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How to Save Energy with Transportation in Africa

Driving Energy Saving Tips

• Avoid idling. Think about it—idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.

• Avoid aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking, which can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33% and your city mileage by 5%.

• Avoid high speeds. Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly. For every 5 mph above 60 mph, it’s like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon of gasoline.

• Avoid keeping heavy items in your car; an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase your gas costs by up to $.08 cents per gallon.

• Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.

• Combine errands. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

• Check into telecommuting, carpooling, and public transit to save driving and car maintenance costs.

Car Maintenance Energy Saving Tips

• Use the grade of motor oil your car’s manufacturer recommends. Using a different motor oil can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2%.

• Inflate your tires to the pressure listed in your owner’s manual or on a sticker in the glove box or driver’s side door jamb. This number may differ from the maximum pressure listed on your tire’s sidewall.

• Get regular maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.

• Don’t ignore the check-engine light—it can alert you to problems that affect fuel economy as well as more serious problems, even when your vehicle seems to be running fine.

• Replace clogged air filters on an older car with a carbureted engine to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and to protect your engine.

Choose vehicles according to your need. For example, if you mostly drive in cities, a smaller hybrid might be right for you because they get better mileage in city driving and are easier to park.

If you need a vehicle for towing or heavy use, consider a clean diesel vehicle. Diesel engines are quieter, more powerful, and 30%-35% more efficient than similar-sized gasoline engines. The new generation of clean diesel vehicles must meet the same emissions standards as gasoline vehicles.

Return to the Africa Energy Efficiency Guide

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