Cars have changed drastically since the Prius was introduced worldwide in 2000. First developed in Japan in 1995, it was the first mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car. It began to change the way consumers viewed what a car could be in relation to their impact on the environment.
Fast forward to 2015, and ‘green’, low emission vehicles are everywhere. In fact, there’s so many different makes and models available that it can seem impossible to choose! One of the ways you can whittle down the list is to decide which engine is right for your specific driving needs. Whether you need to commute long distance to work, or work from home and only use your car to run errands, there’s a low-emission vehicle that will work for you.
If you don’t drive often, the low range (60-90 miles) of an all-electric car may be perfect for your needs. These are the lowest emission vehicles with the least impact on the environment.
A Hybrid, like the Prius, has much better gas mileage than a traditional internal combustion engine, and is much better for the environment, as well. It’s the best of both worlds! To sweeten the deal, you can also get a plug-in hybrid, which runs on electricity until the battery drains and then switches to gasoline.
Diesel is making a comeback in a big way here in the States, and it’s a good thing. The advances in diesel technology make them much more efficient, less noisy, and cleaner than ever. The miles per gallon are higher than a traditional vehicle, and the emissions are less, too.
Traditional gasoline engines in compact and subcompact cars are getting better gas mileage than previous years. If you can get by with a small car, some of the newer models boast up to 40mpg! While not emission free, they’re much friendlier than the earlier models.
There are other choices, such as hydrogen cells and natural gas, but the cost and lack of easily accessible filling stations make them out of the realm of being useful for everyday drivers. Once you decide which type of engine best fits with your driving habits, it’s easier to choose the model of car that suits your lifestyle.