Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity and dropping in price all over the world. But until they make up the majority of vehicles on the road, it’s important for drivers to remain diligent in looking for ways to reduce the impact of their commute.
Avoiding excessive vehicle idling is a simple way to save money at the pump and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than stopping and restarting the engine. In addition, 10 minutes of idling uses as much fuel as traveling five miles and it releases a pound of carbon.
Vehicle idling is a common occurrence, especially during the winter as customers try to warm up their vehicle before driving off. However, idling is not an effective or environmentally friendly way to warm up a vehicle, even in the cold weather.
Keep these three simple steps in mind to help avoid vehicle idling:
Ease into drive to warm the engine – With today’s electronic engines, vehicles do not require idling to warm up. The best way to warm the engine is to ease into drive and avoid excessive engine revving. This is also the best way to get the vehicle’s heating system to deliver warmer air faster (or cooler air during the warmer months).
Turn off the engine if you are sitting for more than 10 seconds – Restarting a vehicle does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine. So turn off the engine while sitting in drive-through lines, waiting at a train crossing, or picking something up from the store, to save money and energy.
Walk instead of driving – Did you know that for most driving trips, the destination is within two miles of the driver’s house? If weather and safety permit, leave the car in the garage for errands that are within a close proximity to your home or office. The exercise will do you good, and the environment will thank you!
Image Credit: Flickr – MSVG