You can be eco-driven and still enjoy driving. Look for increased fuel efficiency and better performance in your next car. Here’s how to get the best of both worlds with your new car.
Green driving does not have to mean hypermiling. Thanks to some pretty cool technological developments, gas-powered cars are increasing their fuel economy without sacrificing performance. This is very good news for those worried about boring cars, increasing gasoline prices (like the spike caused by the recent increase in the California gas tax) or the environment. Thank you, Green Gearheads. If you aren’t getting an electric vehicle (EV), plug-in hybrid or hybrid the next time you go to the car dealer (although we recommend you seriously consider them) here are some features to look for when you are buying your next car so that you don’t have to sacrifice performance for increase fuel efficiency.
Although turbocharging has been around for decades, the technology has more recently been embraced by auto manufacturers as a way to maintain vehicle performance while reducing engine size and fuel consumption. The use of smaller engines, in turn, improves vehicle safety and reduces their weight (further improving fuel economy). For all these reasons, the next time you buy a car, think about dropping a couple cylinders and adding a turbo. You’ll be driving to save money, lives and the planet.
This technology turns your engine off to avoid idling when you are stopped in traffic. Although it can be a bit disconcerting the first time you hear your engine turn off when you come to a stop, this feeling is more than offset by the significant gas mileage improvements associated with this technology. Used fairly extensively in Europe over the past few years, we can expect more cars sold in America to come equipped with this feature. If you get it, use it.
What if we told you that you could drive a car that achieved 70% of the fuel-efficiency gains of a hybrid at 30% of the cost, and you wouldn’t even know you were driving a hybrid? Would you be interested? Of course you would. Who wouldn’t want to save money at the gas pump and, at the same time, help save the planet? The good news: All you have to do is buy a car with a 48 volt electrical system, which will enable the creation of so-called “mild hybrids.” The bad news: You need to be patient. They are just hitting the market and we probably won’t see too many of these cars for about 5 years.
Spark Plugs Not Included
Mazda is poised to become the first company to produce gas-powered vehicles (non-diesel) that don’t require spark plugs. This breakthrough promises diesel-like fuel economy in gas-powered cars. If you are looking for a fun-to-drive and highly fuel efficient car in the next couple years, you may want to stop by you Mazda dealer. (Brian loved his ’96 Miata). With a new Mazda, you can go green and “zoom zoom.”
With EV’s and other zero-emissions vehicles decades away from dominating the automobile market, we need car enthusiasts to embrace technologies that maintain or improve performance while substantially increasing fuel economy. The good news is that green gearheads have made this possible. So, please Drive2Save today, and when you are in the market for a new car, buy one with some cool green gear and tech. As Van Halen predicted years ago, we can have “the best of both worlds.”
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