Living at a time when a lot of emphasis has been put on conservation of the natural environment, even car manufacturers are beginning to lean more towards manufacturing eco-friendly vehicles. Suppose you would wish to contribute to the ‘wellness’ of the environment, what are some of the things you should look out for to ensure that you buy a car which is as eco-friendly as can be?
1. New vs. Used
There is an allure to new cars that immediately wins us over, but do you know that opting to buy a used car instead could prove to be much more eco-friendly than buying a new hybrid? Here’s how:
• No manufacturing emissions
A recent research by Toyota reveled that the carbon dioxide generated during manufacture and transportation of a new vehicle to the dealership could cumulatively end up being as much as 28% of the total emission generated during the lifetime of that particular vehicle. Would it not be easier to opt for a used vehicle seeing as it has already generated the manufacturing emissions?
• Interior toxin safety
Know that new car smell? Well, did you know that it is harmful to not just the environment but also to you? That smell that folks seem to love so much is actually toxic fumes evaporating off the finishes and furnishes for the car interior. These include plastics, vinyl and leather and for the duration during which the car has this ‘new smell’ we just keep inhaling the toxic fumes into our lungs.
2. Hybrids vs. Non-Hybrids
The manufacturing emissions are much higher for the hybrids than for the non-hybrids following the facts that:
• Batteries used to store the drive train’s energy are not eco-friendly.
• They have 2 engines under a single hood.
• The manufacturing plant very likely runs on coal, not renewable energy.
3. Gasoline vs. Diesel
Most automobiles are fitted with gasoline engines and although diesel engines are given a bad rap at times, they actually could be the more eco-friendly option. How?
• Diesel gives a better steady-state fuel economy
• Diesel generates more low- and mid-range power
• Diesels are built with closer tolerances hence having a long service life
4. Dark color vs. lighter color
When thinking of a vehicle’s eco-friendliness, very few people will stop to think that the vehicle’s color could have any impact on the environment, but it does play a role.
• Lighter color means less heat absorption thus less work done by the AC system.
• White colors show dirt less as compared to other colors. Thus you would not have to wash your vehicle frequently
5. Consulting a dealer vs. consulting other car owners
When you are looking for reviews on a particular vehicle model you might be eyeing, do not go to the dealer; talk to other owners. A vehicle owner will always tell you the truth concerning that particular vehicle and will openly share with you the experiences they have had during the time they have owned the vehicle. Join online forums and make sure you are well informed on the merits and demerits of the particular make, before you decide to purchase it.
It is through such sharing that you will also learn not to trust labels. Just because a car has an eco-friendly sticker displayed on it, does not mean that it is indeed environmentally friendly.
6. SUV vs. Station wagon
Tempted as you may be to go for the SUV, do you know that opting for the wagon instead could be the more environmental friendly option? The benefits of a station wagon over an SUV include:
• Better handling
• Better fuel economy
• Better acceleration
7. Price vs. value
You may be looking for a vehicle that is pocket friendly and fits right within your budget, but do not let this blind you to the true value of the car. You should compare the price as well as the value so that you may make your final decision. On matters concerning value, look at the:
• Mechanical safety
• Fuel economy