Dept for Transport: Act on Co2

12th, January 2009

     
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Transport contributes to climate change because engines burn fuel and therefore produce carbon dioxide (CO2) every time you travel. You can easily reduce these emissions and save money by following the simple tips below.

Six smarter driving tips

There are a few easy things you can do when you drive and look after your car to help reduce the amount of fuel you burn and so cut down on CO2 emissions. The secret is to help reduce the amount of work your engine has to do, because the greater the workload, the more fuel is burned – so the higher the CO2 emissions. By following our smarter driving tips you could cut your CO2 emissions by around 8 per cent – equivalent to an annual fuel saving of up to one month per year. All you need to get started are the smarter driving tips below that you can put into practice straight away.

1. Pump up to cut down

Pumping up car tyreUnder inflated tyres create more resistance when your car is moving. That means your engine has to work harder, so more fuel is used and more CO2 emissions are produced. Simply check and adjust your tyre pressures regularly and also before long journeys. This will also help to increase the life of your tyres.

Under inflated tyres increase CO2 but over inflated tyres can be unsafe, so check your car manual for the correct tyre pressure. Remember, a car with a heavier load may need different air pressure in the tyres.

2. Less clutter in your car means less CO2

Clutter in car bootClutter in your boot is extra weight your engine has to carry around. By removing it, you could reduce your engine's workload. This will burn less fuel and cut your CO2 emissions, so unload any items you won't need for your journey before you set out.

3. Driving at an appropriate speed reduces CO2

Speed limits are the maximum lawful speeds which may be driven in ideal circumstances. Drivers should never exceed the speed limit. Staying at or within the speed limit increases driver safety. It also reduces CO2 emissions and saves money on your petrol costs. At 70mph you could be using up to 9 per cent more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15 per cent more fuel than at 50mph.

4. Less stopping and starting means less CO2

Every time you stop then start again in a traffic queue, the engine uses more fuel and therefore produces more CO2. Keep an eye on the traffic ahead and slow down early by gently lifting your foot off the accelerator while keeping the car in gear. In this way, the traffic may have started moving again by the time you approach the vehicle in front, so you can then change gear and be on your way.

5. Over revving accelerates emissions

Modern car engines are designed to be efficient from the moment they are switched on, so revving up like a Formula 1 car in pole position only wastes fuel and increases engine wear. Using your gears wisely by changing up a gear a little earlier can also reduce revs. If you drive a diesel car, try changing up a gear when the rev counter reaches 2000rpm. For a petrol car, change up at 2500rpm.

6. Idling is wasting fuel

When the engine is idling you're wasting fuel and adding to CO2 emissions. If you're likely to be at a standstill for more than three minutes, simply switch off th

     

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