How to Choose A Car and Be Environmentally Cautious

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Let’s face it. Cars are a fact of life! Gone are the days when you could climb up into your horse and buggy for a ride into town.  Unfortunately our lives have become accustomed to leaving a carbon footprint trail behind us with every step we take. Fortunately though, we are seeing the motor vehicle industry evolve (slowly but surely).  Although we carbon conscious folk can choose walking/cycling/public transport, there is still a real need for cars.

Want to decrease you carbon footprint through your next car purchase?

Thankfully the motor vehicle industry has recently released a number of vehicles of which they refer to as “green” cars. These types of cars are vehicles that have a minimal impact on the environment through producing less CO2 emissions.

The main source of CO2 emissions that are produced from a vehicle are a result of fuel consumption. When the fuel is burnt in the combustion chamber of an engine the chemical energy in the fuel is converted into heat and kinetic energy. In this process the heat is lost to the atmosphere and the kinetics energy propels the car, whereas the fuel is converted to energy waste products that are then expelled out of the exhaust pipe and into the environment. In addition, by choosing a greener car you could not only be helping the environment but you could also be helping yourself financially. A “green” car has better fuel efficiency compared to an average car, meaning that by purchasing a “green” car you have the potential of saving thousands on your fuel bill.

Electric Cars, as the names suggests, are vehicles that are run by electricity. Recharge is as simple as just plugging it in to a household power socket and although it is dependent on what electric car you purchase, most electric cars can travel between 80 and 170kms. Visually, electric cars are the same their petrol-run counterparts. However, electric cars do promote the benefits of being more environmentally friendly and money saving (no need to purchase fuel). In addition, a major difference that drivers notice between the two is the noise, as electric cars are close to being silent when driven.

So which cars are the most environmentally friendly?

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According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the following vehicles are classified as the top three electric car performers. All have received five stars for air pollutions and greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Mitsubishi iMiEV
  • Can drive up to 150kms on one charge
  • Is fully charged in 7 hours
  • Produces zero CO2 emissions
  1. Nissan ZE0 Leaf
  • Can drive up to 170kms on one charge
  • Is fully charged in 7 to 8 hours
  • Produces zero CO2 emissions
  1. Telsa Roadster
  • Can drive up to 340kms on one charge
  • Produces zero CO2 emissions

Are electric cars not your style?

Being environmentally cautious about your next car purchase does not mean that you are limited purchasing an electrical car. There has been an option in the market for years now that are known as hybrid cars. A hybrid car is a type of car that combines that power of a traditional combustion engine with the efficiency of an electric car. Hybrid cars are known for their fuel-efficiency and low CO2 emissions. A car is classified as fuel-efficient when they have a combined-cycle fuel consumption of 7 litres per 100kms or less.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the following vehicles are classified as the top three hybrid car performers. All have received five stars for air pollutions and greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Toyota Prius Hybrid
  • 89g/ km CO2 emissions
  • EV option – electric motor use
  • A combined-cycle fuel consumption of 3.9 L/ 100kms
  1. Lexus CT200 Hybrid
  • 95g/ km CO2 emissions
  • EV option – electric motor use
  • A combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.1 L/ 100kms
  1. Honda Insight VTi
  • 103g/ km CO2 emissions
  • Econ Mode – reduces throttle response and optimises motor assistance for maximal engine efficiency
  • A combined-cycle fuel consumption of 4.3 L/ 100kms

Whether it is an electric car or a hybrid, both types of vehicles promote great environmental advantages and fuel-saving benefits. Ultimately the decision is yours and it really comes down to what you feel is best suited for your lifestyle.  Not all of us are able to ditch our car keys for public transport or walking just yet so making a good choice next time you are purchasing a vehicle may be as good as it gets at this stage. It’s important to be proud of every change you make – because every little bit counts.

Article written by

Phillip is a senior manager at Boost Salary Packaging Pty Ltd and prides himself on his knowledge and expertise, offering employees a cost effective and pro-active solution to meet their vehicle and salary packaging requirements. With over 25 years of experience within the vehicle fleet leasing and financing services industry within Australia and UK, as well as an Executive MBA, Phil takes a strong interest in ensuring that employee’s needs are met through the effective financing and salary packaging solution tailored to meet their needs now and into the future.

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