I’m currently waiting for my daughter to get out of school. Being Florida, it’s hot as he**. So, everyone else sitting here is running their car. I prefer to not think about the pollution that is rising up around us and that kids will have to walk through as they get out of school. There are perhaps 7 or 8 Teslas in the pickup area, but that’s nothing compared to the many, many more that are burning gasoline. While it won’t help me, I’m happy to see that Renault is doing something about this problem in the UK.
Despite not being a scorching hot mess, 27% of parents in the UK admit to idling while waiting for their children — men more than 50% likely to do so than women (or more than 50% likely to admit it). As a result, “1 in 3 children in the UK breathe unsafe levels of air pollution,” according to Renault.
Interestingly, in the UK, sitting in a car and idling with the engine running is illegal! Didn’t know that? Don’t worry, neither did 60% of respondents. What is there to do about the idling problem if it’s already illegal? Yep — raise awareness around the problem, the law, and solutions. Hence, Renault has launched the “Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” awareness campaign.
The stakes? According to Renault, “More than 8,500 schools, nurseries and colleges in England, Scotland and Wales are located in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution.”
“The fact that the majority of people don’t realise that idling is illegal just highlights the scale of the problem,” explains Matt Shirley, Senior Manager, Electrification & New Mobility. “Every minute a car is idling it produces enough emissions to fill 150 balloons. It goes without saying, if the 27% of school run journeys stop idling, there would be a significant improvement in the air quality for their children.”
Naturally, the easiest solution to enjoy your air conditioning or heater without causing harmful pollution where your kids are walking around is to go electric. Renault’s awareness campaign may be partly or even mostly altruistic, but it’s also a marketing campaign. Renault is a leader in the electric vehicle market, and the more people see the benefits of an electric car, the more ZOEs it’s going to move.
So far in 2020, the Renault ZOE is the top selling electric vehicle in Europe. Indeed — it’s even outselling the Tesla Model 3 so far this year. We’ll see what happens as the year closes out, but the ZOE is certainly in the running for best selling vehicle of the year even at the end of December.
In the UK, where this awareness campaign is focused, the ZOE also sells well, and plugin vehicle vehicle sales overall have risen to 10% of automobile sales in the market.
Related Story: Here’s How One Teenager is Taking A Stand Against Car Idling
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