Why Drive Green? Let’s talk air quality.

One of the most obvious, in-your-face (pun intended) reasons to encourage people to switch over to green vehicles is the simplest: you get to breath fresher, healthier air.

Imagine what cities in the world would be like without having to worry about high smog, hazardous air days like this one last year in London, England:

this one in Beijing, China:

and this one in Los Angeles, California:

Even as a non city-dweller, wouldn’t it be nice to never have to get stuck at a red light behind this guy?

Yeah, I think so. The reality of the future is that widespread use of hybrid and electric vehicles will greatly reduce, and eventually eliminate these ugly, annoying, and unhealthy occurrences and make them nothing but stories we tell our grandchildren about.

Now, certainly fuel-injected vehicles are not the only contributors to this air quality equation, but lowering our use of them will certainly make a dramatic impact. Benefits of better air quality will not only impact our long-term overall quality of life, but could have an effect our actual life span. The World Health Organization states that, “Urban outdoor air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year,” which gives cause for alarm that this truly is an area in need of improvement.

A clear way to to help contribute to the future of cleaner air is through the use of reduced carbon-emitting hybrids and zero pollutant-emitting all-electric vehicles. Fuel economy on a hybrid like the Toyota Prius is 50 MPG according to the 2012 Department of Energy report, versus a comparably priced Hyundai Sonata at 28 MPG. If you can go with a shorter daily driving range, the  all-electric Nissan Leaf will get you 99 MPG. Better fuel economy = fewer emissions = higher quality of air and all of the benefits that go with it. Check out your vehicle’s fuel economy and compare with others by using the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide!

Is better air quality something that you care about? Do you think green vehicles can make a difference? Share your thoughts on the subject below!

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2 Responses to Why Drive Green? Let’s talk air quality.

  1. Tracee says:

    Wow! Very insightful! Based on the Green Vehicle Guide, my 2005 Kia Sedona minivan only gets 14 mpg (city) and 21 mpg (highway). That’s sad!! Are there any government incentives or programs to help with the cost for those wanting to make the switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle?

    • Thanks Tracee! I’m glad you were able to get some new information using that site! When I was driving my 2001 Hyundai Sante Fe I was getting about the same (18-24 MPG)! My wallet thanks me every time I go to pump gas (every two weeks) for making the switch, believe me! Unfortunately, in order to have received the government tax credit, you would have had to have purchased a new hybrid by December 31, 2010, but there may be rebates offered through the dealers at various times of the year! If you are considering buying a new car, the lowest priced hybrid right now is the 2012 Honda Insight starting at $18,350 MSRP. With an estimated annual fuel cost of $1,257 compared to the Sedona’s $3,106, you would save $1,849 a year! That’s $154 a month that would help make your new car payment! This was precisely the trade-off I appreciated when transitioning from a car that was paid off to having to make a car payment. There is also a new model from Toyota expected to be released this year, the Prius c; it is supposed to be in the same price range, but will get 10 more MPG than the Insight. They are only getting better!

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