Ok if Paula Patton Co star from the most recent Mission Impossible film was wiling to take a test drive with you in BMW’s new Concept Car even more EV’s would sell. But, are you hoping to decrease your carbon footprint and live a greener life? What and how you drive is a large part of your daily carbon footprint. Electric engines, several hybrid options and even traditional internal combustion engines have become more efficient and emit fewer greenhouse gasses. Even if you’re not in the market for a new car, AAA has tips to help you get the best efficiency and minimize greenhouse gasses no matter what you drive. “There has been an influx of ‘green’ technologies by automakers into the market, which is great for consumers seeking a more environmentally-conscious choice for their next vehicle purchase,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.
2012 has been an exciting year for full-electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles do not use gasoline and rely solely on battery power. With the average cost for a kilowatt hour of electric energy at approximately 12 cents, to fully charge an EV with a 24KWh battery pack would cost around $2.88. That works out to between 3.0 cents and 4.4 cents per mile for fuel. Making EV’s even more appealing and green; there is no need for oil changes, ignition system maintenance, fuel system service or exhaust pipe and muffler replacements.
In addition to full electric cars there is also the option of Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Compressed Natural Gas/Diesel Vehicles, and More Efficient Gasoline Vehicles. But fuel economy can be realized in plug-in hybrid powertrains. These vehicles use a rechargeable battery pack that allows the car to travel up to 35 miles before the onboard gasoline engine starts. In some cars, this engine will provide power to the drive wheels. In other models this engine powers a generator that delivers power to the motor driving the vehicle while also recharging the batteries. Unlike fully electric vehicles, a plug-in hybrid is limited only by the range of its gas tank. The Toyota Prius PHEV and 2013 Ford Fusion are great examples of plug-ins in the marketplace today.