Choosing a “greener” car has a direct financial and environmental benefit for you as well as for Australia’s future generations. Buying a more fuel efficient vehicle might be a bigger financial investment at first, but down the road it can save you thousands of dollars on fuel bills. You need to consider all of your transportation requirements and choose a model that best meets your needs. Larger cars and those with bigger engines often consume more fuel.
The greenest car on the Australian roads is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, topping the Green Vehicle Guide rankings ahead of the Toyota Prius. It runs entirely on battery power which is renewed from an electricity socket. It doesn’t even have an exhaust pipe. However, this car might not be for everyone. It has a tiny body with less than ideal safety rankings and it might not be suitable for longer drives. Following closely on fuel-economy in the entire electric cars category are the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster.
If you mainly drive within the city a hybrid-electric car might best suit your needs. They have a conventional engine plus an electric motor. When you press the brakes the car harnesses the energy and feeds it to the battery of the electric motor. The most fuel-efficient model in this category is the Toyota Prius.
If you mainly drive on the highway a new generation turbo-diesel might better suit your needs. Even though diesel cars emit more nitrous oxide and particulate matter (PM), better fuel-efficiency compensates for the demerits. The Volkswagen Passat Diesel leads the pack in this category as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid for highway drive.
When it comes to fuel efficiency and greenhouse gases emission, the car industry is getting better and better. Or should we say greener and greener.
The automotive industry is at an early stage of radical changes. As the consciousness about the environmental impact of cars increases, the automotive industry is rapidly changing and introducing efficiency improvements to most new vehicle models. Hybrid cars are common these days and electric cars are starting to emerge on the market. Manufacturers are also introducing efficiency improvements to internal combustion and diesel engines.
Even though a fuel consumption rate of 7-9 litres per 100 km is considered good, some of the latest fuel efficient models are achieving results better than 4 litres per 100km.
There is more than one incentive to the increased focus on lowering fuel consumption. On the long term, the price of oil is expected to rise, as the world’s oil reserves are running low. The growing concern of people for the environment has raised public awareness and governments demand increasing the fuel economy standards. Less fuel burnt per kilometre means less exhaust emissions and less harm on the environment.
In Australia, the growth of road transport has led to an increase in fuel consumption and consequently an increase in greenhouse gases emission, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane, which are linked to the type and amount of fuel used. Greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing at a rate of 1.7% per year since 1990.
For Australia’s official emission ratings and fuel economy on the top performing vehicles please visit the Green Vehicle Guide Website.