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How can drivers help the environment?

15th December 2021

Eco safe driving is driving with the environment in mind – cars are known to harm the earths ozone layer, due to the hydrocarbon glasses that they release. To combat these negative greenhouse gases, the UK government also give tax discounts on cars with lower emissions and hope to a net zero future by 2050. There are many ways you can become a greener driver, for example, by adapting the way you drive, the type of car you choose or how often you get your vehicle serviced.

Eco-safe driving

Did you know the way you drive can affect the environment? If you tend to drive at higher speeds and brake harshly, this is not only detrimental for your fuel consumption, but also the environment. By avoiding hard acceleration, you significantly help the environment. On top of this, your gear changes can also contribute to the amount of CO2 released – smoother gear changes are better than rushed changes.

Try to limit the times you drive with air conditioning on too, as this can also burn more fuel.  Avoid unnecessarily revving the engine – and switch your engine off when you can, as this is also harmful for the environment.

The car you drive

The type of car you opt for can have a significant impact on your environmental emissions - many motorists have started to switch to electric or hybrid vehicles in order to significantly reduce their impact. Cars with electric motors significantly reduce carbon emissions as they release less carbon gases.

Hybrid cars are operated by both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The battery is charged by regenerative braking and occasionally, by the engine. The electrical characteristics of a hybrid means the combustion engine can afford to be smaller overall leading to a reduction in emissions.

Electric cars work by being charged at a plug-in point – they store electricity in their batteries that power an electric motor. This electricity then powers the car functions - these cars do not need fuel and therefore, don’t release emissions.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like hybrid or an electric car is best suited for you, you could purchase a car which uses biofuel – this is fuel made from agricultural waste and when burned, release less emissions. Many fuels are already legally required to contain a small percentage of biofuels. Another way you can reduce fuel damage is by not overfilling your tank, as spilled fuel releases harmful emissions as it evaporates.

How often your car gets serviced

Not regularly getting your car serviced can essentially lead to releasing more harmful emissions. MOTs now have an environmental assessment, and you can fail your MOT if your car is considered to have too much of a damaging effect on the environment.

Eco friendly driving tips:

  • Consider car sharing - this is a good idea for your daily commute, especially if you have a colleague that lives close by that you could possibly take turns car sharing. By doing so, you are taking cars off the road and reducing car emissions.
  • Take public transport when you can - the most eco-safe way to drive is to limit your driving altogether. In some instances, this may seem easier said than done – especially if you work in a more remote location. However, just switching to public transport on the weekends will make a big difference to the environment and will also save loads on fuel in the long run.
  • Use the correct gear - ideally, you should be using the highest gear possible as this is the most fuel efficient.
  • Plan ahead - mapping your route out beforehand is not only beneficial to you, but also the environment. By planning ahead, you are able to take the quickest route – which causes less harm to the environment.
  • Avoid over packing your car - loading your car with unnecessary weight causes your car to use more fuel, which in turn affects the environment.

At Merityre, our specially trained team of experts can service, repair and maintain all kinds of electric vehicles, from plug-in electric to plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric. Use our location finder to contact your local Merityre team and learn more about making the switch to electric.