For those of us still to go whole hog on the EV front, the current fuel shortages have us thinking how we can best conserve the fuel we’ve got. And while some of these tips may be considered common knowledge, like being less heavy footed on the accelerator, others, like sharing a lift, may not quickly come to mind.
Have you got a boot full of rubbish? Unused roof racks? Do you love having the air con blasting or the windows wide open to feel the wind through your hair? All these things impact fuel consumption. It’s common sense really – the heavier you are, the more fuel you need to power the car. So, why not empty that boot if you’re just using it as storage space? Additionally, car designers go to great effort to make our vehicles as aerodynamic as possible. Cracking the windows or whacking a great big roof rack on the top of your car impedes those efforts, directly effecting fuel economy.
Slow and steady wins the race
If there ever was a time – and it has been always – it’s time to ditch your boy racer ways. Erratic driving sees vehicles consume up to 60% more fuel. When it comes to panic buying petrol pumps with capped limits, that will only get you so far before you’re stranded in a layby or back in the queue! That means easing up off the accelerator, braking smoothly and not over taking if you don’t need to. Drive in the highest gear possible and keep to a consistent speed where you can.
Don’t be idle, switch off!
It’s been ingrained into many of us that turning the car off and on again uses more fuel than allowing the engine to idle. Well with modern cars, this simply isn’t the case. Running the engine when you’re stationary consumes between half a gallon and a gallon of fuel every hour. That’s a lot of fuel (and emissions!) to needlessly pump into the atmosphere when you could just as easily switch off!
Make sure your tyre pressure’s correct
How often do you check the tyre pressure? Chances are not until you can feel there’s a problem or your dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree you. And it’s not just long journeys when it’s worth checking. Underinflated tyres mean more surface on the road which results in more drag, more fuel used and more emissions! Why not take the time to regularly check your tyre pressure to ensure you’re enjoying an optimal driving experience? Unsure what your tyre pressure should be? It’s usually noted on the inside of the driver’s door or your owner’s manual.
Share your journey
A car with 2 people in is twice as efficient and half as expensive as it with one. Even more so if you’re filling all those empty seats – of which there are 47m on our roads every rush hour. Many of us make the same journeys every day, as do others going the same way who also choose to drive alone.
Single car occupancy is one of the biggest sources of localised congestion, poor air quality and CO2 emissions exacerbating climate change. And in a time of fuel scarcity, sharing a journey allows you to split the stresses and travel costs associated with driving. Whether you’re informally sharing with a colleague or friend, or utilising the Liftshare Platform to connect with others going the same way as you, you’re protecting your pocket – and the planet.
Not sure how you feel about about sharing? Next week is Liftshare week (4th-10th October), where the free Liftshare communities and Liftshare for Work scheme holders call for more people to start sharing to reduce the environmental impacts of driving alone. 90% of people who share go on to do so on a regular basis, enjoying all the benefits of car sharing provide!
Author Erin Heenan