The transportation sector is the biggest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., Vox reports. A regular passenger vehicle emits roughly 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide on average every year. As such, there’s never been a better time to switch to a sustainable vehicle. Eco-friendly cars are trendy, energy efficient, and reduce your carbon footprint. Before investing in a sustainable car, it’s important to do your research, so you can choose a stylish model that’s right for you.
Look at Reviews
Reading consumer reviews is one of the most important things you can do to choose a stylish eco-friendly car that doesn’t disappoint. While expert reviews will give you the basic specs, consumer reviews will give you information about all the important little details. For example, you’ll learn things about the storage space, comfort of the seats, and smoothness of the ride. You’ll find consumer reviews will tell you exactly what you want to know about a certain vehicle.
Electric or Hybrid?
Before purchasing a sustainable car, make sure you have access to the right fuel. Eco-friendly cars commonly run on electricity and require regular charging at designated stations. In particular, the Ford Focus is an attractive aerodynamic all-electric car with a sleek, black exterior. It notifies you when it needs charging, has a 143 horsepower, and top speed of 84 mph. Alternatively, hybrid cars use both electricity and gasoline to lower fuel consumption. And they can be exceptionally stylish — take the Porsche Panamera, for instance. It’s a beautiful, eco-friendly hybrid which goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds.
Assessing Your Needs
Aside from just being good looking, your car needs to be able to handle what you need it for. If you need it to commute, choose a fuel-efficient commuter car. If you often drive in traffic, you may want a car that automatically turns off when you stop to save fuel. If you enjoy outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and backcountry exploration, choose a car suited for rougher terrain while maintaining fuel efficiency. For example, the Range Rover Evoque can handle both city and off-road driving while being exceptionally elegant and stylish. It also has great fuel economy (28-mpg hwy/18-mpg city).
While darker toned hues never fail to look effortlessly chic, opting for a car in lighter color will actually make it much more energy efficient. Cars in darker colors like black and navy blue can in fact get up to ten degrees hotter than lighter colored cars. Additionally, the car’s air conditioning unit has to expend more energy to keep the temperature cool and comfortable. A luxury eco-friendly car like the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid in white may therefore be the perfect choice. Powered by an electric motor, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and the battery takes only 2.3 hours to fully recharge. This model emits roughly 50% less pollutants than regular cars and its white exterior can help keep you cool on hot days, so you run the A/C less and save on energy and maintenance costs.
Avoid Unnecessary Extra Features
It may be tempting to splash out on a car jam packed with fun features. However, this also makes it significantly less green. For example, large external extra features like bug deflectors, roof racks, sunshields, and weathershields increase aerodynamic drag and worsen fuel economy. Instead, avoiding these extra features and aiming for clean lines is key for saving energy. Chin spoilers, on the other hand, can help improve fuel efficiency. These clever features essentially reduce the volume of air beneath the car. As a result, drag and lift is decreased and the car becomes more efficient and stable. However, be sure to steer clear of rear-mounted spoilers which actually decrease fuel economy without doing much to improve performance.
Opt for Sport Suspension
Although you may not have previously considered it, the suspension of a car plays a role in determining its sustainability status. How? When a car has a good grip, it doesn’t rely as much on brake and accelerator power on the road — which ultimately means it burns less fuel. A luxury car with sport suspension has tighter springs and increased damping to give the driver better control. Consider the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe, a stylish hybrid vehicle which offers innovative AIRMATIC suspension. It’s a self-leveling suspension that provides you with improved aerodynamics and an easier driving experience — therefore making this vehicle an attractive option that’s also better for the environment.
Sustainable cars have come a long way in recent years. With a bit of research, you’ll be able to choose a stylish and eco-friendly vehicle that does exactly what you need it to.