The amount of CO2 emissions in our atmosphere is having a great impact on our environment.  The combustion engine is something that contributes to the rising level of emissions across the globe. How does car leasing fit into this and what are vehicle manufacturers doing to stop the rising levels of greenhouse gases which are believed to be the cause of climate change?

What is global warming?

Global warming is a problem of there being too much carbon dioxide dioxide in the atmosphere which is acting as a blanket, trapping heat and warming the planet.

What causes global warming?

When we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas for energy or burn forests to create plantations, carbon is released into the atmosphere before accumulating in the air space.

CO2 emissions and car leasing

There is no real debate anymore as to whether global warming is actually happening, and it’s not just a prediction anymore. We’re in the midst of what scientists have been talking about for a long time now, but what proof is there that it’s actually real?

  • Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing
  • The hottest decade on record keeps on changing with each passing year
  • The rate of warming is unprecedented in the last 11,000 years
  • Greenland is losing ice at a worrying rate
  • The ocean is warming
  • Extreme weather is happening more regularly

What has car leasing got to do with CO2 emissions?

A study by the IPCC in 2007 showed that 13.1% of global warming emissions came from the transportation sector, only the third highest behind our energy supply (25.0%) and Industrial practices (19.4%), and with the environmental consequences which were listed above, causing issues all across the globe, what is being done by the automotive industry to change this, and can we make individual, regional, national or actions within business to halt the upward climb of CO2 in the atmosphere?

What can drivers do to reduce CO2 emissions?

Check your revs

Revving your engine wastes fuel so avoiding fast getaways at traffic lights and accelerating slowly when the lights turn green will mean you use less fuel.  The more economically you drive the less emissions your vehicle will produce.

Drive smoothly

Avoid any sharp turning and any heavy braking, this will not only save fuel but it will also reduce tyre wear and reduce accident rates. Aggressive driving increases fuel consumption and produces more CO2 so try to think about your transitions between stopping and starting.

Use less air conditioning

By using your air con sparingly rather than continuous you will use less fuel, produce less CO2 emissions and consequently save money.

Drive away immediately when getting in the car

Just sitting there idling wastes fuel and will cause engine wear. Turn it off when you’re in a queue for a long period of time or if you’re waiting for someone as starting a modern engine uses less fuel than you may think. Most modern cars have the option of start stop technology which is of great fuel saving and environment benefit.

Avoid short journeys

Try and walk or take another mode of transportation if you can.  Wait until you have more things to do and combine them in the same drive out.

Stick to speed limits

Driving at 85 mph rather than 70 mph uses 25% more fuel and while it may be tempting to put your foot down, think about conserving your fuel and if you have it, use cruise control.  If your car has a mpg meter – use it to help improve your driving style and make the most of your fuel.

Plan your journeys

Try to take routes where you avoid congestion, roadworks or where you might get lost.

Check your tyre pressure

Try to do this regularly as under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can also increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.

If you’re stuck in traffic, switch off

Cutting the engine will save fuel and stop emissions.

Choosing more CO2 efficient vehicles when leasing

Every vehicle purchase or lease decision will have an effect on the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions for the lifetime of the vehicle. To help consumers choose their vehicle, ‘green’ labelling has been introduced, which is similar to the energy efficiency rating that’s used on electrical appliances.

Not only will the emissions of a green labelled vehicle be lower, but fuel consumption as well as company car tax will be reduced. As well as this, low-emission cars and light vans are now available on the market. Hybrid or electric cars are not the only way to achieve very low levels of CO2 emissions, nearly all of the least-polluting cars on sale in the UK have conventional petrol or diesel engines.

Petrol or Diesel?

Petrol and diesel engines each have their own different effects on the environment. Every litre of diesel fuel burned will produce 2.6kg of carbon dioxide whilst petrol produces about 2.3kg of carbon dioxide per litre. If drivers spend more time making longer journeys on motorways for example, they should consider a diesel engine for its fuel efficiency and its lower CO2 emissions. Petrol might be a better choice if journeys will be made in the city or around town.

It’s important to make decisions on whole life costs though and not just the type of fuel as there are many things to consider before leasing or buying a new car.

Carbon friendly maintenance

Service your engine

A well-maintained engine can minimise CO2 emissions, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on servicing and information can be found in the vehicle manual. You should also talk to your leasing company who will have more information on the matter.

Keep your tyres at the right pressure

Correctly inflated tyres are safer and they last longer, and an under inflated tyre can increase CO2 emissions by as much as 3%. An over inflated tyre will wear out more quickly and is also more susceptible to failing. The best time to check your tyres is when it’s cool outside or in the morning when your car hasn’t been driven yet.

Lower CO2 emissions with correct engine oil

Always use the appropriate grade of motor oil which the manufacturer has recommended, as using the incorrect type can cause unnecessary CO2 emissions. Higher quality oils help your engine operate more efficiently, however you need to take care not to overfill the oil.

Keep an eye on your fuel consumption

The more you keep an eye on the amount of fuel you use, the more you’re able to reduce your CO2 emissions.  If you notice efficiency is decreasing, it could indicate a problem with your vehicle.

 

Quite clearly CO2 emissions matter when it comes to cars, vans and when you’re leasing a vehicle.  Whether a Nissan Juke personal lease, Vauxhall Corsa lease purchase or a Mercedes C-Class Saloon on Contract Hire. There’s a lot you can do when it comes to vehicle leasing to control your CO2 emissions and that doesn’t just mean the type of car you buy, the fuel it needs to run or how many miles you get per gallon; the way you drive also has a great effect on your emissions.

At Lease World we are committed to provide the UK with top value leasing deals. The more new cars we can help get on the road to replace older vehicles the more we are helping to improve the environment.

The European government have enforced a major overhaul of the CO2 emissions rules regarding cars known as WLTP.