The greenest cars for sale in 2019
If you want to do your bit for the environment, here are the top 20 greenest cars for sale in Australia today.
There are many ways you can help reduce the impact you as an individual have on planet earth. Perhaps, you may choose to cut back on the amount of meat you eat or improve the insulation in your home. Another great way to decrease your carbon footprint is to buy an eco-friendly car. In some cases, you might even get a preferential rate on a car loan for buying a greener model.
Here's a list of the top 20 green cars available from Australian car dealers today.
Which vehicles are the greenest?
The cleanest vehicles for sale, with the lowest CO2 emissions, are all-electric cars. These models run on batteries and include the Hyundai Ioniq, Renault ZOE, BMW I3, Renault Kangoo ZE van, Tesla Model S and X and the Jaguar i-PACE. These models produce 0g of CO2 emissions per kilometre at the exhaust tip (they don't even have an exhaust).
The rest of the cars on the list are plug-in hybrid models, where an onboard battery supplements a traditional combustion engine.
To directly compare vehicle emissions, you can use the government's Green Vehicle Guide.
Are electric cars really environmentally friendly?
To get a true sense of CO2 grams per km, you must also factor in manufacturing and electricity generation emissions. Generally speaking, electric cars generate a similar level of CO2 as the production of a standard internal-combustion vehicle. However this can be offset after just a handful of years of use. This does depend on how the electricity in your state is generated. If the main source of energy comes from coal, which produces high levels of carbon, your electric car will have a higher level of lifecycle emissions. Renewable energy resources obviously improve the effective lifecycle emissions of your electric car.
This is often used as an argument against electric cars, falsely claiming they quietly create more pollution than combustion vehicles. But don't forget that in addition to the drilling, refining and transportation of crude oil and converting it into petrol or diesel, this fuel has to be driven by a heavy diesel truck to fuel depots and onwards to filling stations. Combustion vehicles also have hundreds more moving parts than electric vehicles and require additional servicing that creates toxic waste. So, providing the energy used is reasonably clean, an electric car will still have a lower carbon output.
Why the focus on carbon dioxide?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main emitted greenhouse gas. It's thought to be responsible for 80% of the warming effect occurring. These gases trap radiation and energy within the earth's atmosphere, causing a rise in temperature.
Your car, whether it's a diesel or petrol model is one of the largest greenhouse gas sources for your family. Vehicles emit CO2 from their exhausts as a waste gas from the combustion process. Globally, the World Health Organization states the transportation sector produces 23% of cumulative CO2 discharge.
While vehicles also pump out other pollutants, scientists say CO2 is the driving force behind climate change and it's this gas that international government policies aim to cut down on.
Ways to reduce your impact on the environment
There are other ways to lower your environmental impact. They'll also help you reduce your fuel bill and improve fuel efficiency.
First, the most effective way is to try and reduce the distance and amount you travel. Could you perhaps walk or cycle to work? Could you switch to nearby local shops for your groceries? Is it possible to move your regular journeys to times that are less congested? Even ditching unnecessary luggage. All these actions help to improve your fuel efficiency and lower the amount of CO2 you generate.
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