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Green Driving

Green Country Vol. 128(Oct 2017)

It seems that we cannot live without cars. Many people are very accustomed to travelling in private cars. In 2016, the number of registered private cars in Hong Kong reached 580,000 – translating to 277 cars per kilometre of road. This is mind-boggling! From an environmental point of view, public transport is certainly the first choice. If a private car must be used, we should pay attention to fuel efficiency, to minimise carbon emissions and make driving more environmentally friendly.

Fuel efficiency can be expressed as the driving distance per litre of fuel used. The higher the figure, the more environmentally friendly the car is. The simplest way to increase fuel efficiency is to remove the miscellaneous articles in the rear trunk. According to the US Department of Energy data, fuel efficiency can be increased by 1% for every reduction of 45kg. The result is even more obvious for small vehicles.<

In addition, tyre pressure is important. Maintaining tyre pressure at a suitable level can enhance fuel efficiency by 0.6-3%. Insufficient tyre pressure will increase friction and reduce fuel efficiency. However, be careful not to over-fill a tyre or it may burst.

A wasteful habit in driving is to turn on the air-conditioner all the time. This will reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 25%. On the other hand, if you turn off the air-conditioner and open the windows, air drag is increased, particularly when the car is moving quickly. To solve the di

Cars bring us considerable convenience. Yet they also bring huge environmental impacts. A small change in our driving habit may help, a little, to lessen the harm to the environment.

Text | Tommy Yu

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