The days of the loud, gas-guzzling Mercedes-Benz G 550, which emitted nearly 830 grams of carbon dioxide every kilometre or so are slowly fading into oblivion.
Hybrid and electric vehicles are being driven out of showrooms for test drives faster than you can ever imagine. The dawn of the 21st century is seeing interest in eco-friendly cars rise faster than ever before, which is great news for the environment.
This year especially has seen car sales slowly climb for electric vehicles from makers like Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla, which are clean and quiet. From sensors which reduce emissions, to inflatable rear safety belts, today’s vehicles are designed with technologies that helps keep both you, and the environment safe.
There are seven top features that we think your eco-friendly vehicle should have.
1. Sensors to reduce noxious emissions
You can’t argue with the fact that cars that don’t belch out poisonous fumes are better for the environment than the ones that do. Eco-friendly vehicles are fitted with sensors that detect and control their emissions, which we think is an ideal feature to have. Slowly but steadily, this feature will be attached in all car models, and not just the eco-friendly ones.
Having these sensors help when you have to renew your vehicle registration. With this nifty piece of technology, it becomes easier to score well on the emissions test.
2. LED headlights for brighter and sharper visuals
More and more light sources used commercially are adopting LED lights. Not only are they more energy-efficient than your traditional halogen bulb, but they also last longer. The headlights of today’s eco-friendly vehicles are being replaced with LED lights which look brighter and sharper than ever before. Very helpful if you are driving in foggy conditions.
3. Radar alerts for proximity warnings
Radar alerts come in handy when driving in congested conditions. They also help prevent nasty accidents that could ultimately send your prized car to the nearest landfill. This is very harmful to the environment as the rust and other pollutants poison the soil for many years to come. That’s why any safety device in a car can be termed as eco-friendly.
Sophisticated radar alert devices are finding their way into eco-friendly vehicles which have already prevented quite a few nasty mishaps across the world. A very useful feature when it comes to parking in a crowded space, or driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic—and it helps to avoid losing a no-claims bonus on your car insurance (see state.co.nz/car-insurance).
4. Filtration systems to clean cabin air
Eco-friendly vehicles like the Tesla Model ( see tesla.com/models) employ medical-grade filters to purify the air. They do this by removing more than 99 percent of bacteria, allergens, and pollutants. This system has been adopted by multiple manufacturers of eco-friendly cars and will have a substantial positive effect on your environment. You might not have the ability to clean all the polluted air in the world, but with this feature, you can start with yours.
5. Chassis and interiors made from lightweight materials
All eco-friendly vehicles seek to reduce their weight, and lightweight materials like aluminium are key. Derived from recycled metals, it reduces your carbon footprint even further. Things like durable cloth upholstery are being used extensively to replace traditional leather interiors. The lighter weight also makes the vehicle more aerodynamic which gets you better mileage.
6. Engines which employ both gas and electricity
To save fuel, most eco-friendly vehicles employ a dual-engine system. One which runs on gas, while the other is powered by a battery. This goes a long way to save fuel when the car is idling, while the simultaneous automatic recharging of the battery is an added plus. This results in a car that is whisper-quiet and gets you brilliant mileage. The battery comes into play while you are driving slowly and the moment you pick up speed, the fuel engine kicks in.
7. Safety belts which automatically inflate
All eco-friendly vehicles manufactured by Ford come with special seat belts that inflate during an accident. These are aimed at reducing medical costs and have already saved thousands of lives worldwide. These special seat belts are able to provide a lot more cushioning than your traditional lap-and-shoulder-harness belt. Providing more cushioning and support, they help prevent serious injuries to the head and neck region.
Electric vehicles are getting better every day
Do you own one yet? These features go a long way in protecting you and the environment. To boost sales of these vehicles even further, some countries like Canada, New Zealand and India have already announced discounts and incentives through government programs or auto-insurance schemes which may reduce the initial buy price of your new car.
Saving money and saving the world at once. There’s no reason not to.