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With the environment firmly on the agenda, people are looking for new ways to do their bit and cut their carbon footprint. Here’s how and why switching to an electric vehicle (EV) lets you live a greener lifestyle while making long-term cash savings.

What are people doing to fight climate change?

Here in the UK, the government have promised to cut emissions to 78% below their 1990 levels by 2035. The longer-term plan is to take the country to net-zero by 2050. We hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in late 2021, where we set out more national goals:

  • Global net zero by the middle of this century
  • Sticking to the Paris Agreement which limits global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels
  • Protections for communities and natural habitats
  • Mobilising the financial sector to make change happen

Help save the environment by switching to an electric car

What does this mean for driving? Since petrol and diesel cars are such big CO2 emitters, they’re going to be banned in the UK from 2030. Some hybrids will still be allowed, but no new car sold here can run solely on traditional fuel. The plan is for everyone to switch to EVs sooner rather than later.

Some local authorities are also incentivising low-carbon travel. London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charges a fee for driving a car that doesn’t meet emissions standards. That’s on top of the congestion charge.

EVs are key to realising our ambitions for the environment. They produce zero emissions themselves, and even when you charge them with electricity generated from fossil fuels, they’re still way greener.

It’s good to bear in mind that the amount of clean energy on the UK national grid is rising. In 2011, it was 8.8%, up to 40.2% by the end of 2020. Every year, the positive impact of driving electric gets bigger.

Is it cheaper to drive an electric car?

Whilst EVs cost a little more than their traditional cousins, the used car prices are booming. The number of great deals out there is many times what it was, even a few years ago.

Likewise, there are government grants and incentives available to help with the cost of getting an electric vehicle. Other options, like leasing your battery for a monthly fee, can potentially cut thousands off the upfront cost.

Five eco-friendly cars

A rapidly expanding marketplace means there’s a lot of choices when it comes to picking the right EV car Some of our favourites include the:

  • Peugeot e208 a fine looking and efficient city car with a generous range
  • Peugeot 3008 Hybrid, a hybrid that boasts impressive performance
  • Peugeot e2008, our award winning compact SUV

Looking for an electric vehicle that won’t break the bank? The myth of EVs as overpriced has been well and truly busted by now.

Charging and running your electric car

Once you’ve got your electric car, your carbon footprint starts to plummet along with the amount you spend. In the UK, lifetime emissions are about 30% lower for EVs than traditional cars. That’s 70% lower in places like France and Sweden where more power comes from renewable sources.

As the UK’s clean energy share increases, it becomes more and more eco-friendly to drive electric. Newer models introduce new energy efficient features which increase efficiency even further.

How much cheaper is running an electric car?

With an EV, your biggest cost savings come in the day-to-day running of the car:

  • You’re exempt from road tax
  • You don’t pay extra charges like the ULEZ fee
  • Charging with electricity is much cheaper than filling up with fuel
  • There’s no need to worry about unstable petrol and diesel prices
  • Maintenance is simpler so you pay less for replacement parts

Your driving style and conditions will affect exactly how much cheaper it is to go electric. Batteries lose efficiency in cold temperatures and on hilly terrain. Likewise, if you drive aggressively those bursts of acceleration will take a bigger toll on your juice.

Regardless, you’re almost certainly going to save a serious sum of money in the long run, as well as reduce your carbon footprint, with an electric vehicle.

Tips for environmentally-friendly driving

Your approach to driving can impact how much environmental impact you can make.

Keep your tyres inflated

If your car’s tyres aren’t properly inflated, it increases the drag and cuts down on engine efficiency. In traditional vehicles, a 1% decrease in tyre pressure robs you of about 0.3% fuel economy. That figure is likely to be about the same for Electric cars.

Make a point of keeping your tyres pumped. Over your car’s lifespan, it’ll translate to a big energy saving.

Think about starting a carpool

If you find yourself travelling the same routes as friends or colleagues on your commute why not club together and take it in turns to drive. Four people in one car beats four people in four cars any day of the week in terms of eco-friendliness.

If your workplace doesn’t already have a carpool scheme, see if your employer will let you start one up and make a positive change.

Include public transport in your travel plans

From park-and-rides near major cities to simply taking the bus, take a look at how much of your journey you need to do in your own car. Swapping out a portion of your trip with public transport is a fair compromise for the planet. The amount you save on travel will quickly mount up the longer you do this.

Gateway are helping UK drivers cut their carbon footprint

If you’re thinking about taking positive steps to cut your carbon footprint, we can help. We’ve connected hundreds of motorists with their next EV and put them on the road to a greener lifestyle.


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