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Future Generations need our help to save this planet. Here's one way...energy efficient vehicles.

Going Green: Fuel Efficient Cars

I’ve been meaning to write about this for years. Not just fuel-efficient vehicles, but greener everything. Life does get in the way though and I find that I never have enough time to share all the things I’ve learned or am learning about on this site where more people can benefit from it.

A few months back I was also invited to be one of Technorati’s reporters on Green Living initiatives. This is a huge honor. I took the bait, went through the initial sign up process and announced to friends and family that I had a new ‘gig’. I only ever sent them one article to publish. Life. Work. Other writing assignments. There is just never enough time.Future Generations need our help to save this planet. Here's one way...energy efficient vehicles.

Just this week my daughter turned 16. A young woman who could certainly make it on her own now or start a family. When I started thinking like that I started growing a little more global in my perspective. No longer focused on ‘my house, my community’ – global initiatives to the energy, pollution, environment crisis shifted into my awareness.

Yes, it’s on the news daily. Yes, there are experimental investigations reported on the effects of global warming. Yes, our ozone issues have been in the forefront of adults’ minds for many years. But when in history have we ever been so personally affected by the earth’s changes as in 2009? Need to know that something is wrong just look at the weather conditions for your area on any given day vs. five years ago and you can’t miss the turmoil our planet is in. With ocean levels at larger-than-ever heights and polar caps melting, with more stories of polar bears eating their young, with more freak storms in our favorite places to vacation – people are now facing the real danger our earth is in. The fate of future generations depend on the way we start solving problems today.

Fuel Efficient Cars

Fuel-efficient cars are becoming ever more popular due to our environmental failure. People are frowning on others who drive SUVs, luxury vehicles and trucks just to do short runs to the grocery stores. Not only is it hard on our environment it is also hard on the psyche of the poor, the jobless, the hungry — and with the recession still in full swing, there is more than enough jealous anger floating around without having the rich flaunt their ignorance and carelessness.

The energy efficient traveler, such as a battery-operated or electric vehicle, saves cash. Cash that could be used to help feed the poor, house the homeless or just pay down your own household debt. Take some of that money and control out of the hands of banks and credit card companies and put it back into the hands of the people. Fuel-efficient cars can now get over 70 miles to the gallon.

Car companies and manufacturing plants that choked and died are starting to realize this. What is the sense of the government bailing out these monstrous and inefficient corporations when they keep spitting out the same world killing vehicles that so few people want to buy anyway? I must be missing something. Everyone I speak to doesn’t want to spend at the pumps and loathe the big corps for not providing enough options with their bail out initiative funds. We are, finally, getting greener. Car manufacturers and bio-fuel companies must start talking to each other. The production of alternative fuel cars may be just the beginning of a new world of transportation. Automotive industries must lead the new fight to help come to rescue our planet and shift prior destruction.

Governments may admit an urgent need to finally get a hold on the situation, but becoming green is slow to gain ground. Alternative fuel cars simply means that they operate using another source of fuel other then gasoline, or any engine that is not absolutely reliant on petroleum. Global warming and environmental laws have made alternate power sources high priority for government and car manufacturers all over the globe. The entire world must adapt to a whole new routine of thinking, of living, and of rehabilitating our world. Every one of us are in some way at fault, not one of us is fault-free. The question stands: “Can mankind work as hard together in rectifying the problem as we have worked together to destroy?”

Competitions backed by government agencies, such as the US Department of Energy, to nurture the development of alternative energy technology (solar cells and electric transportation). Such challenges are often entered by universities to grow their students engineering and technological skills as well as motor vehicle manufacturers such as GM and Honda.

Buying a fuel efficient car is one minor way you, as an individual, can help out.

The best way to help our planet is to start demanding alternatives from the auto industry, even at the dealer level. The manufacture of alternative fuel cars include cars and trucks that produce much less or zero carbon emissions of gasoline. Not to mention the waste of our wallets at the pumps.

Some alternative fuels are ethanol, propane, solar, and battery. For us farmers who own huge 4×4 pick-up trucks and at times need the horsepower under the hood to operate our farm business, don’t worry! Installing a backup fuel conversion kit is not as difficult as it may seem at first nor as expensive as you might imagine. Wouldn’t it be great to keep your dream machine rolling without keeping your eyes glued to the gas guage as you watch it slowly decline?

With an alternative fuel car you get more miles to the gallon and are helping future generations with your contribution. Going environmentally-safe is becoming a new way of life for many of us. The sale of alternative fuel cars can also earn you a tax bonus, depending on where you live. This incentive makes far greater sense than an auto industry bail-out.

Fuel Efficient Cars: The Hybrids

Research and development has been largely focused on “hybrid” vehicles. These vehicles use both electric power and internal combustion. Right now, the most likable alternative fuel cars are the electric car, the petrol-electric hybrid, and the solar-powered car. Battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, are vehicles powered by the chemical power of batteries. Most are classified as zero emission vehicles, or ZEHs, because no emissions are formed when driven.

  • Electrical energy for these cars are obtained from a array of battery chemistry’s arranged into battery packs. BEVs have mainly used lead-acid batteries, NiMH batteries, and lithium-ion batteries.
  • A hybrid automobile, or the petrol-electric hybrid, provides power using many power sources. This commonly refers to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, which use gasoline and electric batteries for the force used to power internal-combustion engines (ICEs) and electric motors.
  • The worlds first commercially mass-produced and marketed hybrid car was the Toyota Prius. It first appeared on the worldwide market in 2000, and now has broken the barrier of over one million sold.
  • A solar car is an electric vehicle powered by the sun obtained from solar panels on the automobile. Although, solar cars are not yet a practical form of transportation.

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era. Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.