Green Car or Fuel Efficient Car?

Maybe We Should Stop Calling Fuel Efficient Cars “Green” Cars?

Written By, Chloe L.

It’s excellent to see the auto industry creating more fuel efficient cars with reduced emissions, but perhaps manufacturers and consumers should limit their use of calling cars “green” cars.

First and Foremost

“Green” or eco-friendly or clean vehicles or environmentally friendly vehicles are not going to go away, so let’s stop identifying them as a different class of car. Sure, we all used the word “smart” in front of “phone” when the first iPhone and Android phones came out, but then they became the norm, and now we just call them phones. It’s the same thing here, we don’t need to keep recognizing “green” cars as a separate class of car. If you do want to refer to a fuel efficient car, the terms that really identify the car are in the paragraph below. 

Define “Green”

The term “green” car is very broad. There are all types of “green” cars -- electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrids, diesels -- and those are just some of them. All of those cars function differently and have various levels of “greenness,” so it is not exactly accurate to call certain cars “green” just because they have an improved fuel economy or reduced emissions than previous models.

With that being said, it also makes it easy for manufacturers or people to market a car as a “green” car, but just because that newer model has a slightly better fuel economy than it did, doesn’t mean it is “green.”

Choosing a “Greener” Car Does Not Make You “Green”

There is no doubt that driving an electric car, PHEV or hybrid is much less damaging on the environment and by buying it, you are being more “green,” and you should be proud to make the effort to leave less of a carbon footprint, but that new “greener” car doesn’t mean you are “green.”

Fast Judgement

Some people in the auto and oil industries don’t view “green” cars favorably and there are some negative connotations with the term “green” car. Phrases like more expensive, inconvenient, tree hugger, slow, boring, are just some of the negative associations with the term “green” car, but those terms are not exactly true or fair. But so far, there hasn’t been a study that finds anything wrong with or negatively associated with an improvement in fuel economy or the use of alternative fuels.

Those are just some of our thoughts on the issue, but our minds aren’t made up. What really matters, is what does green mean to you?


Is it just a color? Is it a lifestyle? Is it a new trend? Or is green living just something you do naturally?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Share them with us on NowCar’s Facebook.

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