There’s no denying how much better electric cars are for the environment than their fossil fuel powered forebears, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect solution to vehicle pollution. Putting aside the fact that much of the electricity they run on is still generated through environmentally unfriendly fossil fuel burning, circumstances prevent some people from making full use of them. But why? And how can you do your part to prevent pollution while driving if not with an electric car?
Why Electric Cars Aren’t a Viable Option for Everyone
The reason your average environmentalist isn’t trying to convince everyone to do away with motor vehicles entirely is that we recognise that people really are dependent on their cars for their daily lives. And just like practical concerns stop people from getting rid of their cars, they can stop people from buying electric.
For one thing, purely electric cars are quite a bit more expensive than regular ones. You might argue that even though the initial investment is high, the low running cost of electric cars will more than make up for it over time, and you’d be right.
However, that means you will need to have access to a charging station, and they are not as plentiful as many of us would like. Unless you live in a particularly environmentally conscious community there may be only one or even none nearby, and getting low on fuel in a pinch can be a nightmare.
There’s always the option of installing a charger at home, but that’s just another expense, and not everyone has access to somewhere they can park their car that can also serve as a good charging point.
What to Do About it
There are a few ways you can minimise your carbon footprint even without an electric car. Vehicle choice still matters—cars with small engines and good fuel efficiency like the new Citroën C1 still make a difference and so does the way you drive.
Driving smoothly and at a moderate speed without harsh acceleration will limit fuel consumption and thereby reduce your emissions. You can also save energy by keeping your car light—don’t bring passengers just for the sake of it, and remove any heavy objects in the boot. If you have a roof rack that’s not in use ditch that too; it not only adds to the vehicle’s weight but also makes it less aerodynamic, further dragging down the fuel efficiency.
If an electric car isn’t practical for you, try these tips to keep your carbon footprint as small as possible.