For the green-fingered amongst us, there can be no aspiration as obvious as owning an electric car. We are being told constantly that petrol and diesel are destroying what’s left of the environment and that the only way to reverse the damage is for the bold new electric future dawn to finally break. There is one major hurdle holding many of us back, however – the price. Even looking a ‘budget’ models, electric cars are certainly not cheap, with ‘proper’ used cars starting at around £20,000.
If a brand new electric car is well beyond your reach financially, don’t despair though, as there are several other significantly cheaper ways you could help save the planet by green motoring.
Do nothing – Sticking with your existing gas guzzler might actually be just as beneficial to the environment (at least in the short term) due to the hidden environmental costs of electric car production. Car production can produce as much as six tonnes of CO2, which is way more than you could ever hope to produce by driving your old petrol or diesel car in even a few years.
Drive less – An obvious tip, perhaps, but no less relevant. If you want to reduce your cars carbon footprint then don’t drive it as much. Walk and cycle shorter journeys and take public transport for the trips you would normally take in the car.
Buy used – Whilst you might not be able to find very many used electric cars, the used market is wealthy with low emission used cars such as the Ford Focus and the Skoda Fabia. If you look hard enough, you might even be able to find a hybrid or two!
Maintenance – The better maintained your car is, the more eco-friendly it will be. This means checking your tire pressure on a regular basis as under-inflated tyres don’t roll as well as freshly inflated ones. Also, check your emissions system and see whether to not it requires an upgrade and check to see if your fuel system needs to be fixed (remember that filters should be changed and injectors should be flushed about every 30,000 miles).
There are lots of other little things you could be keeping on top of to make your car more eco-friendly, such as using the air conditioning less and topping up your tank the right way to ensure less harmful vapours elapse the tank. There are even modifications that can be made to reduce your carbon footprint.
In all, however, the bottom line is that you don’t need to go electric to be a greener drive. You just have to drive smarter. Oh, and making sure there is no unnecessary extra weight in your boot is always a good shout too.