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James R. Cochran

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In environmental circles, the term “green” gets tossed around quite abit. We even named our site “topgreencars”.

But what exactly are green cars?  Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of misconception about what this term means.  And it may surprise you that the definition changes from year-to-year.

For today’s post we’ll make it clear what we consider as green cars. We’ll also take a closer look at the 5 different types of green cars that are available today.

What Is A Green Car?

A green car is simply a vehicles that is “environmentally-friendly“.  As compared to the conventional vehicles that run on internal combustion engines through diesel or gasoline, these have lesser harmful impacts on the environment. The term green car is used for any vehicle that complies with various standards like the California zero-emission vehicle standard or the European emission standards, just to name a few.

5 Types Of Green Cars

The green cars usually use alternative fuels or they could also run in modern technologies that have lesser emission. These technologies include running on fuel cells, batteries, hydrogen, hybrids and many others. Here are the different types:

Electric And Battery-Powered Vehicles

Battery-powered electric vehicles could be considered the most environmentally friendly vehicles today. They are purely powered by electricity. There are many models and they have a built-in battery that could be recharged by simply plugging them in. Then, there are also those that run on hydrogen fuel cells that don’t need to be recharged. Between the two, the plug-ins electric cars are more efficient. However, both of them are better compared to other vehicles when it comes to fuel economy.

Great as they may seem, they also have a downside. For electric cars, they have a limited range and need to be recharged. Charging takes time so a day’s drive can turn into two because you have to stop and charge for a few hours.

Hybrid Cars

When it comes to popularity, hybrid cars top the charts. These cars run partially on electricity and partially on conventional fuel. These cars have an internal combustion engine and an electricity-powered engine. Hybrid vehicles do not require recharging. Through regenerative braking, the batteries get charged.

There are many variations to hybrid vehicles. There are even some that you can plug-in to recharge the battery. These are even more fuel-efficient than hybrids that can’t be plugged in. Hybrid cars, whether they can be plugged-in or not may be more expensive upfront. However, many still consider this option due to the savings on fuel through the life of the vehicle.

Improved Conventional Cars

Conventional combustion engine vehicles may still be considered green cars. These are the ones that use fossil fuel alternatives like biofuel. They can also use renewable fuels that are a mixture of fossil fuel and ethanol. Diesel-powered vehicles can easily transition to biodiesel.

Compressed Air And Solar Powered Engines

Other methods of powering vehicles still exist but they haven’t been perfected yet. There are compressed air vehicles and some researchers are doing tests on hybrid compressed-air and electric vehicles. This is because a large amount of compressed air is needed to run the vehicle. The container for compressed air can get too heavy and converting back used compressed air is not efficient.

Solar power is another alternative that they are looking into. The main problem here is the limited area where solar panels can be placed. This can cause a problem because the car might not fully charge as fast as it should. However, there are cars with solar roofs, and the electricity produced is used to power some components of the vehicle. Nowadays, there are still no purely solar-powered vehicles available in the market.

Pedal Powered Vehicles

There are different companies that are developing vehicles with 2-4 wheels that can be powered manually by pedals. They combine that with an electric motor. Essentially, they are like bicycles with electric motors. However, the classification as to whether they are really cars is still unclear. Nevertheless, such vehicles can still be considered green.

 

As we all know by now, air pollution is an on-going problem we, as a planet, need to tackle as a global community.  While governments have an active role in a sustainable future, it’s even more important that we as individual do what we need to do to contribute.

As car owners, drivers, or simply those who are looking to buy a car to use, there are tangible things you can do – right now! – to help lessen air pollution brought about by the use of vehicles.

Here’s just a few ideas…

Consider Driving Less

Whenever you use your car, you are also producing pollution. Even if you have hybrids, they may produce less pollution but they still do. If you can walk or bike to where you’d have to go, consider that option.

You may also opt for public transit whenever possible. Although public transit would also produce pollution while being used, you can lessen the total pollution by not adding to what the public transit also produces. In that light, you may also opt for ride-sharing or carpooling to better lessen the carbon footprint.

Use Your Car Wisely

Whenever you really need to use your car, you should use it wisely so that it doesn’t produce as much pollution. One way to do that is to drive efficiently. Drive at a constant speed and don’t alternate between braking abruptly and gas up too much and too fast whenever you can. In this way, you don’t only lessen the pollution produced, you also use your gas more efficiently and save up on cost.

