Sometimes it seems that the entire world is obsessed with ‘going green’ – that is, being environmentally friendly. While this is no doubt a good thing for the planet – especially when it comes to cars – it can be downright confusing for consumers. How do you know which type of vehicle to go for? How do you know that you’re being as environmentally friendly as possible? Should you invest in a ‘green’ car now or wait to see what the future holds? Here’s a little bit of information on the several options available to you.
Hybrid and Electric Cars
Hybrid cars (vehicles which fuse petrol and electric power) are by no means new, but they’re set for new big things in the future, and with huge names such as Peugeot, Toyota and Honda now offering hybrid vehicles, it will become easier and easier to get your hands on a hybrid over the next few years. Hybrid cars of the future will be more lightweight, and the body will be more aerodynamic, allowing for faster driving and enabling your tyres to last longer. Hybrids in general have fewer emissions, increasing the fuel efficiency and improving the mileage of your car, and in the future – thanks to the regenerative braking function – batteries should also last longer.
Some motorists are understandably put off the idea of electric cars due to their limited range and the need to charge them up every so many miles, but all-electric cars of the future are set to travel for over 100 miles without needing to recharge. One of the main problems with making hybrid and electric cars popular for general use is the lack of charging stations in the UK (or anywhere, for that matter). It’s been called a ‘chicken and egg situation’: until there are sufficient numbers of charging stations around the country, the general public won’t turn to hybrid cars for all of their motoring needs. But the government won’t spend a lot of money on getting those charging stations installed until more people turn to hybrid cars for all of their motoring needs… hopefully, this will get resolved soon.
Other Green Motoring Options
Countries such as Thailand have been using alternative-fuel vehicles for years, and while it’s not quite as ‘green’ as hybrid or electric cars, many of their public buses (as well as trucks, taxis, and other city vehicles) run on liquid propane gas (LPG). This e-fuel reduces overall emissions thanks to a small percentage of alcohol used in the blended fuel.
Early this year, Peugeot announced that by 2016, they would be releasing a car that would run ‘on air’ (actually, the vehicle would also have a petrol engine). Still, it’s another huge step forwards in the green stakes, and as their cars will be generally cheaper to buy and will have higher fuel efficiency than the other electric and hybrid cars already available on the market, they’re set to be a big hit. The lower price is due to the fact that they won’t require either an electric motor or a lithium-ion battery, and the simple parts will be easily replaced and serviced.
Whichever car you choose – and whichever path you decide to go down in terms of going green – there will always be the issue of cost. Weighing up your money against your morals isn’t the easiest of things to do, but with so many options out there, you’re bound to find a vehicle that fits both your beliefs and your budget.