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36

I’ve already touched on this topic on the sister SE site once or twice. To summarize what is told there (check for more detail), there would be several considerations as related to energy use and sustainability: Idling in itself wastes fuel for no good reason, and that adds up. In US (country whose residents drive probably more than anyone else on Earth, to ...


26

This is a really big question, and @EnergyNumbers' answer addresses some of it. I'll try to address some more. Battery End-of-Life Your question is obviously referring to standard car batteries, which are used to power the car's starter motor. These are generally lead-acid batteries. A true Electric Vehicle (EV) may have a small battery just like this ...


20

EVs offer some definite advantages, and lots of advantages that depend on the specifics. short answer: yes, it's better than driving a fossil-fuel car. Long answer: it may seem to make less sense if you only consider a very small range of impacts, where all of the costs are visible, but only some of the benefits. Only when you zoom out to the long-term ...


18

So the short answer is to look at 'life-cycle assessment' studies (LCA). The longer answer is to ask what you mean by 'better', and then look at a bunch of LCAs and figure out what impact categories you care about most. In either case, the goal of LCA is to collect all the different inputs and outputs for a product for all stages - not just use, but ...


15

Several factors come to mind Air-conditioning Probably one of the bigger factors for saving fuel. At low speeds, open the windows instead (if it's hot); close the windows & wear a jacket (when it's cold). For high speed, close the windows, even when it's hot. At higher speeds the drag created by open windows uses more fuel than the air-conditioning. (...


14

I cannot give an answer for your car specifically but I found an interesting study (Spielmann & Althaus 2006) exploring the options of buying a new car or continue on using an older model for Swiss passenger cars. It is concluded that a "prolonged car use [is] the environmentally better option. As a consequence of the continuous use of the car ...


11

Driving Strategies I did some research and personal experimentation on the topic, and here are some findings (more information in attached links). To achieve better mileage I would advocate the appropriate driving. The term defensive driving relates to proactive risk management of on-road hazards, and can be done regardless of speed and acceleration. ...


9

Yes, it matters, a little, but it also depends on your location. In your car, the process of converting fuel to movement is pretty inefficient (about 25% to 30%, according to this). That movement (kinetic energy, if you're a physicist) is then converted to electrical energy with an efficiency of 75% to 80%, giving you an overall efficiency of 18.75% to 24%. ...


8

It doesn't depend on how much you drive, although it may depend on where and how you drive. I would argue that the best use for almost any vehicle is to use it until it is worn out. If it is running when you sell it, the next person is going to drive it, not scrap it. There is a very large 'embodied energy' in a car. Energy used to make the steel, run the ...


7

The existing answer is excellent but before you do any of that, measure your fuel usage. If you don't measure what you're doing, you don't know if you're even making an improvement. Some cars have a fuel efficiency gauge on the dash but I don't recommend watching this as you drive. The times at which the greatest gains can be made (i.e. accelerating) are ...


7

Recently when we picked a crop of basil for making pesto the house was filled with the aroma. Obviously I'm not the only one who's noticed this, as Googling make your own herb air freshener returns a lot of relevant results. This one specifically suggests just putting some leaves in some newspaper in your car, which might be suitable for your purposes. ...


7

There are, obviously, two options here: recycling, and reusing (basically anything else you had mentioned in the question). Recycling For recycling one can look for recyclers who would pick up the vehicle, and pay for it. Big truck like F-350 could fetch up to $1000 depending on the market, because it has a lot of iron in it. Those recyclers usually would ...


7

I think that you can assume, worst case, that your car will be no worse than the 10-15 seconds break-even given in the linked answer. Since your car is engineered for start-stop, if there are easy improvements to be made to minimize the cost of restarting then the manufacturer may have made them, but in any case it should be no worse than average. The ...


7

To encourage people to not use of purchase cars develop a public transportation system that is easily accessible by the to public and caters to the needs of the public so that people will use it. Additionally, the energy source for the public transport system must be electricity. Anything that is combustible, even bio fuels, will maintain a certain level of ...


