Going Green:Eco-FriendlyConsiderations for Car Buyers

eco-friendly vehicles Utah 

Normally, buying a car can be a pretty straightforward process, but for buyers concerned about reducingtheir ecological footprint, buying becomes more complicated. How can you make green choices when purchasingyour vehicle? What are the best earthy-friendly features to keep in mind?

Here's what green-minded buyers should consider when shopping for a car. Some of the details behind greenvehicles and features might surprise you.

Electric Cars and Hybrids

Perhaps the most well-known green vehicle is the hybrid. These cars burn less fuel because the engine runspartially on electricity. Critics of hybrid technology can argue that power plants still need to produce theelectricity that charges the battery fuel cells in hybrid cars, but even with the extra electrical charge,the fuel savings over time still trump traditional gasoline engines. 

However, there are a few details to consider. For example, states with high levels of sustainable energysources, like hydroelectric or wind power, will increase the green nature of a hybrid or all-electric car. Instates without these cleaner energy sources, gas-powered vehicles or vehicles that use alternative fuelscould actually still be more earth-friendly.

The last thing to consider is the amount of energy it takes to make a car. Even hybrid vehicles take asignificant amount of fossil fuels to manufacture. But unlike their all-gasoline cousins, they pay back the"debt" of emissions over the life of the car by using less fuel. 

Alternative Fuels

If your state does not offer many alternative energy sources for charging electric cars, there are stillother green options to consider. Many car manufacturers are beginning to release vehicles that run onalternative fuels. Alternative fuels can be popular in the midwestern states that focus on building theethanol industry. When shopping for a vehicle, consider looking at options like the following.

Flexible Fuels

Usually, these cars can run off a fuel called E85, which is a blend of gasoline and ethanol. These enginesare designed to handle regular gasoline as well as E85, since it won't always be available at every gasstation. E85 is less expensive than gasoline, but with a trade-off: E85 has lower fuel efficiency overall,with lower miles per gallon. 

Cleaner Fuel Options

While not as common as flex-fuel vehicles, it's still not impossible to find a vehicle that runs onnatural gas or propane. Fueling these vehicles is more challenging, but you enjoy cheaper costs while burningfuel that has historically low emissions overall. 


Unlike standard diesel, biodiesel is a renewable fuel, making it ideal for green-minded buyers. It alsoburns cleaner than standard diesel. Most regular diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel, but it's best to checkyour warranty before buying because some engines require only standard diesel fuel.

Your best option is to choose a newer diesel vehicle that has been designed to run on bio fuels as well asstandard. 

Advanced Technology

Another greener option to consider is advanced technology vehicles. Generally, these cars are the top endof the market and boast ever-improving fuel economy. Look for:

  • Higher-end transmissions. Transmissions with more gears will have better fuel economy as theywork just hard enough without burning excess fuels. They adapt more precisely to varying speeds.
  • Cylinder de-activation. Some cars with smart technology can actually decrease the number ofcylinders used during a drive. For example, an older six-cylinder sedan will always use all six, even whendriving five miles per hour down the street. Newer cars can use all six for acceleration and higher speeds,but deactivate cylinders for lighter-duty driving. This technology reduces overall fuel use.
  • Aluminum bodies. More and more manufacturers are moving toward aluminum construction overstandard steel. Cars are more lightweight and therefore need less fuel to move. There's another advantage:aluminum is easy to recycle and requires less energy to reform into new car parts. 
  • Turbocharge. These cars utilize smaller engines to give you more power when necessary. You'llend up using less fuel with a turbo-charged four-cylinder car than with a regular six-cylinder, withoutnoticeably losing power. 

Generally, newer vehicles will have more of these advanced features. However, you can still find used andcertified pre-owned vehicles with one or more of the above features. 

Used and Certified Pre-Owned

If all of the above features, makes, and engines are simply beyond your car buying budget, don't despair.Buying a used car is still one of the most eco-friendlydecisions you can make. By purchasing used, you reduce the market for new production, which uses new minedresources, creates tons of fuel emission, and requires transportation costs for finished products.

The first 100,000 miles you drive on a used but fuel-efficient vehicle will be "debt free" as it wereit'lltake that long for you to create the emissions of manufacturing a new car. If you use a car for onlylight commuting and the occasional trip, buying a used but still fuel-efficient car can be the best choiceyou make for the earth. 

For more information about finding a car that suits your green priorities, contact us at YoungAutomotive Group.

Categories: New Inventory