Becoming eco-friendly involves implementing a range of small, incremental differences in the way that you approach driving. It means making informed decisions about your choice of car, your fuel, and the way that you drive.
While there are several techniques you can employ to be an eco-friendly driver, the first thing to consider is the type of car you choose to drive.
Eco-friendly – or green – cars have outgrown their label of being a fad. Owning a car that minimises its effect on the environment is a major consideration point for many car buyers.
The best eco-friendly car models on the market
Cars are rated for their eco-friendliness and catalogued according to every specification, and it’s a simple question of determining how many eco-friendly features one model has over another.
If you don’t have time to look over every model in the market, there are plenty of guides that do the research for you. The Australian Government’s Green Vehicle Guide is a great place to start comparing eco-friendly car models.
Eco-friendly cars tend to also be quite efficient with fuel consumption and can be found across the entire spectrum of price points. The BMW i3 is a top contender, and many of the top 20 are luxury cars that can afford to employ the most advanced systems, but you’ll find great measures on a simple Toyota Corolla or Ford Ranger.
The Green Vehicle Guide reports the following as the 10 best choices for eco-friendly cars in terms of performance:
Renault Kangoo ZE
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model X
Audi A3 Sportback
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
An eco-friendly car to suit your lifestyle
It’s important that the car you choose is appropriate for your lifestyle. For example, while a vehicle may be incredibly fuel efficient, that won’t matter if the fuel required isn’t supplied in your vicinity. At the same time, you need to factor in the distances you intend to drive, who will be in the car with you, as well as how compatible the car will be with the environment you usually drive in.
There a dozen factors you need to address when buying a new car, from researching the dealership to arranging finance. When you’re considering the most suitable environmentally-friendly car to purchase, ask yourself the following four questions.
1. What kind of fuel does the car use?
Gas, diesel, biodiesel and electricity are alternatives to traditional fuels to use for your car. If you choose a vehicle that uses these fuel sources make sure that they are available in your area. In Australia, gas, diesel and biodiesel are commonly available in large population centres, while electric cars can be charged at home using specialist batteries.
2. What is the average distance you plan to drive?
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals there were 18.8 million registered motor vehicles in Australia as of 31 January 2017. That’s a lot of cars on the road contributing our national carbon footprint, so be mindful of the distances you will drive and the type of vehicle that will meet those needs.
If you find that you drive large distances on a daily basis, make sure that the car is designed to use fuel efficiently for long trips. If you find you don’t drive a car often, or that the distances you drive are serviced by public transport, you might not need to purchase a car at all.
3. How will you use the car?
Will you be ferrying children to and from school on a daily basis? Perhaps you’re a travelling salesman traversing the lonely highway. Or maybe you rarely use your vehicle in the first place.
How you plan to use your car will affect your choice. A tradesman will use a car differently to a family of five, so consider what you need your car for and plan your purchase from there.
4. Where will you be using your car?
The environment you’ll be driving in, whether it be the close quarters of the inner city or sleepy towns on the coastal fringe, will dictate the kind of driving you’ll be doing. If you’re driving through peak hour city traffic often, choosing a car with the highest fuel efficiency rating is necessary given you’ll use more fuel in a stop-start environment.
There is a lot to consider when choosing an eco-friendly car, and while it may seem like a lot of work now, in time your investment in our planet’s wellbeing will be a worthwhile one.
Authors Bio: Tatiana Day is a dedicated mum of three beautiful children who keep her on her toes! With a background in PR and journalism she is keenly interested in the evolving life of the modern Australian family and the pressures put on it. When she can find some downtime, Tatiana enjoys cooking, music and breathing in the great outdoors.