Since working at Anglian Home Improvements, I have become a lot more aware of green issues and ways to reduce our carbon footprint, so it should be no surprise I want to share this with you. On Saturday night, after a meal and a few refreshing beverages with friends, we hailed down a taxi to take us home, but as the driver pulled away we suddenly realised that the engine was making no noise whatsoever!
In amazement, we all gasped and asked whether he had turned the engine on. He replied of course I have, but it is running on the charge from the battery. It then clicked that we were in an hybrid car, a Toyota Prius to be precise, silently taking us to our humble abodes.
Image sourced cars.com
Although the Toyota Prius doesn’t have the ‘cool’ reputation, after the short journey I experienced in the car, it seemed VERY cool! It was spacious and comfy, it ran smoothly and so so quietly, the only noise came from the wheels turning and the occasional ticking of the indicator. They may not look like a big, macho Mustang, but they are not an ugly car, instead they have been created to be aerodynamic and suitable for families.
The taxi driver explained to us about switching between the engine and the battery to power the car; it was a simple click of a button. There is no need to charge the car as it charges itself through the petrol engine and regenerative braking. Although it is still using petroleum, it holds a lot of charge within the battery, which is displayed on the impressive, flashy dashboard as a time remaining before the battery is dead.
The Toyota Prius T3, is built to reduce drag as much as possible to aid the petrol electric hybrid perform to its best, managing an impressive 72.4 miles per gallon. That is much more efficient than my car, and with petrol prices continuing to rise and with the country slipping back into recession, I think people will be looking to save money where they can. If they have the money to invest in a new car, then this may be ideal!
If you are looking to get a new car that can save money on petrol, reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet, then this is a car worth investing in. There are other hybrid cars in the market though, so take a look at this blog to see what other options might have more of an appeal to you.
I was then told about some new car sharing schemes that are popping up across London. These schemes are very similar to the cycle scheme that proved a great success in London. One I had a look at was called Zipcar, where you join the company, obtaining a membership card. You can then reserve a car nearby using the website; there is a choice of Polos, 7 seaters, BMW’s and more (depending on which car is nearby). In futuristic style, the car you reserved only opens when used with your ‘zip-card’ or mobile phone, magically unlocking the doors. You are then charged a small hourly rate, which includes fuel, insurance, congestion charge, tax, breakdown cover and 40 free miles each day. The only thing you have to do is make sure you return the car to where you got it!
Schemes like this are doing a great job at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and it means there are less cars on the road, gallons of fuel is being saved, less miles are being driven and hundreds of pounds are saved by us, the users, year after year. No more fears about insurance, road tax, MOT’s, servicing and rising fuel costs, as they are all included in the price. The zipcar website claims you can save £300 a month by joining their scheme, which is a massive saving!
So, if you live in London and are looking to cut costs, maybe this is something worth looking into?
In conclusion, if I want to save money each year, I should investigate whether I should invest in a hybrid vehicle or see if there are any car sharing schemes in my local area? If there is money to be saved, then it is definitely worth looking into. If you drive a hybrid vehicle or an electric car, we would love to hear from you! Tell us about your experience with your car and how it has changed your life using the comment panel below.