Green cars

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Blade Getz electric car fill up
Blade Getz electric car fill up
Alé three wheeled green car
Alé three wheeled green car

The freedom and autonomy offered by cars has largely become an accepted part of life for many in developed countries. However, cars with internal combustion engines consume a lot of fuel and emit greenhouse gases.

Some tips for green motoring include:

  • Accelerate gently - rapid acceleration uses more fuel
  • Don't carry too much spare equipment in your car - extra weight burns more fuel
  • Keep your car motor tuned - a poorly tuned car can use a lot more fuel
  • Inflate your tyres a bit higher than the manufacturer's rating and keep them inflated. Under inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by 5% or more, and manufacturers understate tyre pressures in favour of ride comfort.
  • Keep your car for five years or more. Buying a new car frequently requires more cars to be made, and every car represents a lot of "embodied energy" used to make it.
  • Don't use your car unless you have to - take public transport or ride a bike instead.

If you are buying a new car:

  • Don't buy it if you don't really need it!
  • Buy the most fuel efficient car you can afford that suits your purpose. Lighter weight vehicles are typically more efficient.
  • Hybrid petrol/electic cars use less fuel than normal petrol cars. The greeness of pre-2000 Toyota Prius's is frequently disputed. FireFly battery innovation may make electric vehicles more viable
  • Buy a Compressed Natural Gas car or convert your car to CNG and refuel at home. (Note that the Honda Civic GX has been named the world's greenest vehicle 5 years running). Advanced Fuels Technologies expects to have 10 passenger cars approved for CNG conversion in Australia by June 2009. Hilux 2.6 and Hilux V6 by July 2008. Late model Toyota Camary's (2004 or later) are anticipated to be the first passenger cars to be approved for CNG Conversion in Australia. (sept 2008?). See Rosetta Moon Article CNG Refueling - What about the cars?
  • Hybrid LPG/electric vehicle - Hyundai Elantra is anticipated to be available in Australia in the later part of 2008. Hyundai Elantra
  • Diesel engines are more efficient than petrol ones - some have fuel consumption figures as good as hybrids. Some diesels can also use diesel biofuel made from plant oils.
  • Buy an electric car. Some models can travel over 150km between recharges.
  • Consider whether a fuel efficient scooter would do instead.
  • Buy an Air Car when they become available

If you already own a petrol car:

  • an LPG conversion enables you to use cheaper LPG (liquid petroleum gas), but note that most LPG is a byproduct of oil refining, so when oil supplies dwindles the price of LGP will rise along with petrol and diesel.
  • an CNG conversion enables you to use CNG (compressed natural gas), which is more abundant than crude oil reserves, but there are currently very few refuelling locations available in Australia, largely due to inadequate government policies to establish them. There are several active lobbyists attempting to change this. See Rosetta Moon for more information. There is a single semi public CNG refueling station located in North Melbourne. Picture of a converted CNG vehicle being refueled in North Melbourne back in 2003. Currently there are no pre-converted CNG passengers vehicles being offered in Australia. However, just about all of the large auto manufacturers are now producing CNG Vehicles. Of particular interest is Honda, who has teamed up with Fuel Maker and now offers their Civic GX with a home based CNG refueling device. News Flash: Advanced Fuels Technologies has announced availability of Home Refueling in Australia.


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