Are people doing enough to reduce pollution from vehicles?

Transport contributes significantly to the amount of pollution released into the atmosphere, but with an increased focus on renewable and alternative energy sources for vehicles, are we doing enough to make a difference?

Despite the increased viability of these vehicles for average consumers, a recent study found that attitudes toward renewable power and other energy issues still need to shift to ensure we are doing all we can.

Knowledge is power

The University of Plymouth conducted a survey that investigated the nature of people's knowledge of energy-saving behaviours to see if there were any gaps where further education could help. 

According to the institution, public knowledge surrounding this knowledge is full of misconceptions, which could reduce the effectiveness of initiatives such as more fuel efficient cars in the long run. 

These misunderstandings are underscored by a range of attitudes that are damaging to renewable energy programs as a whole. In general, people believed they would be unable to influence governments or businesses into making decisions that had a positive impact on clean energy trends. 

Researchers from the university found that there were also issues surrounding the context of energy-saving behaviours and how they related to daily life. 

"This research particularly emphasises the importance of not overlooking knowledge as a means of improving the prospects for informed decision-making in both existing and new contexts," explained the authors. 

"It suggests that greater efforts are needed to link formal learning with daily life to enhance awareness of how individuals use energy in everyday practices and illustrate how changing behaviours affect energy use."

The report also found that collective action is not the only way to encourage change, with its findings displaying an increase in individualism, suggesting personal choices have the ability to shape the future. 

What can fleet managers do?

The best decision an individual can make is to acknowledge that change needs to happen, particularly in the automotive world. Fleet managers are in a unique position here, with the ability to influence a number of people based on their decisions. An electric car revolution could be started by one bold fleet manager. 

According to the Energy Supply Association Australia, electric and hybrid cars are catching on in Australia. Statistics from the company show a notable rise in the number of petrol-electric hybrids since they first went on sale in the country in 2001. 

Now, just over 14,000 of these vehicles are sold each year.

Of course, to completely eliminate vehicle emissions, electric cars need to take over. With Tesla in the process of constructing a nationwide network of superchargers for these vehicles, they are becoming increasingly viable, and could be the answer to ongoing pollution concerns.