Whether you’re looking to economize on transportation costs or interested in reducing your environmental impact, making some changes to the way you drive can have a big positive effect.
Take a look at these five great tips for green driving that save you money while helping to protect the planet.
1) Keep The Load Light
Your car might seem big and heavy enough that the weight of the possessions inside it wouldn’t affect its efficiency, but that’s not really the case.
The more weight your car has to carry, the more fuel it requires. For better fuel efficiency, take a hard look at your car and get rid of everything that isn’t used frequently or necessary for safety.
Every bag and box you haul around in your trunk costs you a little extra money when you fill up.
The difference is most notable for smaller cars, and you may notice an immediate mileage improvement after cleaning out your trunk. Based on US government fuel economy data, you can expect to enjoy a 2 percent improvement in mileage for every 100 pounds you can get rid of.
2) Maintain Your Tires Properly
Healthy tires are a key part of healthy gas mileage. Leaving your tires under-inflated will drag your fuel efficiency down; it’s also a dangerous impediment to your safety.
When inflated properly according to manufacturers’ instructions, your tires will minimize road friction and reduce the total amount of energy your engine needs to provide.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that being conscientious about your tire pressure can improve your MPG by as much as six percent.
Get in the habit of checking the air in your tires on a monthly basis; it’s also an excellent idea to check prior to a long road trip.
3) Take It Easy Behind The Wheel
An efficient green driver is also a smooth driver. Hard braking and fast acceleration both drive down your fuel efficiency (by as much as 33 percent) as well as increase the number of pollutants your car releases.
If you peg your gas pedal to the floor for just one second, you’ll end up creating as much carbon monoxide as you do when driving normally for a full 30 minutes!
Speeding is also bad for your overall fuel efficiency. Pushing your average speed from 70 MPH to 85 MPH will increase your gas consumption by 25 percent.
Sticking with a gentle pace and gradual changes will work wonders for your efficiency in the long run. We got a great deal on our renewal after we had a 10 year no claims bonus, partially thanks to the way we drive.
4) Use Window Film To Moderate Temperature
It gets harder to save money when the temperature gets extreme.
Running your car’s air conditioner burns a lot of fuel and releases a lot of pollutants. Use natural ventilation whenever possible and avoid parking in direct sunlight.
Installing window film is also a great way to moderate the temperature in your passenger compartment. Besides reducing your reliance on the air conditioner, it will also cut back on the amount of UV light you’re exposed to.
5) Start Off With A More Efficient Vehicle
The best long-term solution to minimizing your car’s environmental impact is to plan ahead and make your next car purchase an eco-friendly one.
It’s also worth considering a hybrid or electric car to really minimize your emissions. The Kia Soul EV, for example, is an entirely electric model. Based on research by the advocacy group Plug-In America, you could expect to see an average savings of $1,600 thanks to reduced fuel costs if you switched to an EV.
Sustainability is important here at Kia, and we’re always interested in promoting greener driving.