Features » Motoring in Spain » The Car Clinic
Tony Banham (The Car Clinic) / 2010-07-27 13:07:24
ECO Driving – Part One
China's power station “Huaneng Power International” releases nearly 292 million tons of CO2 annually. Australia produces 11 tons of CO2 for each of its people from their power plants. An average small car on the other hand, that consumes 8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometers (approx 31 mpg), after travelling 20,000 kilometres (average per year) will only produce 4.34 tons of CO2. Yet the finger of blame seems to point firmly at “the motorist.” So what can we “the motorist” do to reduce this affect and help save our planet?
Eco driving or green driving is not the solution but it will help the situation. This is finding the best way to drive your car more economically and therefore reducing your fuel bill and emissions. There are certain things which you need to do to drive in an eco way, by far the easiest is to save fuel. To do this you need to look after your car and also adapt an eco driving technique.
Let’s start with a few tips on how to reduce your fuel bills. Take out any unnecessary items that you won't need for a particular journey (e.g.; golf clubs, prams etc.) this will reduce the car's weight and cut your fuel consumption. Removing roof racks and boxes when they're not needed as the wind resistance they create dramatically increases fuel consumption. Making sure your car's engine is well maintained and in good working order will improve performance and cut your fuel bills. Ensure your car has the correct tyre pressure as fuel consumption increases by one per cent for every 6psi a tyre is under-inflated. Slow down! Driving over 120km/h increases your car's emissions and uses 25 per cent more fuel than cruising at 90km/h. Avoid accelerating or braking too much as it will use up to 30 per cent more fuel and increases wear and tear. Try not to drive with your windows down as this increases drag, although not that easy this time of year but turn off the air conditioning. An A/C pump can take as much as 5 brake horse power from the engine.
Keep your revs to an appropriate level. When changing gear do not leave it too long before you change. The ideal revs are around 2000rpm for diesel cars and 2500rpm for petrol cars. Petrol engine cars are generally cheaper than their diesel counterparts to buy. Petrol powered cars release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and burn non-renewable energy sources. We all know this is bad for the environment but there are obviously some petrol cars which are less harmful (greener) than others. The most efficient petrol cars return the best km per litre of fuel and produce the lowest CO2 emissions.
ECO Driving – Part Two
Electric vehicles have been around for a number of years now and a number of new technical innovations mean they are increasing with popularity. They are powered by an electric motor (DC or AC) which draws its power from an on-board battery packs which act as an energy store. Batteries, usually Nickel metal-hydride or Lithium-ion are charged by simply connecting the vehicle to a mains power supply, and is usually charged overnight for a full charge. A feature of most modern electric cars is the regenerative braking system which allows the battery to be topped up when the brakes are applied. Current electric vehicles available tend to be smaller 2 seater cars which are very light. A range of 70 to 160 kilometres is achievable with top speeds from 60 to 100 km/h. This makes them favoured by city drivers. Although they are zero-emission vehicles, remember what I said before about how much emissions are however produced during the generation of electricity, not so green after all?
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a natural hydrocarbon fuel made up of propane and butane. LPG produces far less carbon dioxide than petrol and fewer particulates and nitrogen oxides than diesel. It can be used within a modified internal combustion engine after conversions which cost around €1,500-€2,000.
Biodiesel is produced from renewable energy sources such as rapeseed, sunflower or soybean oil. Biodiesel is green as it has the potential to be carbon-neutral, that is to say all the carbon dioxide emitted during use of the fuel when emitted from the vehicle is balanced by the absorption from the atmosphere during the fuel crop’s growth. Biodiesel in some instances can be a direct replacement for diesel, however most manufacturers remain cautious about engine wear and recommend a blend of between 5% to 30% biodiesel although some modern engines are capable of running on 100% biodiesel.
There’s only one sure way you can reduce your effect on the environment and that is simply to use less fuel. Until next time results of a recent study have determined that the most used sexual position for married couples is a doggy position. The husband sits up and begs. The wife rolls over and plays dead.
Tags: The Car Clinic, Motoring