Shopping for an eco-friendly car was been turned on its head in September 2015 when Volkswagen came clean that it had been rigging software on its diesel engines to fool emissions testers for years. About 11 million vehicles around the world are affected.
In the US, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking Volkswagen to recall about half one million cars to make the necessary fixes. In light of this confession, how can an eco-conscious gal or guy know a green car is the real thing before signing a purchase contract? Are city-dwelling Earth lovers doomed to forego driving altogether in order to avoid contributing to the air-pollution problem?
Driving Is (Usually) Unavoidable
Unless you live in a city with excellent public transportation —which do not always coincide in the US — you need to drive.
You have things to do and people to see and despite the fact that you have an inner desire to have the carbon footprint of an insect, your rent is due on the first and you still have to get to work. If it’s a lack of a drivers license that’s holding you back, it’s time to brush up on your drivers manual and get your learners permit so that you can develop your driving skills. Are you a nervous test taker? Practice taking your permit practice test for free at Driving-tests.org.
Reasons to Choose an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle
Sometimes a car payment can be reduced if you qualify for a green-friendly loan. Some banks offer these loans with as much as .5% discount. There are also federal and state tax credits for people who purchase green cars.
Hybrids and electric vehicles hold their value for longer periods of time. In fact, according to CheatSheet.com, the 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid is expected to hold more than 50% of its value after three years and around 40% of its value after 5 years.
Make Less Noise Pollution
Hybrids and electric cars are nearly silent. For many consumers, this is a huge if unexpected benefit and reduces noise pollution. Gearheads may sneer, but police will pull over cars with loud emissions, particularly at night and in quiet neighborhoods.
With Diesel, Green is Relative
It’s being said that Volkswagen is killing the future of diesel, which has been touted as an eco-friendly alternative. This claim is a bit of a stretch.
At first glance, a diesel engine may seem greener than a standard one. It’s more fuel-efficient, for one thing. But when you compare diesel to electric or hybrid engines, it’s more of a pick-your-poison game.
Diesel has less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than standard engines. However, it puts much more nitrogen oxide (NO2) into the air, which directly contributes to smog and particulates. In hot climates like Phoenix, this can even trigger air quality warnings.
Choosing to drive at all can be difficult for eco-conscious people, but by spending sufficient time researching earth-friendly vehicle options, it is possible to choose a vehicle that will help you get to wherever you need to go and that won’t be as detrimental to the environment as other vehicles on the market.