If you are into an eco-friendly lifestyle, then one thing that must fill you with guilt everyday is your car that guzzles diesel/petrol like a thirsty horse drinking water and then spews carbon dioxide and other substances into the air like a chimney. Yes, you may not see the smoke in most modern cars, but that doesn’t mean the emissions are not there. If you look at statistics, automobiles are among the biggest air pollutants in the modern world. The solution to this is for people to switch to eco-friendly cars in a massive way.
That is not likely to happen soon because the trouble with eco-friendly cars is the image imprinted in the mind of the public. People still think that they are small, low-powered, slow-moving and unreliable vehicles that are impractical for everyday use. Although this still partly true, it is an erroneous concept because they have come a long way from being items of novelty that they were until a decade or so ago. The current crops of electric cars can go as fast as conventional cars and have batteries lasting longer that most people would require in a day. For example, the Renault Fluence ZE has a battery range of 185 km and a top speed of 135 km/hr. Most people never drive that distance and at that speed most days.
Once you have decided to buy an eco-friendly car, you will be faced with a few options. There are electric cars, there are cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells, there are cars that run on bio-fuels and then there are hybrid cars. But the most popular and the most widely available are electric cars and hybrid cars. Both types can be a good buy although the latter are not really zero emission vehicles because they are a combination of electric and conventional cars. And anything less than zero emission is really not that healthy for the environment. But, still, they help cut down carbon emission and are still more practical than fully electric cars.
Among the green cars, electric cars can be said to be the most eco-friendly. However, they are zero emission vehicles only if their batteries are charged with renewable energy sources, such as solar power and wind power. Another issue is that there are just not enough battery charging stations and you can’t drive back all the way back home every time you need a new battery. The good news is that work is being done in this sector. For example, in Australia an organization called Better Place is trying to make the country a better place to live in, by installing charging points powered by renewable sources of energy around the country with the aim of building the world’s largest network of charging points of by the end of 2013.
Now here is the verdict: If you want a somewhat eco-friendly car that has the power, speed, size, comfort and functionalities of a conventional car, then the hybrid car is definitely for you. However, if you want a completely zero emission car at the expense of other features, then you should go for an electric car and there is no two ways about that. Of course, you can always invest in a bicycle too.
For more eco-friendly lifestyle options, visit SustainableSuburbia.net.