Eight percent of U.S. employees commute up to 60 minutes for work. Of these commuters, more than 75 percent get to work via car. Day after day, gas miles take an equal toll on commuters' wallets and on the environment. If you drive to work each day, green your commute with apps to help you track driving habits and environmental impact.
Top apps for green driving
Whether you drive a hybrid or a traditional car, these apps help you save money.
Fuel Log: One baseline for green driving is knowing your car's average fuel economy, which often falls short of the manufacturer's specifications due to driving habits, traffic and other factors. The free app Fuel Log helps drivers with Android devices keep track of their car's fuel economy using odometer readings, gas prices, and amount of gas per fuel-up. By maintaining awareness over your driving habits, Fuel Log can help you track changes to your commute and driving habits as you go green. IOS users looking for a similar app can try the $0.99 GasHog.
Efficiency Pro: Even if you're driving with an eye to the environment, engine problems can cause your vehicle to increase emissions. Efficiency Pro monitors your vehicle's engine, alerting you to engine issues. While those with mechanical prowess may benefit most from those apps, casual drivers will benefit from the "heads-up" provided by this app.
GasBag: Paying less for your gas keeps money in your pocket. GasBag tracks gas prices and shows you the cheapest gas stations near you. The app also allows you to track prices paid, time of day, and mileage each time you full up.
Green auto apps
Green car-only apps help you get the most out of your investment.
Fuel Fit: While newer hybrid cars have their own "green driving" odometer that tells drivers when they're optimizing fuel efficiency, car drivers of older hybrids can use Fuel Fit to turn green driving into a game. The app offers different levels, so drivers can challenge themselves to be greener and rack up points for eco-friendly moves.
Car Loan Calculator: If you're looking for a greener vehicle, a car loan calculator can help you determine the monthly cost, including sales tax and insurance, of purchasing that hybrid. The Car Loan Calculator app allows you to game out what would happen if you paid off loans early or amortized the loan. For example, an Arizona driver could determine the monthly cost of a Drivetime auto loan, plus fuel of the new hybrid, equates to a real cash savings in just 6 months when she trades in her vehicle and decides to go green.
PlugShare: Electric car drivers can use this app to locate car charging stations near them. The app displays public use and residential chargers across North America. While you may know the charging stations in Phoenix, for example, the app comes in handy when you're traveling for fun or business. Anyone can sign up for PlugShare and share electric outlets at home, whether or not they have an electric vehicle. The map functionality is updated every five minutes.