Removing unused items from the boot, being more courteous and choosing new routes are among the tips being shared with local drivers to help them save on fuel and reduce their carbon emissions.
4Group is offering a free Eco Driving programme to local employees as part of the Government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the island.
Businesses are invited to sign their employees up for the programme which is designed to teach drivers how to improve their miles per gallon (MPG) by up to 15%, reduce carbon emissions, lower the risk of vehicle accidents and reduce vehicle deterioration.
The programme was first trialled in 2016, with some of the 4Group drivers seeing a 13.5% improvement in their MPG. At the time, though, the uptake was quite slow.
“It felt to me a bit like when mobiles phones were introduced and nobody wanted one,” JJ Gallagher explained.
“As people have started to understand more about climate change, people have been engaging more. People are more aware because they are seeing what is happening in our local environment.”
Pictured: “Being eco-active can save us money,” Adrian de Gruchy, Manager at 4Safety, said.
“Being eco-active can save us money,” Adrian de Gruchy, Manager at 4Safety, said. “We are using less fuel, making less damage, so there is less maintenance costs. The savings made will depend on the vehicle, how it is being used and what for, there are a lot of variables. 15% is a goal, some people will be higher and some will be lower.”
As part of the programme, one-to-one training will be available for up to five employees within a business, as well as data analysis of a business’ fuel performance with estimated potential financial savings.
This will include reviewing the vehicles used and suggesting alternative ones where possible as well as the routes taken to make sure they are as efficient as possible.
While they may not necessarily apply to all, JJ has shared some tips for all islanders to become ‘eco-drivers’.
“When you are going to St. Helier, you see all those cars driving with bicycle racks on the top - it gives a drag to the vehicle,” he said. “If you are not using them, put them in storage. It’s the same with roof boxes.
“All of those things cause a wind drag, they were put on after and are not part of the design of a vehicle, so they block the wind like a cement block.”
Islanders should also be mindful of getting rid of unnecessary clutter in their vehicles, which add weight and cause drag.
“You will use higher revs because you have more weight in the vehicle and the engine has to work harder,” JJ said.
Pictured: There is no need to start a car early in the morning in the winter.
JJ’s main advice, though, is for islanders to remember the way they were driving on the day of their driving test, with their hands in perfect place on the wheel, using their indicators and being aware of their surroundings.
“People have lost all those good habits,” JJ said. “It is not about enforcing but going back to the good habits that you lost.
“It’s small things. We do not put pressure on people, but remind them of good habits for a more relaxed driving.
“There is an awful lot of angry road users where people lose patience on the most minor road things. You are still going to get to the same place in Jersey while being more relaxed.”
JJ encourages drivers to not only try and anticipate more, but also to be more courteous with other road users, including those who drive trucks, buses and other large vehicles.
“We are all using the same tarmac,” he reminded.
He is also trying to encourage people to break habits such as leaving their engine running whilst on deliveries, or starting their vehicles early in the morning in the winter. “You do not need that today,” he said. “Technology has moved so far that engines do not need this old school thinking, they are like computers on wheels.”
“It’s all leading to the climate policy,” Adrian said. “It’s not going out and telling people, ‘You cannot do this and do that’, it’s just about showing how little things will help.”
“They do not feel pressured to do it, it’s all done in a nice relaxed manner,” JJ added.
“We are not teaching people how to drive, we want to encourage people to think about the way they drive more."
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