Go Green, Do Good.
We associate so many good things to the color green; money, green lights to go, and even more and more lately, going green with your vehicle. Many more companies are fine tuning and advancing their vehicles into the green era. Being eco-conscious is not only good for the environment but also for your wallet long term. But finding the right type of eco-friendly vehicle can get confusing. There's electric, gasoline hybrid, plug in hybrid electric, flex fuel, and natural gas as of now. Ill break down each fuel alternative one by one to better help you decide which type of eco-friendly vehicle is the right fit for you and help guide you along easier when it comes to selecting the vehicle of your choice.
· Electric vehicles (EVs): Instead of having an internal combustion engine, EVs have an electric motor that you refuel by charging the battery. A standard 120-volt outlet is sufficient to charge the battery, but a 240-volt outlet that’s used for a washer and dryer will charge it faster.
· Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs): PHEVs run off both a battery and an internal combustion engine. To refuel, the car can be charged with a regular 120-volt outlet, regenerative braking or the internal combustion engine.
· Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs): As a type of electric car, FCVs operate using an electric motor. Instead of getting electricity through a wall outlet though, FCVs draw electricity from a hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen as a fuel source has the potential for zero emissions and can be sourced from renewable materials like water and biomass.
· Natural gas vehicles (NGVs): NGVs run using either compressed or liquified natural gas as fuel. A dedicated NGV operates entirely on natural gas, a bi-fuel NGV uses a mixture of gasoline and natural gas, and heavy-duty dual-fuel NGVs use natural gas and diesel.
· Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs): FFVs operate with an internal combustion engine that uses gasoline or a blend of gasoline and ethanol referred to as E85. E85 usually contains up to 85% ethanol, hence the name. This flexible fuel is more eco-friendly because ethanol is made from renewable biomasses like corn and wood.
· Gasoline hybrid: Hybrids have an internal combustion engine that uses gasoline as well as an electric motor. This combination results in better mileage than regular gasoline cars and fewer emissions released.
So now that you know the different types of Eco-friendly options, it's time to breakdown things further to better assist you in finding the right vehicle brand and model!
When looking for a green vehicle, its best to start by thinking of your daily commute and what will best suits your driving lifestyle. Also make sure to factor in the fuel or energy you will need for the eco friendly vehicle you choose. If you'd like a fuel cell vehicle but don’t live close to any fuel cell stations then that might not be the best option. At the dealership there's always so many stickers on the vehicles, to best find the right one to match your fuel efficiency needs look out for the fuel economy and environment label. These will explain the estimated annual fuel cost as well as how much you'll save over the years. Higher ratings on the environment label means its a greener car.
Now that you have the basics, next comes the fun part, finding the vehicle you love! Get out there, do your research and help save the planet. We can all do it, one eco-friendly vehicle at a time!
- Heather Jarkow