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Alternative fuel vehicles have been growing in popularity over the last few years. Twenty-one years ago, the Toyota Prius was the first vehicle with electric capabilities to garner interest. Then the next big rage in the electric auto world came with Tesla, and they’ve received a lot of attention for their innovative new models. With alternative fuel becoming the next big thing in the auto industry, many of us are wondering how else can we reduce our carbon footprint and help improve environmental sustainability? There’s a couple of ways to go about it.
Buying a New Alternative Fuel Vehicle
Whether interested in buying or leasing a more fuel efficient vehicle than the one you are currently driving, NowCar can help along the way. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) already come with a great incentive - a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The year-round savings in fuel costs and reduction of tailpipe emissions are also some of the most enticing reasons to go with an alternative fuel vehicle like a hybrid, PHEV, or EV. Now let’s take a look at three different vehicles and how they can help reduce one’s carbon footprint.
If we go to fueleconomy.gov and compare three vehicles, we can see the differences clearly. For this comparison, we picked the 2018 Ford Focus Electric, the 2018 Kia Soul, and the 2018 Kia Optima PHEV. Let’s start with the gasoline engine on the 2018 Kia Soul, a 1.6-liter I4 engine with a combined fuel economy of 28 mpg and a total driving range of 398 miles. That distance sounds a lot like the norm for the moment, and compared to other vehicles, the 2018 Kia Soul can save the consumer around $250 in fuel costs over five years. However, the 2018 KIa Soul also uses 11.8 barrels of petroleum a year and emits 320 grams of tailpipe CO2 emissions per mile.
Now take a look at how much these numbers change if simply adding a battery to the powertrain. The 2018 Kia Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter I4 engine and a 9.8 kWh lithium-polymer battery. The Optima PHEV has a combined city/highway fuel economy of 103 MPGe, a total driving range of 610 miles, and an electric range of 29 miles - that’s 29 miles where no tailpipe emissions are released. Over the course of a year, the 2018 Kia Optima PHEV only uses 3.6 barrels of petroleum, emits 97 grams of CO2 per mile, and in comparison to the average car, it can save the average driver $3,250 in fuel costs over the course of five years. That’s already a huge shift in one’s carbon footprint. The 2018 Ford Focus Electric has an even greater impact because it’s an all-electric vehicle. Sure, it’s total range decreases to 115 miles, but it uses only 0.2 barrels of petroleum a year, emits zero tailpipe CO2 emissions, and in comparison to the average vehicle, it will save the average driver $4,000 in fuel costs every five years.
The changes one can make in their carbon footprint based on alternative fuel vehicles alone is staggering. Not everyone is in the market to buy a car online though, or at all for that matter. There are other ways to help to reduce one’s carbon footprint, out on the street and at home.
What Else You Can Do
Aside from buying or leasing a new car, anyone and everyone can recycle. It’s not difficult. So the house needs another trash bin for plastics, paper, and aluminum. So the recycling bin is a little further than the nearest trash can. So what?! Separating trash and recyclables isn’t going to kill you. How many deaths are reported a year due to recycling-related incidents? We’ll wait for the answer.
There’s also limiting the amount of tailpipe CO2 emissions that are out there daily. Sure, we all like to be able to drive ourselves around town, to and from work, when we have a couple of errands, whatever the case may be. If we don’t have to drive though, say by catching a ride on the bus for public transportation, or hailing a ride via Uber or Lyft, we can still get to where we need to go and our vehicle can now be subtracted from the carbon footprint equation, at least for the day.
These are just a couple of examples on how one can reduce their carbon footprint, but let’s hear some from you. Hop on our NowCar Facebook Page and share some ideas on how to help. A little goes a long way. You can also find a new Chevrolet Bolt EV and other clean energy vehicles at NowCar.