Tag Archive | "green cars"

Nissan Leaf is Economically Friendly

What Makes The Nissan Leaf So Economically Friendly?

This was written by Louis Rix of NetCars.com.

The Nissan Leaf is by far the best answer to those sceptics who criticise electric car production by suggesting that the models simply aren’t viable. Questions over affordability and battery range will always be directed towards the industry, but the Leaf is answering these in the most effective way possible.

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The cost of a Nissan Leaf on the road is around $35,000 US, but as the years pass, the market for second hand models grows allowing you to buy a used car at a fraction of that price. There is a great deal of financial incentives for owning a Nissan Leaf and as far as electric vehicles are concerned, many believe this to be the best in its class.

The very first production model made its way to the factory floor in 2010, but the Nissan Leaf is the result of an evolution at the company that began with their first electric vehicle, the Altra, back in 1997. Further versions appeared along with electric variants of the Nissan Cube before the very first prototype Leaf was unveiled in 2009.

The first markets for the car were Japan and the United States, where the Leaf took its bow in December 2010. From the very start, the specifications and capabilities of the vehicle indicated that this was going to be the most economically and environmentally friendly electric car ever produced.

Nissan declared that the Leaf had a battery range of 109 miles (175 kilometres) between charges and those figures equate to a hugely impressive cost per mile when you compare them with cars running on traditional fuel. The running costs for the Nissan Leaf are equivalent to 106 miles per gallon and whilst this may represent the main saving for anyone purchasing the car, there are other benefits to Leaf ownership.

With the move towards best practice on environmental issues, some insurance companies are taking the opportunity to provide cheaper quotes for any electric or hybrid car. Some observers may accuse them of ‘jumping on a green bandwagon’, but ultimately, the owner still benefits in terms of a further financial saving. In addition, there are huge savings on other everyday car costs such as your tax. These apply on any electric vehicle, but the Nissan Leaf is a groundbreaking car when it comes to this type of eco-friendly transport.

Another secret to its success lies in the battery, which is arguably the best on the market. The range of more than 100 miles is wide enough to cover most local journeys and with the rise of charging stations across the country, any inconvenience is aided by a fast recharge and therefore kept to a minimum. However, there is another clear financial advantage in the longevity of the battery, which has a far better shelf life than its competitors. This is another area where electric cars can come under criticism but the Nissan Leaf’s unit is still expected to retain between 70% and 80% of its capacity after ten years. Those are impressive statistics compared with other electric vehicles and another reason why the Leaf is such a winner when it comes to both economic and environmental issues.

This post was contributed by a guest author. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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How to Conserve Fuel

How to Conserve Fuel

This was written by Liam Ohm of Inchcape Toyota Basingstoke.

Conserving fuel is becoming increasingly crucial for drivers that want to reduce their driving costs, while also preventing damage to the environment. A positive approach to conserving fuel can also result in more efficient driving, as well as a safer relationship to the road and other drivers. There are many ways in which fuel can be conserved, from investing in an eco and fuel efficient car, through to adjusting your driving habits, reducing the weight of your vehicle, adding extra features to a car, and planning out a journey in advance.

Invest in an Eco Friendly Car

Investing in a smaller, more compact car means that you can use less fuel without necessarily sacrificing on performance and power. In terms of some of the best options for avoiding frequent refuellings, a hybrid car provides a particularly high level of efficiency. A hybrid car combines an electric motor or battery with a petrol engine, and in doing so reduces the fuel demands of an engine. Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius, the Honda CR-Z, and electric only cars like the Nissan Leaf provide high levels of fuel efficiency, as well as low CO2 emissions.

Adjust Your Driving Habits

Poor driving habits can be one of the most important reasons for why you’re spending a lot of money on petrol. Some of the best approaches to take when adjusting your driving habits include switching off your engine when in traffic, sticking to driving limits on the motor way, and avoiding over braking or accelerating. It’s also worth trying to avoid revving your car’s engine, and changing speeds rapidly when driving. Moreover, by switching off the air conditioning and opening your car’s windows, you’ll be less likely to drain your battery.

Reduce Vehicle Weight and Check Tyres

A car that has too much extra weight can create a significant drag on the engine, which in turn results in it burning through more fuel. You can solve this problem by decluttering your car. A roof rack that’s not in use can be taken off, as can any bikes attached to the back of a car. Similarly, go through your car boot and back seats to check if there’s anything there that doesn’t need to be. At the same time, you can improve your car’s traction and stability by checking for under inflated tyres, and getting your car regularly maintained and checked for any suspension problems.

Extra Features

There are a number of features that can be added to a car in order to help improve its fuel economy. One of the most important is a GPS and sat nav, which can alert you to pockets of traffic, as well as to steep and badly paved roads. In built safety features within a car can also alert you to lane changes, and any accidents on the road. Some cars also automatically reduce your speed if you go over a limit, and provide information on tyre wearing and tearing. Many hybrid cars similarly allow you to drive in Eco modes, where you just use an electric motor for short trips.

