Are we environmentally friendly on the road?

Posted by: Cal on 7/06/2013

Category: General

What would you do to ensure the future of a clean, green Australia?

From turning appliances off at the wall when not in use to sorting your plastics from your cardboards, there are many different ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, and increase your eco-handprint!

So how about automotive-wise? Everyone knows that by keeping your tyres at the correct pressure you can improve fuel efficiency and thus spend less at the petrol (or diesel) pump.

That is an easy way to both save money and pump less carbon into the atmosphere, not to mention an excellent way to prolong the life of your tyres.

But what about going the whole hog? You know, trading the horsepower of the combustion engine for the pedal power of the humble bicycle.

Okay, okay, we went a bit far there, we'll back the light commercial vehicle up.

You don't have to pull on tight nylon shorts to improve the environmental impact of your daily commute - though of course you can if you choose, it is a great way to stay in shape and slip past those pesky traffic jams.

But when a bike isn't an option, you could always get a hybrid or fully-electric vehicle.

It's not the craziest idea in the world either.

The latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation report reveals that 45.3 per cent of Australians say they would seriously consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle.

That paints a picture of a pretty environmentally-conscious nation, doesn't it just?

Yet before we get too carried away with our sterling intentions, we should take stock of where we are currently at with our adoption of hybrids.

This is where we need to put the brakes on premature pronouncements of the environmental automotive revolution!

"Although more than 45 per cent of Australians say they'd seriously consider buying a hybrid vehicle, the actual ownership of hybrids accounts for a negligible portion of the driving population," said Norman Morris, industry communications director for Roy Morgan Research in a June 5 statement.

Just how negligible? Only 0.4 per cent of Australians over the ripe old age of 18 currently drive a hybrid. Even fewer (0.3 per cent) plan on buying one during the next four years.

So the hybrid has a way to go in making inroads into the market, though it is clearly already on the minds of many Aussies.

How do you 'drive' down your environmental impact?