Make 2013 electric

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Drive an electric car

Swap to one of today’s electric cars to eliminate all or some of the harmful CO2 emissions from your daily drive. You have three main options:

• Extended-range electric vehicles are always powered by their electric motors. Just plug in to recharge the battery over night, and in the morning you’ve enough clean electric energy for your commute and other daily chores. If the battery runs low and you want to go further, a petrol generator provides the engine’s electricity instead.

• Battery-only electric cars rely 100% on the energy stored in their power cells. Ideal if you know your destination is within range, or know where charging points are en route.

• Hybrid electric cars supplement their petrol or diesel engine with an emissions-free electric motor which, in some cases, can also power the drive independently for short distances.

Streamline your fuel use

For maximum fuel efficiency, avoid sudden accelerations and decelerations and look to keep engine speed between 1,200 and 1,300 RPM. It’s easy if you to stick to the speed limit so you can marry your pace with that of other drivers.

Also seek to cut unnecessary mileage by combining multiple errands into single trips and getting reliable directions to your destination. Regularly tune your engine, and ensure your air filters are clean and tires properly pumped, and you’ll not only burn less fuel you’ll help save on future maintenance bills.

Remember, when it’s on, your air conditioning could be increasing your fuel use by 20-40%. So instead open the windows, park in the shade, and consider a reflective windshield or solar powered fan.

Offset, park up

If reducing your fuel use is tough, you can always offset it. Many dedicated services allow you to calculate your annual driving emissions and offer you various ways to nullify these.

And of course you could always drive less. Talk to your boss about telecommuting – the way of working already followed by 44 million Americans – or drive just part of the way then pick up public transport. For shorter trips, you could always leave the car at home and get on a bike – boosting your health at the same time.

Today, it’s easier than ever to drive greener. Yes, new-year eyes are inevitably on the future. But follow tips like those above and you can start making a real difference in 2013.

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