The eco conscious always consider the impact of their carbon foot print. But have you considered your carbon tread mark?
The type of car we drive, the way we drive it, and how often we drive it have a dramatic impact on our environment.
Eco friendly cars are among the most important of the eco friendly products available to us.
Characteristics of an Eco Friendly Car
An eco friendly car’s biggest draw to the eco-friendly consumer is the combination of good gas mileage and improved environmental impact.
Let’s be honest though, the average consumer is twice as likely to buy eco friendly products if it saves them some money too.
According to a survey on powertrains by Morpace, Inc. in Farmington Hills, MI, 62% of consumers rated fuel-efficiency as their primary characteristic of interest in a new car.
Of the same survey, only 29% of shoppers claimed the environment was their primary concern.
Given this information, we can easily draw the conclusion that fuel-efficiency is a major eco friendly characteristic.
Yet, not all the benefits of an eco friendly car come from reducing the pollution coming out of your tailpipe.
Efficient fuel use means that you’re also reducing the amount of fossil fuels and oils drawn from the earth that you have to buy and use for your car.
Electric car models and electric-hybrid models drastically reduce if not eliminate outright the need for fossil fuels and oil.
Some of the newer models in the eco friendly lines even use recycled products in the construction and design of the vehicle.
As the number of consumers interested in environmentally friendly vehicles increases, so too does the development of eco friendly models rises to meet the demand.
Best of the Best Eco Cars in 2014
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released the list for its greenest models for 2014.
The greenest model is the Mercedes-Benz Smart Electric Drive Convertible/Coupe—an all-electric model.
It is one of two Mercedes-Benz models on the list.
Other strong performers on the greenest of 2014 is the Toyota Prius line with three separate models on the list:
- the Toyota Prius C
- the Toyota Prius
- the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid coming in at 2nd, 4th, and 7th respectively.
Honda also checked in with three models
- the Honda Civic Hybrid
- the Honda Civic Natural Gas
- the Honda Insight ranking 5th, 9th, and 10th respectively.
The ACEEE bases its ranking on fuel economy and emissions for a given vehicle, both while being driven and during the vehicles’ manufacturing.
Eco Friendly Drivers
Of course, having an eco friendly car is only half the battle.
We, as drivers, can have a determining impact on the emissions our cars have through how we maintain and drive our vehicles.
There are a couple of ways (which I think are a bit below-the-radar) that can have an enormous environmental impact aside from regular maintenance and carpooling.
The first way you can reduce your car’s environmental impact as a driver is to dispose of your toxic fluids in a proper manner.
Our vehicles are a bubbling cauldron of toxicity.
Brake fluids, motor oils, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and battery acid are all toxic fluids that need to be disposed of at an authorized location so they don’t harm the environment.
Research and find an authorized drop-off location near you.
The second way is to find a car co-op to join.
Co-ops maintain a pool of cars that you can pick up and use during the hours you request it for a reasonable hourly rate.
You don’t have to worry about maintenance and, depending on your annual mileage, you will save a lot of money by not driving as much as you are used to.
The Swiss Office for Energy Affairs performed a study that indicated joining a co-op reduced a driver’s time spent driving by 70% while not causing the driver to feel inconvenienced by the reduced time behind the wheel.
Eco friendly cars are the future of the automobile industry as the gap narrows between economic and environmental efficiency.
Reducing your vehicle’s environmental impact is not only the green thing to do, but it will save you a lot of green in your wallet.