Driving a green car helps take care of the planet and your health. Green cars produce fewer emissions, save money on gas and help reduce your carbon footprint. Beyond those simple benefits, you have the opportunity to help reduce world-wide dependence of fossil fuels and reduce pollution. Sure, you can’t do it by yourself, but you can contribute.
Benefits of Owning a Green Car
Green cars are easy on your wallet and easier on the environment. They cost much less per mile of driving than a comparably sized regular car. They often get twice the mileage from each gallon of gas and some get much more. They’re also much better for the environment because and help reduce global warming. Widespread use of green cars could also contribute to affordable medical insurance by making the air we breathe healthier.
China will start using a more stringent measuring standard for air pollution in their major cities this year. The US embassy has already said the air quality is very poor, yet the Chinese reported air pollution as “slight.” The difference came because the Chinese didn’t measure the smaller particles produced by smokestacks and exhaust pipes.
At times, a mixture of pollutants has blanketed Beijing in a beige cloud and residents have complained the pollution problem is far worse than the Chinese government admitted. A significant part of the pollution causing this beige cloud comes from vehicle exhaust. If more Beijing residents drove green cars with fewer emissions, the beige cloud could be a lot smaller.
Pros and Cons of Driving a Green Car
There are some downsides to driving a green car, although they’re far outweighed by the benefits. Firstly, let’s take a look at the benefits:
- Better gas mileage.
- Fewer emissions.
- Quieter engine.
- Reduced dependence of fossil fuels.
However, the large batteries required in hybrid and electric cars mean the interior space is sometimes less than a comparably sized gasoline powered car. The batteries are also very heavy, impacting handling and sportiness. Green cars are also less powerful than their gasoline counterparts, because fast acceleration drains the batter quickly. Fully electric cars have to be plugged in any night and can’t be refueled quickly.
During city driving, most of these cons are irrelevant. The handling and acceleration of a car matter less on city streets than they do on the open road. After all, there are fewer opportunities to accelerate and corner quickly. The only real con to owning a green car in a city then, is the slightly reduced interior size. But is a few extra cubic feet really a reason to spend more money on gas and contribute to terrible city air quality and global warming?
Top Green Cars and Electric Cars
The hybrid Toyota Prius has been the perennial sales leader in the green car category, although there are a range of other options available for 2012. The brand new Nissan Leaf is an all-electric car, delivering the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon. It’s also quiet and spacious, making it a true contender. Another new car is the Chevy Volt, which uses a small engine to help recharge its battery, but can travel up to 40 miles on batter alone.
Looking after the planet is everyone’s responsibility. Driving a green car is a great place to start and has benefits beyond just being kind to the environment. You’ll save money on gas, contribute to a reduced dependence on fossil fuels and enjoy the quiet of an electric or hybrid vehicle. If more people drove green vehicles, we could have cheap individual health insurance, as well as a much healthier planet.