Cars aren’t great for the environment, but some cars are better than others for reduced emissions, less wasted gas, and a smooth and efficient ride. If you’re shopping around for an eco-friendly vehicle, here are several tips on what to look for in a green car. Keep them in mind during your search to ensure you pick the right car for your needs, but always remember to consider public transportation, a bicycle, or other low-impact means for travel!
Electric or battery electric vehicles are great because they create no emissions, and that means no extra carbon monoxide and other bad stuff in the environment and atmosphere. Many recent electric cars have parts—door trim, seats, the dashboard, and others—made of recycled and recyclable materials, meaning it took fewer new resources to build them, and they can be converted into other things once their service is done. Electric car batteries can be recycled as well and last longer than standard car batteries. On the other hand, while they don’t produce CO and other emissions, the battery produces a minor level of toxic fumes. Other cons include long charging times, dependence on charging stations, and the fact that refueling your car demands the use of resources to generate electricity elsewhere. Electric cars can cost more, but overall, you’ll pay much less than you would for gas.
If an electric car isn’t in your price range, consider a hybrid. They’re cheaper than electric cars and just about as green in that they emit less exhaust since their electric motor lets them burn even less fuel. Hybrids are also much quieter than regular gas burners, so you’re not contributing to noise pollution as well. Owners report that hybrids require much less maintenance because there’s less pressure on the gas engine to perform, and oil changes can be made every 5,000 miles rather than every 3,000 miles. Regardless, when maintenance is required, it may cost more. Hybrids are generally still more expensive than internal combustion cars as well, and no matter how you slice it, they still burn fuel.
Other Things To Consider
Whatever vehicle you choose—and hopefully it’s an environmentally friendly one—look for the following features. When considering what to look for in a green car, go lean and find a car without a lot of extras. Save money and gas by driving a car without a rack on top, for example. Toting those extra few pounds on top increases wind resistance and adds unnecessary weight to the vehicle, forcing your engine to work harder. Dark-colored cars absorb more sunlight and cause heat inside the cabin to rise, which makes you turn on the AC, putting more stress on the engine. Go with a lighter or more reflective color to bounce away sunlight. Finally, keep those tires inflated to their proper pressure, and your vehicle will run more efficiently!