Vehicle - Carbon Reduction

Tips to helping you reduce your personal transport footprint

Driving one mile in an average car produces around 0.3kg of CO2e. Driving 10,000 miles in a year can therefore produce around 3 tonnes of CO2e.

  • For short journeys; walk or cycle - not only does this reduce carbon emissions, it will help keep you fit and healthy.
  • When possible, use the bus or a train rather than your car.
  • Avoid using air conditioning, can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%.
  • Keep track and check car oil frequently to insure your car is working at optimum efficiency.
  • Ensure tyres are inflated to the correct level.  If a tyre is under-inflated by 20 percent it can reduce economy by around 20 percent, therefore increasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
  • Limit idling in traffic. 10 seconds of idling in traffic wastes more fuel than restarting the car, it also produces more harmful air pollution.
  • Overall driving style can significantly influence emission levels and air pollution. Driving at 70 mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60 mph and up to 15% more than at 50 mph. Earlier gear changes (shift up a gear when the engine is revving between 2000 and 2500 revs) and gradual breaking will help reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
  • Car share to work - can reduce your impact by 50-80%.
  • Next time you replace your car - make sure you choose a low emission vehicle. If you have the budget, consider getting a hybrid or full electric car.

    Electric Vehicles

    • Next time you replace your car, consider getting a hybrid or full electric car.
    • When leasing new vehicles, consider transitioning to plug-in electric cars and vans. PHEVs and full EVs have lower emissions associated with them, as electricity comes from the grid which grows more heavily reliant on renewable power sources, rather than burning petrol or diesel fuels.
    • The carbon emissions of driving 10,000 miles; Average Electric Vehicle 0.96 tCO2e*; Average Petrol car 2.81 tCO2e; Average Diesel car 2.71 tCO2e.
      * vehicle charged from UK mains electricity (assuming an average mix of sources i.e. not 100% renewables)
    • For your electric car to be zero emissions, transfer your home / office electricity to a green tariffs.
    • EV batteries last longer with every technological advancement, with also a second life as domestic storage batteries, so reducing the overall environmental impact.

    Getting more from your Electric Vehicles

    • To improve the lifespan of your batteries, only charge to 80% of battery capacity, unless you plan to make a long journey.
    • If you have a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), make sure you plug it in when not in use, so you can maximise the distance you drive on electricity.
    • For company cars, make sure that users are sufficiently trained to get the most from PHEV vehicles.
    • Make sure there is access to suitable charging points (e.g. dedicated rapid charge points at your sites) and either charge points at home/incentives to charge at home (as colleagues will be using their own home energy).
    • Explore whether charging on a client site is feasible/can be negotiated.
    • Charge during the night if possible to reduce strain on the electricity at peak times. Some new flexible energy tariffs provide very low cost electricity at night time - as there is often an excess of energy on the electricity grids (e.g. from Wind Power). Changing at night helps balance the grid, and can give you the benefit of very cheap electricity. 
    More details can be found here