When you are looking for an eco-friendly car you can choose between a hybrid and a PZEV (partial-zero-emissions vehicle).
- Hybrid cars can function both on gas and electricity, and as conventional vehicles usually get 30 miles per gallon, most hybrid cars normally run an average of 50 miles per gallon. By 2017, conventional vehicles are expected to get an average of 35 mpg, and in 2025 up to 55 miles per gallon. Hybrid cars are more expensive than conventional cars ($5,000 more and up), but this will be compensated by the savings in fuel.
- Another development is PZEVs, partial-zero-emissions vehicles. This type of vehicles take regular gas, but thanks to modern new catalytic converter technology, the vapor emission of these cars is 85 percent cleaner and less polluting than conventional cars The majority of the main car manufacturers have PZEV varieties available, Ford features the Focus PZEV model that uses the same quantity of fuel than the standard version and is only around $200 more expensive.
Should you care about emissions and mileage?
The correct answer is that all car buyers really have to keep mileage and emissions in mind. We know that carbon dioxide is a key pollutant and reduction of carbon dioxide is very important if we want to fight climate change. Just take a look at this chart by the Department of Energy that speaks for itself.
You can see that a 45-mpg vehicle is emitting considerably less CO2 than other cars. Vehicles with PZEV technology contribute to lesser air pollution, but they have no effect for reducing carbon dioxide. So you should in all cases find a vehicle that with the best MPG to reduce climate change.
Hybrid and PZEV, both a good choice?
The majority of hybrid cars burn fuel so clean that they can be considered PZEVs. So this raises the question whether a non-hybrid PZEV and a hybrid PZEV are both a good alternative. Well, in case you are able to afford a hybrid PZEV, it just is the best alternative as it both is reducing CO2 emissions and reduces the dependency on fossil fuels.
On the other hand, a non-hybrid PZEV with a high MPG can be a pretty good alternative for buyers that live in urban environments as polluting emissions are so drastically reduced which is helpful to enhance the quality of air and public health.
What is wise, get a vehicle from a PZEV producer or a hybrid from a company that also makes big gas-suckers?
Non-hybrid PZEV manufacturers built these cars because regulations in various US states made them do so. The technology wasn’t developed because of ideology but because the producers were forced to do so, and if tomorrow these tight regulations were canceled, all manufacturers would forget about the technology immediately. So if you have the option to buy a hybrid vehicle you really can make a difference.
It also could help to inform the manufacturer, even if they produce gas-suckers, about your wishes to contribute to solving the problem of climate change by driving a hybrid car. In case you can’t afford a hybrid car, take care that your car has a good mileage and if a low-emission model is available that would even be better.