Hybrids have established themselves as the cars for the environmentally conscious to own.
Since the Honda Insight first hit the U.S. market in 1999, hybrid styles, colors and core functions have been constantly adjusting and improving to fit the growing needs of consumers. For example, the 2011 Toyota Prius, a 3rd generation car, has a bigger engine and is a bit roomier. Now even the biggest and brawniest dudes can fit comfortably inside and still imagine they’re driving their gas-guzzling trucks.
Practically every car manufacturer, whether domestic or imported, now has a hybrid in its lineup. No matter what you’re looking for — whether a small compact car, a sports car, a performance car, even an SUV or truck — chances are you can find a hybrid in the type of vehicle you want.
But exactly what is it about hybrids that has us green-living enthusiasts so intrigued?
Here are just a few reasons why we want to give up the gas-guzzler for a hybrid:
1. Carbon Emissions – This single, major purchase can unequivocally have the largest impact in reducing your carbon footprint, simply because hybrids use considerably less gas and release far fewer emissions than non-green cars. In fact, within just one day of driving time, you can decrease your fuel consumption by 200 percent. If you’re currently driving a 15 mpg SUV and switch to a Prius at 50 mpg, that’s a 230 percent decrease in the amount of fuel you’ll consume (and you’ll reduce your carbon output by the same amount…maybe even more!).
2. Price – As we all know, the automobile industry has taken a huge hit during this current economic downturn. Sales of hybrid cars have correspondingly dipped this year by 17.5 percent, compared to 2009 numbers. While hy
brid prices continue to fall, sales in the overall car market have increased by over 14 percent. Lower gas prices are partially responsible for the decreased sales of hybrids, but we all know how fickle those gas prices can be. Now, in a bid to get rid of the hybrid cars left on the lot, many dealers are willing to offer attractive prices and financing to hybrid buyers. In fact, Green Blizzard was offered zero-percent financing for its new company car.
3. Noise Pollution – When stopped at those long traffic lights, hybrids automatically turn off the combustion engine and switch over to battery power. In addition, the tires are more fuel efficient and generate less road noise, compared to most honking, over-built American tires that are designed for rugged dirt roads, yet usually never leave the smooth asphalt. But most importantly, your purchase of a hybrid sends an important message to the car-manufacturing executives and your fellow road warriors. You’re telling them that you don’t identify with the over-advertised, supposedly-sexy, power image cars that they are trying to sell and continuing to buy. Instead, you’d rather divert your gas money to other worthwhile uses and single-handedly slice a huge chunk out of your personal carbon footprint.
Here are some other Green Blizzard articles about getting around town and lowering your carbon footprint in the process:
Bike Friendly Cities,
UPS Green, and