A common topic today is that of green cars. As little carbon dioxide emissions as a car may have, there are always drawbacks somewhere in its design. The production of biodiesel is responsible for the destruction of wildlife habitat and drives food prices up. Electric cars use valuable materials and (normally) emit carbon dioxide by using coal energy. Which cars are the most environmentally friendly?
In pure emissions, this is where different car types stand in grams of CO2 per mile:
b Conventional car: 452
b Conventional hybrids: 295
b Plug-in hybrids on conventional coal: 326
b Plug-in hybrids on green power: 150
b All electric on conventional coal (Nissan Leaf): 238
b Clean diesel (average of Audi and VW models): 361
b All electric on green power: 0
If you want to know how you can be as environmentally friendly as possible in your choice of car, I would answer: Buy a car only if youre in the market for a new car anyway because the greenest car is a used one.
If you are in the market for a new car, think about your needs. Hybrids would be best for someone who mainly drives in stop-and-go traffic but wants to be able to drive long distances occasionally. An all-electric car would be suitable for someone who exclusively drives in heavy traffic. A light car would be best for anyone who drives moderate distances daily. Remember, fuel economy hinges on many different variables, but one of the most determining factors in a cars efficiency is its weight. The less a car weighs, the less work it takes to get it moving.
If you use an electric or hybrid car, be sure you have an electric plan with time-of-use rates or green energy. La Plata Electric Association has gone out of its way to provide us with green energy at the lowest prices, and the time-of-use plan is perfect for hybrid cars. You can charge your car at night for only 4.4 cents per kilowatt hour, less than half the normal rate. And, its easy to get signed up online or over the phone.