Lean, Clean & Driving Green

Eco Driving Tips: If you take 80km/h as the Normal driving range, then increasing to 100km/h increases fuel consumption by 17% over the norm.
Increasing that to 120km/h increases fuel consumption by 29%.
All you need to do is be aware of a few simple rules:

• Eco driving means: look ahead, drive smoothly and avoid acceleration and heavy braking. This saves wear and tear on the car and makes for a more economic use of fuel and a reduction in your car maintenance costs.
• A less aggressive, energy conscious driving style could reduce your fuel use by 10%.
• Safe economical driving means keeping a sufficient distance behind the car in front. This way you can brake and accelerate more smoothly.
• Keep an eye on your gear-changing: When eco driving, revs should as far as possible kept at 2,500 rpm for petrol and 2,000 rpm for diesel vehicles, or below if possible.
• At bends reduce speed gently and accelerate smoothly when you are halfway through to reduce fuel use.
• Use the air conditioning sparingly.
• Turn off the rear window demister when your window is clear. Leaving it on uses up 3-5% more fuel.
• When you start the engine, don’t keep it idling to heat up the engine. This wastes fuel and should not be necessary if you drive off gently and smoothly. Eco driving encourages basic good driving practice. It might mean you use your car a little bit less, but you save fuel on the way you drive as well as cutting out unnecessary journeys.
• Even if waiting 30 seconds it is more economical to switch the engine off and start it again when necessary.
• Remove anything from the vehicle which increases ‘drag’. Roof boxes and roof racks should only be in place when they are being used. And don’t use the boot as a permanent storage space! Eco driving is lighter driving.
• When eco driving, consider sometimes avoiding short journeys, or link together several necessary journeys– cold engines use almost twice as much fuel as heated ones and catalytic converters can take up to five miles to become effective.
• Longer journeys give better fuel economy
• To save fuel in town driving – avoid over revving the engine and drive in as high a gear as is suitable to road conditions.
• Before your journey: plan the route to avoid local works, congestion or losing your way.
• Avoid where possible driving with your windows down, as this creates drag.
• For eco driving, the most efficient speed for fuel consumption has been shown to be 80-95 kph.
• Have your tyres checked regularly – under-inflated tyres use more fuel.
• Did you know that tyres 0.5 bar below recommended pressure increase fuel consumption by 2-3%
• And one of the most effective ways of eco driving: consider car-sharing for some journeys.

Consider buying an ‘eco friendly’ vehicle: As with any purchase, do your homework. Keep eco driving at the front of your mind? Check to see if the car you want has a hybrid or diesel version; you can find information about the lowest CO2 emission cars on the Department of Transport’s website in the ‘ACT ON CO2’ section. Or http://www.green-car-guide.com/guide/family-cars-2.html or just google low emission cars.
• All new cars should have an environmental label which grades the car from A (the cleanest) to G (the most polluting).
• Manufacturers are now obliged to publish CO2 emission information by law in their adverts.
• Fuel: As eco driving becomes more popular and necessary, there are now a range of cars and fuels to help you.
• Diesel vehicles have less CO2 emissions than their petrol equivalents, but they still produce harmful emissions. Choose one with a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
• Hybrid vehicles have a conventional engine in addition to an electrical motor and battery, which is recharged as you drive. They are available from several manufacturers and are becoming increasingly popular.
• Electric vehicles produce no exhaust emissions and are exempt from road tax. Most have a range of 100-200 km and a top speed of 50mph being worked on all the time. For eco driving, this has to be the most obvious choice.