Also, when using your vehicle, make sure you prevent unnecessary idling. Modern vehicles don’t really need to “warm-up” during the winter. Just turn them on and drive. Avoiding idling will help you reduce pollution plus reduce the unnecessary burning of gas. This is another way to save money on fuel.

Carefully Choose The Vehicle To Buy

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, consider efficient yet less polluting vehicles. This would include electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell cars, and hybrid vehicles. Apart from carefully choosing which vehicle to buy, you should also choose what fuel to use on your vehicle. There are more environment-friendly fuel blends available today. Just make sure your car is compatible with using them.

Ask any fleet manager and they’ll tell you the same thing – next to paying your trucking staff – the cost of fuel takes the biggest bite out of operational budgets.

Pushing nearly 25% of ongoing expenses for a typical ground logistics business, costs for a single semi-truck can exceed $45,000 per year in diesel fuel.  It’s overhead that literally “goes up in smoke” with every passing financial reporting quarter.

It’s no wonder then that these same companies are well on their way converting their fleets to e-Trucks, where prospects of 60% – 80% reduced fuel costs have driven production demand higher ahead of anticipation of longer mileage versions on the horizon.

60% – 80% fuel savings seem like a stretch?  Actually that may be a bit low…

Even if a truck driver is doing everything they should do in maximizing a vehicles fuel efficiency, the math still of 4X to 5X fuel cost still holds up relative to a truck with an electric drivetrain.

While cars have been focusing on greener solutions for some time, the trucking industry is playing a bit of catch-up.  And becaus the transportation industry is such a large contributor to the overall emission figures associated with vehicles, it’s important that green trucks are adopted into fleets around the world.

The great news is that there is no shortage of new and excellent options and here is a look at 2021’s top 5 eTrucks for commercial applications.

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi At Tesla HQ
Tesla Semi At Tesla HQ

No discussion of EVs would be complete without Tesla and this is the model with which they are aiming to enter into the world of trucks. The Tesla Semi is a green truck that is meant to replace long-haul big rigs. As the name suggests, this is an all-electric heavy-duty semi that will come in two different iterations.

The first will have a range of 300 miles while the other will have a range of between 500 and 600 miles. As with any Tesla, this semi will also feature a host of futuristic innovations.

Of particular interest is the “Convoy Mode” which will allow a fleet of Tesla Semis to semi-autonomously slipstream each other making them even more fuel-efficient.

Daimler Freightliner eCascadia

Freightliner eCascadia Front View
Freightliner eCascadia Front View

While the name Daimler might seem unfamiliar to many, they are the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and hence have a tone of experience when it comes to trucks. Their trucks are known for their reliability and longevity and they are aiming to bring those qualities to green trucks with the eCascadia.

It is an all-electric 18-wheeler that has a range of 230 miles. This will make it ideal as a part of an urban delivery system. Daimler’s other offerings have been well-received and they have a wealth of experience making excellent trucks. All of this makes the eCascadia a great option worth considering.

Nikola One

Nikola Semi Truck On A Sunset Drive
Nikola Semi Truck On A Sunset Drive

Tesla has bought Nikola Tesla, the pioneer of AC current back into the public consciousness. Nikola Motors have followed that trend and they have used the inventor’s first name for their company. They are a new startup that does not have any affiliation with Tesla.

Their trucks are meant to take green vehicle technology to the next level. They will not only be offering all-electric trucks but hydrogen-fueled trucks as well. This is a revolutionary technology that is still in its infancy.

However, it is where the future is headed and this is a great option for those looking to really future-proof their fleet.

Rivian R1T

Amazon Rivian Delivery Truck Mockup Out For Delivery in Seattle
Amazon Rivian Delivery Truck – Out For Delivery in Seattle

Amazon is one of the world’s foremost businesses and a large part of its model involves transporting and delivering goods. They have already placed an order of 100,000 R1T’s which alone gives this green truck plenty of credibility.

Amazon also happens to be an investor in the parent company which should allay any fears of the risks associated with a relatively unknown company. Given that this is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered from the ground up to be a part of a mass-delivery system, this should be the ideal solution for any large-scale business.

Volvo VNR Electric

Volvo VNR Electric Truck And Trailer
Volvo VNR Electric Truck And Trailer

Another big name in the world of trucks is Volvo and they too have been investing a lot of time and money in green trucks. The VNR Electric is a result of this endeavor and is also a part of Volvo’s Low-Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions. This program is backed by the California Air Resources Board.

