Former President Barrack Obama recognized the implications of climate change and took numerous measures to combat it. He passed strict regulations on carbon emissions, but his successor isn’t keen on keeping them. A few months ago, President Trump announced that he is tapering back some of Obama’s clean energy policies. This will have a number of implications for the environment. Many people also wonder how the new policies will affect demand for green vehicles.
So far, it seems that Trump’s new policies are not hurting demand for green vehicles. In anything, green vehicle sales are higher than ever. According to one estimate, sales rose 15% in May, nearly two months after Trump reversed his predecessor’s clean energy policies.
“In addition to Tesla, which continues to boost sales but doesn’t publish monthly metrics, Ford and General Motors each performed well in May. Green-car sales for the Blue Oval rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 9,221 vehicles, as Fusion Hybrid sales more than doubled, while Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales jumped 77 percent.
Up the road, General Motors increased green-car sales by 50 percent to 3,964 vehicles. Notably, the Chevrolet Bolt electric-vehicle model had a record month, tallying 1,566 unit sold in May. While the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales fell slightly to 1,817 units, Chevy Malibu Hybrid sales doubled to 493 units.”
Fortunately, it is unlikely that Trump’s new policies will significantly hurt demand for green cars. Here are some reasons demand is likely to increase in the near future.
Consumer Concern About Environment is Stronger than Ever
Demand for green cars is driven more by consumer concern for the environment than government regulations. A recent poll from Gallup shows that 45% of citizens “worry a great deal” about global warming. Nearly four out of five customers agree that scientists claim humans are responsible for global warming.
Even though the Trump Administration’s new policies will allow vehicles that are less environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious customers are likely to choose more efficient vehicles on their own.
Greener Vehicles Are More Cost-Efficient Over the Long Run
A number of studies have shown that green vehicles save money over the long-term. One 2013 study found that the average hybrid vehicle saves $3,371 in gas over the course of five years. As gas prices continue to rise, they will be more economically viable.
One of the benefits of hybrid, solar and electric vehicles is that they shield customers against rising fuel prices. After Hurricane Harvey, prices rose sharply. Other natural disasters, crises in the Middle East and OPEC agreements could cause gas prices to spike further, which makes green vehicles even more appealing.
Customers that own green vehicles don’t just save money on fuel prices. They can also reduce their insurance prices as well. Many customers looking for green vehicles choose Toyota Priuses, because they are the least expensive green cars to insure.
Customers can get even lower premiums if they take advantage of green discounts. According to The Zebra, green discounts allow customers to save up to 10% on their premiums every year. One of the main reasons they are less expensive is that they are less likely to be involved in accidents.
“A car that’s good for the earth is good for the wallet, at least when it comes to car insurance (and fuel conservation). Instant discounts, typically up to 10%, may be available for drivers that own or lease hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles depending on carrier. And since hybrid cars are often built with the latest features (research from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows people traveling in hybrids are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident than people traveling in traditional vehicles) you may qualify for additional discounts for newer safety developments like curtain airbags or Electronic Stability Control,” The Zebra websites states.
Green Vehicles Will Be More Popular than Ever, In Spite of Trump
Donald Trump has mocked the idea of climate change and tapered efforts to regulate it. However, customers are pushing for more environmentally friendly options on their own. They will continue to invest in green vehicles, regardless of Trump’s emission standards.
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!
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