Green car choices

Posted on 25 October 2011 by Tony Santos

Choosing a car that fits all your criteria is sometimes a tall order. In general, people look for good fuel economy, along with good performance and safety features, and increasingly, a positive environmental record. This usually means finding a car that produces low carbon dioxide emissions, as well as other emissions that affect air quality.

For most people, though, the main issue is value for money.  It’s all very well to have green ideals, but if the price makes it impractical, principles might be allowed to slip a little. However, if your children have any choice in the matter, they’re very likely to be strong advocates for green driving.  Whereas a few decades ago, all kids cared about was what speed their parents’ car could reach, these days, they’re far more likely to be concerned that their parents are not driving a gas-guzzling, planet polluting monster. It’s bad for their street cred!

It’s not too difficult to do the right thing, though. Many of today’s cars are far more environmentally friendly than those made even five years ago.  Partly this is to do with car manufacturers answering market demand, but it’s also about meeting government regulations on air quality and emissions.

Some manufacturers are ahead of the game in this regard. Honda cars have always been at the forefront of green driving technology.   Together with Toyota, Honda led the development of the hybrid car and the two companies launched the first commercial hybrids in the late 1990s. Since then the Japanese manufacturers have continued to lead on developments in green motoring, and more recently, other car manufacturers have brought out their own hybrid and electric vehicles.

Honda UK hybrid models currently include the CR-Z, Jazz and Insight, but the company plans to launch a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric vehicle in the US and Japan in 2012. It won’t be too long before they’re launched in other countries.  Green vehicles are gradually becoming standard, rather than a minority choice.

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