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Sustainable driving: How to be an eco-friendly driver

Take the green route.

With increasing awareness of the impact of climate changes, more and more people are making a conscious move towards sustainable living. Drivers can also do our part to contribute to a greener planet by adopting more eco-friendly driving practices. Not only does this reduce our carbon footprint, choosing a greener drive helps us to manage our costs while keeping us safe on the road as well.

Some dealers such as Performance Motors are also making greener choices more accessible to customers. For example, under their Green Initiative, customers can opt out of the complimentary car wash during the servicing of their cars. This free car wash is an industry standard practice. Unfortunately, it does contribute to a great amount of water wastage. So next time, you are servicing your car, you may wish to do away with the free car wash unless your car really needs it.

Here are some other suggestions on how you can become an eco-friendlier driver.

1. Switch to electric vehicles

Electromobility is gaining traction in Singapore as the charging infrastructure for EVs develops here. EVs have no tailpipe emissions on the road, which helps to make our local air cleaner. When it comes to the driving experience, an EV also offers a quiet, smooth, and … actually, a rather fun drive!

Drivers also have more choices when it comes to EVs these days. Automakers from BMW to BYD have been launching more hybrid to fully-electric vehicles in all shapes and sizes.

BMW iX1 in the Performance Motors showroom

Most recently, BMW unveiled its first-ever BMW iX1, a fully-electric Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). This premium compact comes under COE Category A, offers up to 474km of range and boasts generous interior space. There is also its best-selling BMW i4 Gran Coupe and its flagship BMW i7 sedan.

BYD, in the meantime, has become the best-selling EV brand in Singapore. Its BYD Seal was launched in Singapore late last year. It follows the successful introduction of the Atto 3 and BYD Dolphin earlier on.

>>READ: Making the switch to an electric car?

If you are driving an EV, you can also benefit from regenerative braking. When you begin to slow down a hybrid or fully-electric vehicle, regenerative braking channels the energy produced – that would otherwise have been lost in a combustion engine car – back into the EV battery to be used again when you move off.

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2. Adjust your driving style

Regardless of the car you drive, changing your driving habits and making conscious choices on the road can help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Aggressive driving, which includes over-acceleration, speeding and harsh braking, can increase your petrol consumption as well as increase the wear and tear on your vehicle. For better fuel efficiency, maintain a steady speed as you are driving. Using cruise control on the expressways for constant speeds can also help.

Don’t leave your engine idling when parked or if you are stuck in a bad traffic jam. An idling car continues consumes petrol and emits carbon monoxide. If you are unable to move for more than a minute, consider switching off your engine. Restarting your engine consumes less petrol than idling for a long time.

>>READ: Get the most range out of your electric vehicle

3. Plan your route

Planning your routes ahead can help reduce unnecessary driving or being stuck in heavy traffic. Today, smartphone or in-vehicle apps such as your GPS and Waze are equipped to find the shortest route to your destination and offer real-time traffic updates. Make use of technology to help reduce both your petrol consumption and carbon emissions, not to mention saving you time and stress.

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4. Have properly inflated tyres

You may be surprised that tyre pressure can affect petrol mileage. Tyres that are not sufficiently inflated create more rolling resistance, which in turn makes your engine work harder to get the tyres moving.

Having the proper tyre pressure is also crucial as it affects your vehicle handling. Check regularly that your tyres are inflated to your car manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

5. Schedule regular maintenance

If you are still driving an internal combustion engine car, it is important to keep it in top condition for optimal fuel efficiency, reduced emissions and overall safety. That means scheduling regular maintenance for your car, including oil changes, tyre rotations, air filter replacements, and engine tune-ups. A well-maintained vehicle performs more efficiently and contributes to a greener environment.

For those driving electric vehicles, there are fewer moving parts to deal with but this does not mean that your EV doesn’t need maintenance. It is generally cheaper to service an EV though so have it regular serviced by an EV-trained technician.

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6. Support green initiatives

Car owners who send in their vehicles for servicing can also opt for greener options offered by their car dealers or service centres.

As mentioned, Performance Motors have been offering its BMW customers a Car Wash Opt-out as part of its Green Initiative. Time-starved customers can also go for the two-hour Green Fast Lane maintenance service, which also excludes the car wash. In addition to reducing water wastage, you get a micro-gardening kit in return. Performance Motors has also promised to plant a tree for every 30 car washes saved.

7. Lighten your vehicle load

If you are in the habit of leaving all your stuff in the car, the extra weight you are driving around with will force your car to work harder. So try not to turn your car into a portable storage unit! Remove any bags, sports gear, children’s bicycles, or other heavy items from your car when you don’t need them.

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As a driver, you do have the power in your hands to make a difference to our climate and environment. We hope you will adopt these eco-friendly practices, and enjoy your car to the fullest while contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Drop by Performance Motors showroom at 303 Alexandra Road to explore our range of BMW electric vehicles. Or visit Vantage Automotive showroom at 305 Alexandra for our range of BYD and Peugeot EVs.

* BMW car photos courtesy of BMW Asia. Actual car specifications for Singapore market may vary from the pictures shown.

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