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Created on 31.03.2020

Climate-friendly driving habits: be kinder to the environment

Walter Portmann, Operations Manager at WAB Zentralschweiz AG, tells us how to drive in a way that is kinder to the environment and to your wallet.

Mobility is important. Most of the population is on the roads nearly every day, either privately, professionally, or on their daily commute to work. Many would rather do without their cars for the sake of the environment, but not everybody has the option to switch to public transport or car-sharing solutions. With the right approach, however, you can still reduce your carbon footprint while driving.

Driving tips:

“With the right driving style and a few other changes, you can reduce your fuel consumption and the impact your driving has on the environment and on your wallet”, says Walter Portmann, director of WAB Zentralschweiz AG, who has a few tips for us.

  • Avoid accelerating to full speed and then braking. This increases fuel consumption. If your engine is revving, you are emitting higher levels of pollutants. Drive evenly and with anticipation, maintaining safe distances to other vehicles. This allows you to brake with your engine.

  • Change gears earlier to avoid driving at higher revs. This reduces fuel consumption. With modern engines, in particular, it is possible to change up a gear at under 2,000 rpm. As a rule of thumb, you should change to third gear at 30 km/h, fourth gear at 40 km/h, and fifth gear at 50 km/h.

  • Don’t drive on winter tyres during the summertime. This will needlessly increase your braking distance, tyre wear and fuel consumption. Make sure you regularly check your tyre pressure: a difference of just 0.5 can lead to excess fuel consumption.

    The right tyre pressure depends on your vehicle and how much weight you are carrying. You can usually find a table of correct tyre pressures somewhere near the driver’s door, on the inside of the petrol cap cover or in the manual.

  • At traffic lights, roadworks, level crossings or in traffic jams – turn off your engine every time you come to a stop. Restarting a well-maintained engine doesn’t consume more fuel than a second of idling time.

  • Only use air conditioning, heated seats or rear window heating when absolutely necessary. Like all electrical devices, they consume additional fuel. When it’s warm outside, it makes sense to open the window instead. This is not true when driving at higher speeds, however. In this case, the increased air resistance will drastically increase your fuel consumption. 

  • Weight also significantly impacts fuel consumption, so you should avoid transporting unnecessary items in your vehicle. It is worth removing roof or bike racks when you are not using them. As well as the extra weight, they also generate additional air resistance.

Fight climate change with our CO2 option

Just following these few expert tips can make a big difference. If you want to do even more for the environment, consider the CO2 option from PostFinance car insurance. This option offsets the carbon generated from each kilometre you drive by supporting a conservation project run by south pole.

About our expert

Portrait Walter Portmann

Walter Portmann is the Operations Manager at The link will open in a new window WAB Zentralschweiz AG. Among other things, his company offers courses on environmentally friendly driving. 

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