Electric vehicles (EVs) used to be an unusual choice, driven by a small group of people who could afford this expensive new technology. But the decrease in the cost of electric cars, government incentives and concern about climate change has meant that we’re beginning to see more and more of them on the roads. In fact, 57% of consumers have reported that they would change their shopping habits in order to reduce their environmental impact.
They’re much better for the planet than owning a traditional car, but buying one is just the start. Even with an EV, you’re still driving, so it’s important to understand how that impacts the planet. How can we make sure that we’re being as sustainable and responsible as possible as a car owner? We take a look.
Understand your carbon footprint
It’s important to recognize that just because you’re driving an electric car doesn’t mean that you don’t have a carbon footprint. It’s much reduced when compared to a petrol vehicle, with the average EV emitting three times less CO2, but the production of electric cars is still far from ideal.
Whilst efforts are being made to improve this, batteries in particular use limited raw materials, and should be properly recycled. There are some second-hand EVs on the market, but as the technology is fairly new, it’s more likely that you’ll be buying a new one, so it’s good to understand where the materials in your car come from.
You also need to consider that every journey counts. It’s still important to walk for short trips, as it reduces your overall carbon footprint. Adding your car to the road creates more traffic, and for all the non-EVs on the road, this means releasing emissions whilst idle.
Use renewable energy
One of the biggest changes that you can make if you have an EV is to switch to renewable energy. There’s no way to only get renewable energy from the main grid, but you have two options if you’re looking to make your electric car even greener.
The first (and easiest) option is to switch to a green tariff. Whilst this won’t fill your car with green energy, it will increase the amount of green units in the grid mix overall. If everyone did this, it could make a big difference.
If you have the budget, then why not get solar panels or a small wind turbine generator installed at your home? Generating and storing your own renewable energy means that you can be assured that you’re powering your car purely off green sources. If you create enough and don’t need to use it, you can even sell it back to the grid.
Maintain your car
Your car will only run efficiently if you take proper care of it. You should complete regular checks, such as keeping an eye on your tyre pressure and condition. Making sure that everything is running smoothly will use less power, and so you’ll make your charge go further.