Making a Greener Vehicle: A Status Report on Lowering Emissions

The green car movement promotes cleaner cars that produce lower emissions. HowStuffWorks looked at the standard hybrid car energy per mile compared to a conventional car. This figure includes the production footprint, which is somewhat higher for hybrid vehicles, as well as other factors that indirectly contribute to pollution generation. The hybrid vehicles tested came out to 4,200 BTU of energy per mile, compared to 6,500 BTU of energy per mile for conventional cars.

When many people make the switch to lower emissions and more efficient vehicles, the environment benefits on a large scale. Automobile companies have been making the push to lower emissions and produce cars with a smaller carbon footprint as the green movement continues to expand, and adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles becomes more widespread. Not all of the sustainability strategies are precisely what you would think, however.

Innovative Ways of Lowering Emissions

One of the arguments that opponents of hybrid and electric cars have is that the vehicles produce a great deal of emissions when they are created and when they are charged using non-sustainable methods of electric generation. Popsci reports that electric cars become closer and closer to zero emissions as clean energy plants are established, and more pollutant heavy methods of creating electricity are phased out.

Ford's Ecoboost technology is another method of cutting down overall emissions and pollutants associated with car manufacturing. Ford identifies recyclable materials to reuse in the creation of their cars, such as breaking down soda bottles and creating them into fabric for the seats. This not only helps hybrid cars, it also makes the entire manufacturing process for gasoline-powered cars a little more environmentally friendly.

Increase Mileage with Better Tires

Another area that helps improve on the environmental friendliness of your car is switching up your tires. Some brands, such as Continental, work better for eco-friendliness as they help your car run more efficiently, and the tire manufacturing process is designed to be as low-impact as possible. Continental creates the tires with eco-friendly materials that are designed to get the best mileage possible. That way, you avoid replacing your tires too often, adding to the landfill, and you get a better ride out of the deal.

Mainstream Adoption of Hybrid and Electric Cars

It takes time before these types of cars are truly accepted throughout mainstream culture. As gas prices rise, and commutes get longer and longer, it's difficult to ignore the benefits of green vehicles. Adoption will also increase when electric charging stations are readily available, and as the electric car range increases to meet the demands of a standard commute. The green energy and vehicle field has many exciting developments, such as the fantastically reviewed Tesla electric sports cars, so a widespread adoption effort is not far off. With federal and state level incentives for picking up these cars, it becomes an extremely affordable choice even in the short-term. In the long-term, it leads to a better environment for everyone.

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