Fire / Feu

Repenser l’automobilisme

Cet article explique ce que vous pouvez faire pour "minimiser l’impact de votre utilisation de l’automobile sur l’environnement et votre porte- monnaie". 

Les deux techniques de base explorées sont la "conduite intelligente" et la "néga-conduite". 

On y offre des conseils pour vous aider à conduire d’une manière plus sage.













































There are two basic techniques for doing so: smart driving and nega-driving.


Rethinking Automobility

Johnathan Fox-Rubin
Rocky Mountain Institute
July 1999


a.gif (364 bytes) new generation of efficient vehicles is just starting to enter the market. Full-featured, family-size cars that get 60 miles per gallon are in sight, and it’s quite possible that we’ll see 100 or even 150 miles per gallon within a decade or so. In the meantime, there’s plenty you can do to minimize the impact of your driving on the environment and on your wallet.


car1.jpg (27383 bytes)
(photo: Rocky Mountain Institute)

There are two basic techniques for doing so: smart driving and negadriving. Smart driving simply means operating your car in a way that reduces the wear and tear, emissions, and costs of driving. Negadriving means reducing the number of miles you drive by using alternative ways of getting where you’re going (or not needing to because you’re already where you want to be).
Here are some tips.


Smart Driving

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Keep your car well tuned. Old cars aren’t necessarily the worst polluters. Poorly maintained or malfunctioning vehicles are even relatively new ones. Regular tune-ups pay for themselves in longer vehicle life and reduced repair costs, not to mention better mileage.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Drive gently for the first few minutes. Today’s cars don’t need to be warmed up. This delays light-off of the catalytic converter and increases emissions. To minimize cold-start emissions, which account for about half of the emissions from an average ten-mile trip, warm up your car by driving it gently (pretend you have an eggshell between your foot and the accelerator) for the first few minutes.


(photo:Rocky Mountain Institute)

Hypercar, showing a generic
hybrid-electric drive system


bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) If you’re driving for less than five minutes, don’t! Short trips hurt the oil’s lubricating capabilities and decrease the life of the engine. Unburned gasoline gets in the oil when the engine is cold, then boils off once it gets hot.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Combine trips. Your car’s catalytic converter cools down after about 10-15 minutes, after which its start-up emissions become significant again. To minimize this effect, park in a central location and then run your errands to avoid unnecessary cold starts.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Don’t idle for more than a minute. It wastes fuel and increases emissions, even after accounting for restarting the engine.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Take excess junk out of your car. It increases fuel consumption and decreases performance.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Use the right octane fuel. Most cars don’t benefit from costly high octane ("premium") fuel. Check your owners manual for your vehicle’s requirements.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Don’ drive aggressively. Flooring the accelerator puts the car into enrichment mode, which drastically increases fuel consumption and emissions (and accidents!).

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can decrease fuel economy by 10-20 percent, and also compromise safety.



bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Take public transit. Per passenger, buses and trains are much more efficient than cars. Even if you can’t use transit, support it: it reduces congestion for those who must drive.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Car- or van-pool. It saves energy, road space, vehicle wear and tear, parking fees, and even time (if your commute is on a highway with high-occupancy-vehicle lanes).

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Work on flextime or telecommute. If each single-occupancy driver stayed off the roads one day a week, congestion would decrease by 20 percent - even more during rush hour, since extra cars disproportionately slow the flow as a highway nears its peak capacity. Working at home also leaves more time for family, and can increase your productivity, mental well-being, and the amount of sleep you get.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Bicycle or walk. Perfect for getting to transit stops or for going short distances. Biking and walking use renewable energy, promote mental and physical fitness, and create no emissions (at least 1 pound of carbon dioxide is saved per mile over driving). Biking at 35 calories per mile is over 50 times more energy efficient than driving (about 2,000 calories per mile), and three times more efficient than walking.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Plan your next move so you live closer to public transit and to where you and your family shop, work, and play.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Share ownership of a vehicle. How often do you really need the full capacity of your vehicle? Consider buying or sharing a single clean and fuel-efficient vehicle for commuting, errands, and long trips with a neighbor or friend. You could then rent or borrow a less efficient vehicle for moving or hauling things. You would save hundreds of dollars a year in fuel alone (which accounts for a mere twenty percent of the total cost of vehicle ownership), and simultaneously reduce the impact of your driving.

bullet.jpg (1551 bytes) Sell your car. The ultimate negadriving technique! The financial benefits are considerable: the average vehicle in the United States costs its owner $6,000 a year in interest payments, depreciation, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and fuel. That’s enough to cover the payments on an extra $70,000 of mortgage, enabling you to buy a better, more efficient, transit-friendly home.


More on this subject:
Efficient Vehicles: Cleaner, Safer, Better....