I have always wondered how long I should wait before switching off when I am stuck in traffic or waiting for my wife to finish putting on her makeup.
The latest piece of advice from the Energy Saving Trust didn’t answer my question but it got me thinking about it again. The study they brought out comes about following some work from Transport for London.
They suggest that if every driver in London turned off their engine just one minute in every journey then the world could benefit from a reduction of 100 million kg of CO2 emissions a year, which sounds rather a lot, doesn’t it? Just imagine if we all did this all over the world? I know that I have been guilty of idling a lot in the past but not any more I can assure you.
The advice is aimed mainly at people who let the engine idle away when they are doing things like loading and unloading but what about my question about being stuck in traffic?
A Minute is the Answer
The best answer I could find suggests that around a minute is time when there is a saving in both cash and pollution terms This means that it costs you less and you cause less pollution if you switch off instead of idling for more than 60 seconds.
Some modern cars come with start / stop systems which turn of the vehicle’s engine when it is idling. I haven’t yet seen one of these cars out here but it sounds like a good idea.
This information comes hot on the heels of Boris Johnson’s anti idling campaign. You can now be fined up to 80 quid it you let your engine idle for too long in the capital.
Ah, don’t forget to only do this when the car is stationary.