You may have noticed that green cars have become increasingly popular over the past few years. But what exactly is a green car, and why are they better in comparison to a conventional vehicle? Well, here is a little guide to answer those main green car queries.
Firstly, what is a green car?
Most conventional vehicles are powered by petrol or diesel, which are fossil fuels. The combustion of fossil fuels has a negative impact on the environment. Green cars are vehicles that utilize alternative means of energy, in order to affect the environment in a less harmful way, and are considered environmentally friendly.
Why are vehicles that use petrol or diesel as fuel, harmful to the environment?
The petrol and diesel that is used in conventional vehicles are fractional distillations of petroleum. Petroleum is a highly toxic oil, particularly to fish, and also contains Benzene. Benzene (according to cancer.org) is known to cause cancer, particularly leukemia, when exposed to humans. When petroleum distillates are burned, they release harmful gases into the environment, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect, to acid rain and can also affect a person’s health when breathed in.
What is the “greenhouse effect” and “acid rain”?
The greenhouse effect is a process where the Sun’s energy is trapped by the atmosphere in order to warm the Earth. However, gases emitted from conventional vehicles are believed to be increasing this effect, and warming the Earth even more. As the Earth’s temperature rises this can have devastating impacts on the environment, such as an increase in sea levels and dramatic changes in the weather. Acid rain is precipitation that has become acidic due to a reaction with toxic gases that are emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels. Acid rain can cause damage to plant life, and can cause corrosive damage to buildings or statues that contain large amounts of calcium carbonate.
How are green cars powered?
Green cars are powered in several different ways. Some of them use different fuels, such as hydrogen, liquid nitrogen or biodiesel, and some of them can be powered by electricity, or a combination of electricity and a fuel such as hydrogen.
What brands of green car are available?
Due to a popular demand in green cars, many of the major car manufacturers have built green cars, including Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Lexus and Ford. Models of green car can look just as good, if not better, than a conventional car model. The “Green Car Journal” awarded the Chevrolet Volt with the Green Car of the Year award 2011, with the Audi A3 TDI winning in 2010, and the VW Jetta TDI winning in 2009. Purchasing a green car can help to lessen the negative effects on the environment that can be caused by conventional cars that use petrol or diesel as fuel. Not only does it help the environment, it could also help to lessen any potential harmful effects to human and animal health and well-being. In addition to those benefits, financial savings can be made for hybrid vehicles which combine the use of electricity and fossil fuels, making the car more fuel efficient. With the current costs of fuel, this can be attractive car buyers as the benefits of green cars often justify their price tags.
Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Just Motor Law who are motoring offence solicitors in the UK.