Journey Planning

Planning your journey in advance to avoid pockets of traffic, and picking a route that will use the most efficient amount of fuel can save you significant amounts of money in the long run. You can also experiment with reducing the amount of hours that you drive every week, either by walking or cycling to work, or entering into a car pooling scheme.

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This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Green Hybrid Cars

Did you know? It’s all about the latest Green Hybrid Cars

This guest post is by Richard Keane.

Did you know? It’s all about the latest Green Hybrid Cars

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If you’re an environmentally conscious person and want to save our planet then you should realise the benefits of using a non-polluting, fuel efficient, eco-friendly vehicle. Then the solution lies in using green hybrid cars. A hybrid car is most commonly referred to as a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) which is the combination of two sources, an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. A hybrid engine works by combining two or more internal sources of power; generally gasoline and electric power is used to propel it.

How Hybrid Cars Work

Regenerative braking: When the brake is applied, the electric motor slows down the vehicle and causes resistance towards the wheels; as a result the energy generated from the wheels turns off the motor. It avoids the wastage of energy during braking by storing it into the battery and the stored energy can be used by the electric motor.

Additional power: The electric motor will provide an additional power to assist the engine while accelerating and climbing hills, to do this it requires smaller efficient engines. In most cases the motor itself generates power for a low speed condition.

Automation of engine: The engine automatically turns off and on depending on the usage. When the vehicle comes to stop the electric motor shuts off automatically. When a driver thinks to accelerate it then the engines restart automatically. This automation prevents the wastage of energy from braking, idling.

The difference between a regular car and a hybrid car:

  • A regular car will not have an electric motor to supplement power in order to recharge the battery. Whereas a hybrid car combines with traditional combustion engine with an electric force, this is used as the primary power source.
  • A traditional car generates unpleasant and prolonged noise with its pistons whenever engines compress and explodes. In hybrid vehicles the electric motor is virtually silent when driving.

Benefits of using a hybrid car:

These cars are fuel efficient and release less emissions.

  • A hybrid car will have an inbuilt battery. The battery powers of this motor release fewer emissions; these are built using strong nickel metal hydride.
  • The batteries recharge automatically.
  • They help to save the planet since they are excellent, fuel efficient vehicles and produce fewer emissions; at the same time providing excellent mileage.
  • A traditional car emits carbon elementary fumes on the usage of gasoline, whereas hybrids don’t.
  • These cars are popular since they are ecologically conscious, while they can also provide great savings for the hybrid owners. Their costs appear to be much better than any other gasoline vehicles.
  • A hybrid car is proven to be the solution to pollution.
  • These cars are built using light materials; the engines will automatically turn off during braking.
  • In some countries the government offers tax credits towards the purchase of hybrid cars; these tax incentives are not available for a regular car.
  • These cars offer drivers a sophisticated experience driving at low speed.
  • Hybrid cars on finance options are also available for those who want to opt for car loans.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV

The Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV’s for 2012

This guest post is by Nick of CaliforniaAutoInsuranceHQ.com.

Most people do not equate SUV and fuel-efficient in the same sentence. However, today more families are looking for larger, safer vehicles that are able to handle not only passengers but cargo as well. Then there are those that just do not want to give up having an SUV, and with all the innovations in fuel saving available on vehicles today, they do not have to. With the slow economy more people are also choosing to vacation on the road instead of flying, and having a vehicle that is capable of handling a variety of road conditions, as well as being able to handle more than two people and a couple bags, makes traveling much easier.  The following list of vehicles is ranked from the lowest to highest EPA fuel economy ratings.

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Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2012 Hyundai Tucson

5.       2012 Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson GL comes standard with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that allows it to attain a combined EPA estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg. It produces 165hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, which is sufficient to get you where you need to go. The Tucson is also available in two additional trims, the GLS and the Limited. These are both equipped with a slightly larger 2.4-liter engine, but are still quite fuel-efficient. Whichever trim level you choose from, you get 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a maximum of 55.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded down. Above all the Tucson is stylish and affordable not only when it comes to fuel economy but the vehicle itself as well.

Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2012 Chevrolet Equinox

4.       2012 Chevrolet Equinox and 2012 GMC Terrain

Other than the outside badges and a few other exterior differences, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are twins. They are both equipped with a direct-injected 2.4-liter, 182hp four-cylinder engine. This same engine powers all trim lines of both these vehicles, but for 2012, it is capable of operating not just on regular unleaded fuel but E85 ethanol as well. Both vehicles are very well equipped, no matter what trim you choose and the powertrain warranty that is included with the vehicle is one of the best in the industry. Both vehicles provide ample cargo space with 31.6 cubic feet behind the seat and 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2012 Honda CR-V

3.       2012 Honda CR-V

The redesigned 2012 Honda CR-V is equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of 185hp and is equipped with front wheel drive as well, although it is available in an all-wheel-drive model. It gets a combined 26 mpg, which is an increase of 2 mpg over last year’s model. As in previous years, the CR-V is quite well equipped. Cargo room is also quite impressive with 37.2 cubic feet of cargo area behind the seat, and 70.9 cubic feet of space with the seats folded down. For 2012 Honda has not only redesigned the seats but features the One Motion Easy fold 60/40 rear seat able to open up your cargo space much easier.

Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2012 Nissan Juke

2.       2012 Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke not only provides excellent fuel economy, but also is the least expensive vehicle to offer all-wheel-drive. The front wheel drive Juke is rated by the EPA to get 29 mpg combined driving, and the AWD version still capable getting a combined 27 mpg. This is a fun to drive vehicle, however, the styling of the vehicle is not for everyone. It is a unique vehicle, which for the right person provides a unique personality and charm. Although it is one of the least expensive SUVs you can buy, its turbocharged direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder is designed to run on premium unleaded in order to maintain your fuel economy as well as its 188hp. You do sacrifice some cargo space in the Juke; with the seat raised, you have 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space and with the seat folded down it increases to 35.9 cubic feet.

Top 5 Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2012 Ford Hybrid Escape

1.       2012 Ford Escape Hybrid

If you are looking for the most fuel economy you can get in a small SUV, the 2012 Ford Escape is just the vehicle for you. It is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine combined with a battery-powered electric motor that combined produce around 177hp. This vehicle has an impressive EPA estimated 32 mpg combined fuel economy, and even the all-wheel-drive version is still capable of a combined 29 mpg. It also has the largest amount of cargo space available in comparison to any other vehicle on the list. You will get 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seat and 66.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down. These vehicles in testing also provide amazing longevity with an Escape Hybrid capable of surviving a few hundred thousand miles.

Even when you invest in one of the more fuel efficient SUV’s on the market it can still be a big commitment that requires a large financial investment.   You might not be able to change this cost but you can save money on your auto insurance policy at CaliforniaAutoInsuranceHQ.com.   Many people have saved hundreds of dollars each year by comparing low cost insurance quotes. You can too!

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Green Cars Save Money

Using A Green Car To Save On Your Finances

This is a guest post by Sheila Barnett of http://www.financialcalculator.org.

If you’re in the market for a new car, or a new-to-you car, you may be thinking of going green. Hybrid and electric cars are all the rage right now and their cost savings, over time, can be quite attractive. However, you should know that the jury is still out on whether or not you will experience a significant cost savings by going green when it comes to your vehicle options. But why is that?

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Because the price tag on a hybrid vehicle can be $5,000 or more than its gas guzzling counterparts. If you’ve got the money to spend on a hybrid or electric car, by all means, do so! If, however, you are considering a hybrid thinking that you will save money by purchasing one, you may be in for a surprise. Financial experts have revealed that it can take 27 years to simply break even.

Toyota's new Prius V hybrid car
Image by Robert Scoble on Flickr.

Don’t let this information discourage you. If you have the initial funds for a hybrid, or have found a used vehicle that is similarly priced to a new, gas-fueled vehicle, you will experience significant cost savings when it comes to fueling and maintenance. Here are ways that you can expect to save money by driving green:

Depreciation

When the time comes to trade in your vehicle, depreciation is always a factor. IntelliChoice has shown that a hybrid vehicle depreciates, on average, two to seven percent more slowly than a similarly designed gas fueled vehicle. It is expected that as gas prices rise, hybrid vehicles will remain in high demand, allowing for their value to remain more consistent.

 

Fueling

You’ll have to do the math on your own, depending on the hybrid you are looking at; however, you can expect a significant cost savings when it comes to fueling your car. With gas prices hovering around $3.40/gallon, you can easily pay more than $50 a month for gas, depending on your driving habits. An electric car costs about $2 per night to recharge and a hybrid typically gets five to ten miles more per gallon than its counterparts. These savings will be significant over the lifetime of your vehicle.

Maintenance

Owners of hybrid vehicles claim that the cost of general car maintenance is often less for their cars than for those using gas. Though repairs can be more costly, these are often covered by your car’s warranty and shouldn’t be a factor in your consideration. When it comes to oil changes and tire rotations, you can expect to pay less, overall, with your green car.

Commuting

Many localities have initiatives to encourage people to drive green vehicles. You may find that you can drive in the car pool lane for free, cross major bridges at no cost or even receive a discount at the toll booth. Check to see if there are any of these savings available along your daily route; you may be pleased at what you find.

Chances are that driving a hybrid will not net you an immediate cost savings. It can, however, save you money over the long run. Jot down the numbers and do the math; the cost savings may just be enough to make deciding between “normal” and green an easy one.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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