Electric Vehicle Network provides a directory and map of all UK charge points, as do Next Greencar.

The Sustainable Travel Collective is an Investor in the Environment committed to reducing their environmental impact and to the continual improvement of environmental performance. The Sustainable Travel Collective Ltd - Registered Charity number 1153800.