Automobiles may be the drivers of growth and modernisation, but environmental activists remain their strongest critics for the pollution they cause. They are not only a drain on natural resources, but also release harmful pollutants into the air. Car manufacturers have been constantly working towards making cars more efficient and reducing pollution. Meanwhile, here are a few steps you can take to do your bit for the environment –
Turn off the engine at traffic signals
This is the easiest step you can take – turn off the engine at traffic signals whenever you have to wait for more than 30 seconds. Keeping the engine idling at a traffic signal wastes fuel and increases emissions for no reason. In fact, modern cars are equipped with start/stop technology which performs this function for you.
Maintain your vehicle
Regularly service your vehicle to ensure that the engine is in perfect form. Engine oil keeps getting viscous as time goes by, making it harder for components to move as intended. New oil improves lubrication. Pitted spark plugs do not burn fuel as efficiently as intended, increasing emission. Radiators on the other hand, need to have a proper coolant level to ensure that the engine doesn’t over heat. Also, keep your tyres inflated to the recommended pressure. This will not only help extract better efficiency, but also puts lesser stress on the engine.
Get PUC checks done regularly
It is mandatory for vehicles which are more than six months old to carry a pollution under control (PUC) certificate. This not only certifies that your car complies with the prescribed emission norms, but it should also give you an idea of whether there is something wrong with your car. In case the numbers are too high, get your car checked.
Car-pooling is a new concept, which involves multiple individuals sharing a car for their daily commute. By having more people using one vehicle, car-pooling reduces emissions, fuel consumption and other travel costs. For those having to put up with heavy traffic, it also reduces stress of driving. There are several websites which helps users connect with other people with similar travel needs.
Move to hybrid and electric cars
While enthusiasts might frown upon the idea of driving a hybrid or a pure electric car, it is worth noting that EV technology has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past few years. The charging time is lower and range has increased, making electric cars more practical than they ever were. And if pure electric cars don’t fulfil your purpose, then you can opt for hybrids which offer the best of both worlds.
However, this is a relatively expensive proposition as compared to the other tips on this list. The Mahindra e2o Plus is the most affordable electric car you buy, at Rs 6.26 lakh while the most affordable hybrid – the Toyota Camry will set you back by Rs 31.99 lakh (both ex-showroom, Delhi).