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New Eco-Friendly Cars Provide Tons of Green Driving Options

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eco-friendly cars for green driving
Shutterstock Licensed Image - By KENG MERRY Paper Art

A recent survey by Autodeal suggests that almost one in five (17.52%) Filipinos purchase a vehicle that has been referred by a family or friend. Referral is almost as important as “perceived value for money” (17.67%) in deciding which car to buy. Interestingly, a measly 7.02% of respondents said that a car’s features influence their decision.

But how informed are your family and friends in recommending a vehicle? Do they consider sustainability as a factor? It’s time to change your mind set in choosing a car.

Automobiles contributed more than half of air pollutants in 2013, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Cars and trucks produce air pollution throughout their life, including pollution emitted during vehicle operation, refueling, manufacturing and disposal,” the group warned. Fortunately, manufacturers are stepping up their game in introducing eco-friendly cars that appeal to the general public – functional, stylish and affordable.

How to choose a sustainable car? Check out this buying guide.

How is your car powered?

How to choose the suitable car that matches your budget and needs and lowers your greenhouse emission? Your first, and probably the most important, consideration is how it is powered. Traditionally, cars run either on gasoline or diesel. Newer models may be using ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), a cleaner type of diesel fuel. Some vehicles use a blend of ULSD and biodiesel.

Manufacturers are producing vehicles that operate on “alternative” power such as electricity, flexible fuel, compressed natural gas and pressurized hydrogen. There are also plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that run on electricity and gasoline. Electric vehicles (EVs) are currently the most environmentally-friendly car options out there. A typical passenger automobile emits roughly 4.7 metric tons of CO2 each year; an EV has zero tailpipe emission. Although charging an EV battery may increase pollution at the power plant, the total CO2 emission of EVs is still lower than gasoline-powered cars. Moreover, you can have alternative energy sources for EV such as wind and geothermal sources.

Look for EPA-recommended vehicles

The US government makes it easier for you to choose a sustainable car for your needs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates new automobiles including cars and trucks for hazardous emissions on scales of 1 to 10. The SmartWay designation is given to those that record a combined score from the greenhouse gas and smog-forming emission scales that is higher than the average vehicle. If you want the most eco-friendly choices, go for the SmartWay Elite-certified units.

Greenhouse gases, which are emitted from the tailpipes of vehicles, can stay in the atmosphere for more than 100 years. These gases trap energy in the atmosphere, changing the planet’s climate. Smog-forming emissions including nitrogen oxide, non-methane organic gases and carbon monoxide are usually trapped close to the ground. These gases are blamed for a number of breathing problems and lung diseases.

Smart and premier electric cars

2018 has so far introduced a number of impressive eco-friendly vehicles. Those that top the list are, unsurprisingly, electric-powered units. Volvo’s Polestar 1 is a top-rate electric car with a petrol engine driving the front wheels and two electric-powered rear wheels. The latter also feature planetary gear sets that enable torque vectoring that supports you with precise acceleration on each wheel.

Another star in the list is the BMW i8 Roadster. Its streamflow design and improved bonnet vent create aerodynamics that optimize airflow. It features intelligent energy management programmed to maximize performance with minimum energy consumption. This model only records CO2 emissions of up to 46g/km.

An efficient car for the modern professional

Are electric cars way above your budget? No worries. You have affordable eco-friendly options. The Toyota Prius 2018 is a hybrid car that’s eco-friendly, safe, comfortable and stylish. It features an aerodynamic exterior that allows it to easily slip through the wind, helping maximize fuel efficiency. This sustainable car, similar to other Prius models, is estimated to reduce nearly 11.8 million tons of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Moreover, it offers an EPA-estimated 58 mpg city that make trips more efficient and environment friendly.

The Toyota Prius is equipped with high-tech innovations that suit your modern life. It features an enhanced parking support, Qi-compatible wireless charging and smart-flow climate control, among other things.

An intelligent vehicle for the family

If you need a 4×4 automobile for your family, Nissan offers an eco-friendly solution: the Nissan X-Trail 2018. Its exterior aerodynamics and almost gearless Xtronic transmission promotes fuel efficiency. The updated X-Trail features Auto Mode that automatically adjusts the balance of power between wheels for maximum efficiency.

The Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility enhances your driving experience with smart emergency braking, back-in park, a 360-degree view monitor, and rear cross traffic alert. You can be assured that your next family trip is going to be a smooth ride.

Driving smart for an efficient travel

Buying an energy-efficient vehicle is just the first step to a green driving lifestyle. You should also know how to drive smart, maintain your vehicle in good condition, and use only renewable fuels.

Going easy on the gas pedal and brakes can cut down your car’s greenhouse gas emissions. By observing the speed limit, you can save on fuel because gas mileage usually drops at speeds above 50 mph. You’re also safe from road accidents. Try using cruise control to help you maintain a constant speed. You can also improve your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated and using the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil grade.

People should be changing the way they shop for cars. Instead of simply finding the right car based on needs, you should also consider the environmental implications of choosing a certain vehicle. Does it emit too many greenhouse gases and particulates? Is it EPA-certified? Will it help in reducing the effects of climate change? Is it a vehicle that you will be proud to drive? It’s perfectly normal to buy a product based on your needs and personal preference, but be a little more discerning and consider the lasting impact of your choice.

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