Sustainability is a hot topic at the moment and as part of our responsibility to preserve the planet, it is highly important that we find ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Looking specifically at transport, there are small changes drivers can make to reduce levels of CO2 made by vehicle engines as this is one of the major contributors to global warming.
Here at DCC, we have been incredibly vocal when highlighting the benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles to help minimise carbon output from vehicles. By driving an EV, you are reducing the level of pollution greatly and in the long term, it is cheaper to maintain than driving combustion engine vehicles. The main reason for this is EV drivers do not need to change oil, there is no engine to manage, and with fewer parts this makes them easier to manage. While we recommend driving EVs, there are other small changes drivers can make to their driving habits to reduce pollution. These can be through planning travel routes, driving cautiously, and ensuring tires are properly inflated.
There are many other ways people can make changes in their daily driving routine to help benefit the environment. Websites/apps like Google Maps helps drivers to plan travel routes that will generate the lowest level of fuel consumption. This benefits the driver by helping to save money as well as reducing CO2 emissions which is important as road transportation is the largest producer of carbon emissions in Europe. You can specify what fuel type you are using which will gauge how much will be required, this will be especially helpful on long distance journeys. At the same time, you can use these platforms to assess your shorter, daily commutes and make suitable changes which would significantly reduce the carbon output which adds up long term.
Charge Place Scotland holds another helpful app/website showing all public chargers which enables users to plan out a journey knowing how far they are from the nearest charger. The app/website also lists chargers that are out of service to help keep drivers informed.
A useful tip drivers may consider is to look for chargepoints that offer green power as opposed to other charging power. Solar generated energy is a great example of this where energy is collected directly from sunlight via solar panels and transferred into charging units. At DCC, we have installed a number of solar panels in some of our hubs and car parks. You can find green powered chargers at Greenmarket, Princes Street, Queens Street, Gellatly Street, Olympia, and Clepington Road (which is set to open next year).
Still driving combustion engine vehicles?
Despite the clear advantages EVs can bring, some people still hold concerns about changing over from gas powered cars. Some find EVs are too expensive, or they are worried about battery range anxiety. This is understandable with the high costs up front, but maintenance costs are very low and no requirement for fuel means less money is spent in the long term. Also, many drivers travel under 20 miles a day, meaning cars only need to be charged around once a week. If you are still unsure, and want to continue using combustion engine cars, there are other changes you can make to reduce output. These are to drive smoothly and brake gently, and keep your car moving if possible which means less fuel is used. There may be some cases where you can be stuck in stand still traffic, and it can be helpful to use the start/stop function which again can reduce emissions. Further tips are to properly inflate your tires regularly, take the shortest route and ensure you do not speed.
As it is estimated that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation alone are responsible for about 29% of total emissions, it is important to consider as many other options as possible. Public transport, bicycles, e-bikes and scooters, and Hybrid vehicles are the best alternative options to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Changing to EVs
Making the above changes to your driving will be beneficial to the environment, but with the announcement from the government that no new petrol and diesel cars will be sold in the UK in 2030, it may still be a good idea to consider an electric car. As EVs run solely on electricity, their carbon footprint is minimal and can put the drivers mind at ease whilst using it as a source of transportation. With our charging infrastructure in place in Dundee, we have provided charge points within close proximity so that drivers are never too far away to top up their cars. As previously mentioned, the maintenance of EVs is cheaper than gas-powered cars and about 96% of EV drivers say that they would buy another EV.
Due to the increased awareness and concerns for climate change, sustainable living has been highlighted as an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint by adapting your diet, lifestyle and transportation. Making changes now will produce positive long-term effects for the environment in the near and distant future.
Aside from driving, other ways to live sustainably is through reducing energy consumption at home, recycling and reusing materials, eat less meat, and donate. These are great ways to make small changes in your daily routine to play your part in preserving the planet.