The Marks of a Great Eco-Friendly Vehicle
Global Warming is a big hot-button topic in the world right now, and for good reason. But if you’ve seen the price tags of some electric models, it’s enough to make your head spin. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an affordable option for eco-friendly trucks and eco-friendly cars, though! If you’ve got a pickup truck that goes a little heavy on the gas-guzzling, it’s a great time to start thinking about making the change. Here are some tips on what to look for in an eco-friendly vehicle!
What Makes an Eco-Friendly Car?
So you get to the Northwest Motorsport dealership lot and you’re looking around for the perfect eco-friendly car or truck. But what exactly are you looking for? Unfortunately, you’re not just going to see a big sign that says “eco-friendly cars here”. Here are some details to look for and some questions to think about and ask your dealer when looking for your next eco-friendly car or truck.
This is something that most people are probably looking for these days anyway. With the price of gas continuing to rise, who could afford a gas-guzzler? But what exactly does it mean to be fuel-efficient?
Fuel-efficiency, or fuel-economy, is the measure of how far a vehicle can travel on a single unit of fuel. In the U.S., of course, we say, miles per gallon. The higher your fuel-economy, the farther your vehicle can travel on a single tank of gas.
Increasing the average car’s fuel-efficiency is one of the biggest steps we can take as consumers on lessening our dependence on oil. Specifically foreign oil. Currently, the U.S. is on track to consume 22 million barrels of oil every day by 2035. Every barrel of oil we use to fuel our cars means more pollution, more dependence on foreign oil sources, and more money out of your pocket. The Half the Oil Plan seeks to trim 5 million barrels per day off that number by 2035 by making commercial and personal vehicles more fuel-efficient. But what about for your own personal car right now? Well, every vehicle is a little bit different, just like every driver’s needs. Obviously a Toyota Prius has better fuel-efficiency than a Toyota Tacoma, but not everyone can get away with having a Prius as their daily vehicle.
If you’re a pickup truck person, you might think you can’t have the best of both worlds, but hold on! Every day pickup trucks and SUVs are getting more fuel-efficient. We would say that your target for the lowest acceptable fuel-economy should be somewhere around 20 MPG. Of course, you’ve got some wiggle-room there. A vehicle with 17-18 MPG isn’t so bad. But you should probably cross anything lower than 15 off your list if you want to get an eco-friendly car.
Get a Vehicle on the Electric Range
The best way to reduce your dependence on oil is to cut it out all together! Electric vehicles (or EV’s) are becoming more and more popular as we see a cultural shift towards being eco-friendly. Some electric cars can be incredibly expensive, though, does that mean people get priced out?
Well, some folks do get priced out of electric. But you don’t need a Tesla model to make a difference. There are a host of hybrid vehicles that also drastically increase your car’s fuel efficiency.
If you don’t already know, a hybrid vehicle uses a combination of gas-powered and electric-powered motors. While this does make your mechanic’s job a little more complex, it makes your car’s life a lot easier. The electric motor works best at low speeds, especially in stop-and-go traffic around rush hour. Your gas engine kicks in on the highway and allows your vehicle to travel the farthest with the least amount of fuel. A fully electric vehicle can get over 100 MPGe (the unit used to measure miles per “electric” gallon). Consider this in comparison to a gas-powered vehicle, some that get as low as 10 MPG.
Eco-Friendly Cars or Trucks Are Built to Last
Regardless of your fuel type, the best quality a car has in being eco-friendly is that it’s built to last. In addition to the pollution created by gas emissions, you also need to think about how long your car will last. If you get 100 MPGe in your Chevrolet Volt but then have to scrap it after 20,000 miles, you’re not too much better off. Keeping a car, and the parts it uses, on the road and out of the junkyard is also really important.
According to the Automotive Recyclers Association, each year 14 million cars reach the end of their lives. Whether or not they end up in a junkyard depends on a few factors. However, there are ways to recycle your car to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the dump.
Of course, the best way to reduce these numbers is to get yourself a quality vehicle that is going to last longer. Take a look at this list of vehicles that are notorious for hitting the road year after year. The longer you can keep your car on the road, the more eco-friendly it is.
Additional Eco-Friendly Qualities
Besides the big aspects, here are some more minor details to think about that make your car just a little bit more eco-friendly
- Light Colors – When your car is a lighter color, it doesn’t heat up as much in the summertime. We’re not talking about the engine, but the actual interior of your vehicle. The lighter color attracts less heat and takes less energy to cool off with your air conditioner
- Tighter Suspension – Vehicles with a tight suspension are great at gripping the road. This means your car spends less energy on acceleration and braking. In addition to giving you better fuel-efficiency, it also reduces the amount of maintenance your car will need.
- Manual Transmission – No, we’re not here to tell you that you can’t really drive a car unless you drive a stick. The manual transmission does actually give you a lot more control over your vehicle’s power, though. A manual will give you more control over your fuel economy and better overall efficiency for your vehicle.
Ways to Make Any Vehicle More Eco-Friendly
Okay, so what about for the folks who want to do better by the environment but can’t afford a new vehicle right now? Here are some tips you can use to make your own car more eco-friendly without putting a down payment on that new Tesla model.
Here are some other ways you can improve the longevity of your vehicle’s life:
- Get your vehicle serviced regularly
- Change oil and filters at the manufacturer’s suggestion
- Keep your tires inflated and rotate regularly
- Regularly wash your vehicle
- Drive defensively- not aggressively
Making Your Next Eco-Friendly Purchase
The troubles of our environment won’t simply go away, but neither does your need for a new vehicle. So why not help both causes at the same time? Northwest Motorsport proudly offers both electric and hybrid vehicles. So if you’re looking to make the switch to a more eco-friendly vehicle, come check out our supply at any of Northwest Motorsport’s 11 retail locations across Washington state!