Public transportation, and car pooling are considered green modes of transport, compared to private vehicles. Although for some people a better definition of green transport is one that does not involve non-renewable energy.
Indeed the scope of green transport cannot be limited to electric vehicles and hybrid cars alone. It may also include walking, cycling and other forms of human-powered transport, green vehicles, solar energy transportation, wind energy transportation, water energy transportation, electric transportation, and other forms of renewable energy transportation or alternative energy transportation.
A transportation reform group called the Transportation Alternatives has inspired a green transportation hierarchy which rewards the low cost, space efficiency and zero environmental impact of cyclists and pedestrians. Trucks get priority over personal cars due to scarce curb side parking and for eliminating double-parking problems. The green transportation hierarchy include congestion pricing, the pricing of all on-street parking in Manhattan south of 96th Street, tolls on bridges and tunnels, and parking policies that prioritize commercial needs over personal cars.
The year 2008 had been a good year for green energy transportation. It was in this year when lots of competitors came up with cars that competed with the hallmark hybrid vehicle Toyota Prius. Among these cars include the Ford Fusion, the Mini-e, the Audi A1, and the Honda Insight which had all left a good impression on auto owners who also liked living green. The green car that got the most raves, however, was the Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt was built by General Motors with the goal of building an electric platform that can be deployed first in the Volt, and then later on to cheaper cars. Many have commented on the irony of having a company that killed the electric car which is now building one to survive.
Key characteristics for a green car can also include being small and efficient. For compact green cars, Nissan’s Nuvu and the robot-assisted Pivo 2 had been launched. Meanwhile Chrysler developed the GEM Peapod while Mitsubishi came up with I-Miev.
Other green cars that aimed to battle global warming that were launched in 2008 include Mazda’s Kiyora, a car that cleans water, BMW’s hydrogen-powered car that cleaned the air as it goes through the city, and the Eco-Elise from Lotus, an energy-efficient vehicle that was created with green materials.
Hungary also introduced their own efficient car –the Antro, which has 150 miles per gallon mileage. Volkswagen, on the other hand launched a 235 mpg concept with the VW 1L. French Microjoule is also hoping to produce an 8923 mile-per-gallon vehicle in the near future.
There are many other means of green transport out in the market. Here are some basic green car tips to remember:
1. Before getting in your car, consider whether you could reach your destination by other means. Walking regularly can reduce your risk of heart problems and other illnesses.
2. Identify your most common destinations, and investigate whether you could get there by bus, train, bike, or walking.
3. Travel to work or school by public transport, walking, or cycling once a week.
4. Investigate the possibility of car sharing. By sharing with one other person, you could half your costs of driving.
5. When driving, get rid of any additional and unnecessary weight, like roof bars or bike racks.
6. Use air conditioning carefully, as this increases fuel consumption by 15%.
7. Change into a higher gear as soon as possible.
8. Accelerate and brake as slowly and smoothly as possible.
9. Drive at slower speeds – driving at 70 mph uses 30% more fuel than driving at 40-55 mph.
10. Have your car serviced regularly – an incorrectly adjusted carburettor can waste up to 25% of fuel. Incorrect tire pressure can increase fuel consumption too.
11. Switch off your engine at short stops (more than one minute).