Want to save money and fuel? Drive efficiently.

Mar 5, 2019 - 4:28 pm

In the United States, 27% percent of greenhouse gas emissions is from transportation. That makes transportation the second leading source of GHG emissions in the U.S. — just behind electricity. The simplest way to avoid these emissions would be to drive less, carpool, or use mass transit. But, sometimes this isn't an option. Here's how to optimize your fuel efficiency when you must drive:

Drive electric or hybrid

When the electricity comes from renewable sources, such as for Austin Energy GreenChoice subscribers or Plug-In EVerywhere customers, all-electric vehicles drive on zero emissions. Fuel-efficient vehicles use less gas to travel the same distance as their less efficient counterparts.

Go easy on the brakes

Harsh braking, combined with increased acceleration and gear changes, creates additional heat and also uses more fuel. To be fuel efficient and reduce emissions, anticipate potential hazards so that you don’t have to brake suddenly, and coast to a stop.

Avoid unnecessary idling

Engine idling wastes fuel and increases emissions. Turn off the engine when idling for long periods, such as at railroad crossings or when picking the kids up from school.

Keep an eye on the tires

Make sure that your tires are kept at the optimal pressure – you'll use less fuel if you don’t let your tire pressure get too low.

Obey the speed limit

Not only is speeding against the law, driving too fast increases the risk of an accident, adds stress to the engine, and wastes fuel. Every 5 mph increase in vehicle speed over 50 mph can cost an extra $0.20-$0.40 per gallon. Maintain a consistent speed to save fuel, reduce emissions, and be safe.