6

There isn't a single mathematical formula, because the ethical dimension isn't easily quantifiable, and because people have different priorities. However, for both the ethical and the sustainability dimensions, you can look at what the net impact of your choice would be. Now, each impact might be very small; it may help, to do the maths, to scale up to a ...


6

I have been using this method for years, on both my Toyota and my Ford Explorer. I save lots of gas, nothing has ever happened to my batteries, and have never had a mechanical problem. You need to use common sense. I typically shut it off when it's a long light and I'm in a long line, railroad crossings, and any other situation where it's going to be at ...


6

One of the core practices most hypermilers use that hasn't been mentioned yet is DWB - Driving Without Brakes. At least with accelerating, you are increasing your kinetic energy so can use it. Every time you hit the brakes you dissipate energy as heat and cannot recover it (unless you have a kinetic energy recovery system...) From hypermiler.co.uk (and ...


6

Looking through some of your sources and thinking about the problem, it sounds like there isn't necessarily a definite answer, but a set of tradeoffs. NOx is associated with smog and acidification, particulates are related to respiratory health, and fuel efficiency is related to global warming (among other things like cost). This problem would seem to be ...


6

I think this is best answered as two questions. How efficient is it to use a battery as storage when excess electricity is generated by solar panels? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an electric car's battery for this purpose? I'll take a stab at both, but there are probably others around who can answer each one better. Question 1: ...


6

I don't know an answer to your question, but I think it depends on how much you drive. I would imagine that a car that is in good shape is best used by someone, who needs a car, but doesn't drive very often and not for very long distances. Like an elderly person, who only uses the car to go shopping at the store 3 miles away, maybe twice a week. If that's ...


6

A quick look doesn't show a clearcut weight difference. The claim is more for a 'rounder' wheel and a 'stiffer wheel' First order approximation fuel economy depends on the weight of the vehicle, given the same engine. Suppose that your vehicle weighs 1 metric ton -- 1000 kg -- 2200 lbs. Suppose that an alloy wheel was 5 kg lighter. That would be 20 ...


6

In large numbers, horses are more problematic than cars. According to Eric Morris, in 1898 delegates from around the world gathered to discuss urban planning. The issue they were "desperate" to solve was what to do about horse manure. Rutgers University has a fact sheet about horses and manure. It states that a 1000 lb horse will produce about 9.1 tons of ...


6

According to this answer over on mechanics.SE, below a certain engine RPM, your vehicle automatically disengages the torque converter. That is to say, when stopped, there isn't a fundamental difference between having the transmission in drive or neutral. On the other hand, shifting back and forth each time you're at a stop light does cause a bit of wear, ...


5

The best way would be to remove the source of the odours, and ventilate properly. Consider using an antiseptic solution for cleaning, which will help kill the bacteria that can cause persistent odours from things such as absorbed sweat. The second-best way is to circulate the air through an activated charcoal filter, which will remove smelly contaminants. ...


5

In terms of energy for movement, the electric car is more sustainable. There are two main resons for that. Firstly, when hydrocarbons are burnt to provide movement, local pollution is released: NOx, particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide. And secondly, it's much easier to clean electricity, than to clean hydrocarbons. That's because the clean ...


5

Ignoring the aspect of how effective a person works at home compared to their working place your question essentially boils down to: Are the conditions at my working place (basically all facilities you use there; including work and non work related actions) plus the transport to get there more environmentally harmful than the conditions at home? There are ...


5

According to this reference, up to 12 - 28% of the carbon emissions associated with a vehicles life cycle come from its manufacture and delivery. So starting right now, of the two vehicles, the new one has a much larger impact than the old one. It would take a considerable amount of "better mileage" to overcome that impact. And that doesn't even factor in ...


5

I think the main problem is that commuting is almost never "eco-friendly". There's a lot of energy that's needed to carry your behind (and your carriage) from your home to your workplace. I think the most efficient way to commute it is to use public transport, for which the weight-of-vehicle to weight-of-passenger ratio is lowest. For trains, the amount of ...


5

It would work, but there isn't much reason to do it. If you do this without batteries, you are giving up most of the potential advantages. If you simply have an internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel, hereafter an ICE) driving a generator driving electric motor(s), then the engine must rev up and down according to the load from the motors at that ...


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