What To Look for in a Green Car

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If you’ve got the desire (and the money) to buy a green car, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. As you’re exploring your options, it’s good to know what truly makes a car green. Such knowledge goes a long way in better ensuring you find just what you’re looking for.

Choose From Hybrid, Electric and Battery Electric Vehicles

There are three main categories of green cars: electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid. For electric, the vehicle will have an electric battery rather than a fuel tank. Do some research to see how many charging stations you have in your geographic area to keep your car going. A hybrid vehicle uses a combination of an electric motor and an internal fuel combustion engine. This type of green car could be a good match for you if you do a lot of driving and don’t have very many charging stations in your area. As for a plug-in hybrid, you’ll start driving with an electric battery before the vehicle switches to its traditional combustion engine when the battery empties.

Know That Diesel Engines Are an Option

Despite what you may think, diesel vehicles are actually more environmentally friendly than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Know that since the Volkswagen diesel emission debacle, diesel vehicle manufacturers have made it their mission to produce models that adhere to the latest EPA emissions standards.

While you may be able to finance your car loan easily if you’re looking to buy a diesel vehicle, these models often run on the more expensive end of the spectrum. That said, your purchase could be worth it, as diesel engines usually last longer than gasoline engines. Just know that diesel cars don’t get the best mileage in city driving conditions, and gas stations that sell diesel could be scarce in your area.

Think About the Color of Your Green Car

You’ve got to think beyond what’s under the hood and what powers the engine/battery when it comes to driving an environmentally-friendly vehicle. The car’s color makes a difference in your fuel economy and GHG emissions. Cars of a darker color often absorb the sun’s rays, heating up your interior during the hottest months of the year. When you slide behind the wheel, one of the first things you’re likely to do is crank up the air conditioning, which cuts down on gas mileage and releases harmful emissions.

Ask About the Suspension

Your car’s suspension also makes a difference in how eco-friendly it is. If a vehicle has a good grip on the road, that means you won’t have to brake as hard to come to a stop. A good suspension also allows a vehicle to use momentum rather than engine power to make it through turns. Look for vehicles that have a sports suspension for optimum turning and cornering.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Just because you drive a green car doesn’t mean you should forget the essentials every car owner should know to save money while saving the environment. For instance, taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance goes a long way in allowing it to operate as efficiently as possible, lasting longer and saving you money on the cost of avoidable repairs.

Removing as many large items, gear, junk and the like from your interior lightens the load so there’s less to haul, and your car doesn’t burn as much gas to get the job done. Besides maximizing fuel, having as little as possible inside your car could deter thieves looking for valuable items to steal.

Keep your tires inflated at the proper pressure. The winter and summer seasons cause the air in your tires to expand and contract, impacting your tire pressure. Keeping your tires properly inflated better ensures your safety and improves your fuel efficiency.

Use these tips to find the perfect green car. As technology improves, green cars are sure to become more affordable and commonplace on roads across America. Happy shopping!


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