With talk of environmental concerns still fresh on our minds in the week after Environment Day, we have 10 Green tips that will see you drive the extra mile to save the planet
According to Ford, by the year 2015 the number of vehicles plying on Indian roads will have increased to five million and by 2020 it would have nearly doubled to nine million. So, we are then looking at India as one of the most significant growth drivers for automobile manufacturing companies such as Ford. The only downside to this is, more cars on the road equals increased levels of pollution and risk to the environment. Of course, environmentally responsible companies such as Ford are doing everything they can to keep this planet as green as possible.
Indeed one of the four key brand pillars of the Ford Motor Company worldwide is GREEN, and in line with this GREEN philosophy the company is consistently developing engine technology that will deliver more while demanding less. Take the 1.0L 3-cyling EcoBoost petrol engine for instance. With its direct petrol injection and turbocharging, this little heart can generate power equivalent to that produced by a larger capacity engine while consuming 20% less fuel and hence emitting 15% less carbon. However, a significant contribution to the environment can be made by the driver as well. By following these simple tips, learn how you can become a more responsible GREEN driver.
Watch the speedometer – Did you know that driving at 80kmph instead of 100kmph helps improve fuel economy by 10-15 per cent? Also, if your car has Cruise Control, like the All-new Global Fiesta, use it on highways whenever possible to maintain speeds and conserve the precious stuff called fuel.
Smooth operator – Be a smooth operator. Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly but progressively helps conserve fuel and lower emissions. Think of the pedals as syringes that need to be pushed in slowly. Quick tyre smoking starts may look cool but remember you’re not only burning holes on the tarmac but in your pocket and the atmosphere too
Idling, devil’s workshop – You’re no spy who needs a quick getaway, so shut the engine when the car isn’t going anywhere. Idling is a total waste of energy (read fuel) and is the most environment unfriendly practice as the engine burns fuel without going anywhere. And should you rev the engine to catch the fancy of others around you, well you just went from green to yellow to red as far as eco-friendly behaviour goes.
Tired tyres – Keeping the tyres properly inflated as per the manufacturer recommendations in the owner’s manual can reduce fuel usage by 1 to 3 per cent, which in turn means lower emissions from your vehicle. Switch to low rolling resistance tyres if you can as these will give you additional fuel economy and help you achieve a smaller carbon footprint.
Spare some care – Maintain your vehicle as recommended by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual. Just a little bit of sympathy for your vehicle will help increase its longevity. Also, getting the car serviced at the required intervals will see it deliver more kilometres per litre of fuel and thus releasing less carbon into the atmosphere.
Choose the right oil – Use good quality, energy conserving oils with viscosity grade as recommended in the Owner’s Manual. This will help you save fuel and reduce the vehicle’s environmental impact.
Travel light – Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy. Also, remove excess weight from the vehicle. An extra 20kg weight increases fuel consumption by upto 1 per cent. Unnecessary weight, such as unneeded items in the boot, makes the engine work harder and consumes more fuel.
Minimise use of air conditioning – Use air conditioning selectively to reduce load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the AC can reduce fuel consumption by 10-15 per cent. Use the vent setting as much as possible and park in the shade whenever you can to reduce the need for AC.
Close the window at high speeds – Don’t drive with the windows open unless you keep your speed under 80kmph. Driving with the windows open on highways increases aerodynamic drag and lowers fuel economy.
Consolidate trips – Plan ahead to consolidate your trips. This will enable you to bypass congested routes, lead to less idling, fewer start ups and less stop and go traffic. Whenever feasible share a ride or car pool.
For more information you can log on to www.drivingskillsforlife.com .
Box: DSFL ‘I Pledge to Drive Safe’
Every morning you wake up with the thought of reaching the office for an urgent 9 o’clock meeting. And then it strikes you; Oh God! The traffic monster will have to be fought first! Does it sound like your everyday battle too? We all deal with the traffic nuisance that leaves us sapped for a day long struggle of work load.
So what do you do about it? Sulk, rebuke your fellow driver, honk incessantly? And what do you get out of it? How about we take a break and think if you could actually contribute to make the scenario better? Did you know that India sits on the number one spot for most number of accidents in the world and your miniscule contribution can actually make a difference?
Keeping a strong commitment to a better society, Team Ford has recently launched the ‘I Drive Safe’ app, an online initiative of the DSFL program that started back in 2009 in India. The app encourages you to take a pledge towards becoming responsible drivers and help spread the word among your friends and community.
The app primarily focuses on simple promises that help in lending a more satisfying driving experience:
Belt up pledge : pledge to belt up for a safe drive.
Rear view pledge : pledge to adjust read and side view mirrors for better sight.
Chill pill pledge : pledge to drive relaxed to anticipate traffic solutions.
One Focus pledge : pledge to avoid distractions and keep focus on road.
3-second pledge : pledge to keep 3-sec distance between vehicles to avoid crash
Change gear pledge : pledge to change gears when required to fully utilize engine power
Reduce fuel pledge : pledge to use vehicle’s momentum to reduce fuel consumption.
Switch Off pledge : pledge to switch off engine whenever possible to save fuel
Full pressure pledge : pledge to check air pressure in tyres to save fuel and reduce maintenance cost
Less weight pledge : pledge to remove unnecessary weight to ensure better car performance