To make the process of changing over to this green truck a lot easier, Volvo will offer lease agreements on a monthly basis. It will also include insurance and maintenance in this lease. This is another company with a large knowledge base when it comes to long-distance trucking and it could be the perfect option for those who want their green truck to be backed by one of the most dependable names in the motor industry.

To Sum Up…

Green trucks like the electronic-drive variety covered above are helping shape a sustainable path for an industry not exactly known for it’s environmentally friendly ways.

Through competition from truck manufacturer, and innovation in the battery space we should see prices fall further, and per-charge mileage increase making the business case for full fleet conversion a no-brainer for our cost-conscious fleet managers.

Thanks to the likes of the pioneering car brand Tesla, electric cars sales continue to grow at an astonishing rate with the trend to continue into the 2020s.

Other major manufacturers are well following up with their own models, and driving down prices.

So before you dive-in into this car trend, it is still important to know how they work.

This will give you a better understanding of the car you are planning to buy. Additionally, you would be better at troubleshooting your vehicle or choosing the right type and model because they all aren’t the same, and that’s a good thing.

Making The Electric Engine Work

The first thing to figure out is how these kinds of cars work. Basically, you have an engine that runs on electricity. Instead of a combustion engine, which is found on traditional cars that run on fuel, it has an electric motor. The electric motor is powered by the rechargeable batteries stored in the vehicles. These batteries are charged at a designated charged point.

The great thing about electric cars is how light it feels to drive. This may be due to the faster rate of acceleration as compared to other vehicles that have fuel engines. Another great thing about electric cars is the lack of exhaust because it runs on electricity and no fuel is burned while it is driven.

Charging The Electric Cars

With traditional fuel-engine vehicles, you need to fill up your tank with fuel so you can run your vehicle. That’s also similar to electric cars. However, you don’t get fuel in your tank but you get electricity and store it in the rechargeable batteries. You can plug-in your vehicle in public charging stations so you don’t have to be afraid of running out of electricity when you’re out. Another great thing about electric cars is that you aren’t limited to charging them in public charging stations. You can also easily charge them at home.

The Electric Vehicle Range

One of the common questions and main concerns of people is how far electric cars can travel before it runs out of electricity. Well, that depends on the model you own. There are different electric car models and they are fitted with different battery sizes and efficiencies.

They are also fitted with different engines. Moreover, the range may also depend on the weight of your vehicle and how much energy the motor needs to use to push the wheels to turn and run.

Types Of Electric Cars

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are different types of electric cars. Some will only run on electricity while there are also others that can run on both electricity and fossil fuels.

They are classified into three different types.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles or HEVs are very common and they have been around for decades already but the spotlight on them shone with the Toyota Prius, which was introduced in 1997.

It is one of the most popular hybrid vehicles. Along with Toyota, other car brands like Ford, Kia, and Hyundai also offer hybrid electric cars.

This type of electric vehicle, like the name implies, combines the use of a conventional combustion engine with an electric propulsion system. The main engine that works here is the combustion engine and the electric motor simply provides assistance. The main goal of having an electric motor with this type of electric car is to improve fuel economy.

Hybrid vehicles aren’t recharged, they get recharged through regenerative braking systems, and through the use of the combustion engines. What makes hybrids so attractive is their lower cost of ownership as compared to other traditional cars.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The second type of electric vehicles is what is called the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEVs. Compared to hybrid vehicles, the battery of the PHEVs are much larger and they are plugged-in to recharge. Their electric motor also does most of the work that is why they have bigger ones than hybrid electric vehicles.

With larger batteries and engines, these cars are capable of propelling the vehicle without assistance from combustion engines for long periods of time. Some of the known car brands that produce PHEVs are Ford, Honda, and Chrysler.

For those who are looking for a better range than the hybrid electric vehicles, the PHEVs are a great option. They can be used for long-distance drives on electricity but are still versatile enough to run on gasoline when there are no charging stations available. There is also an option to run entirely on electricity as long as the car is driven within its range. The combustion engine just acts as a back-up when it is needed.

While it is best to use the electric engine so charging the car as often as possible is advised, you can still use it as a hybrid electric car. In case you forgot to charge it, it will use the combustion engine and recharge the batteries as a hybrid would.

Battery Electric Vehicles

Lastly, we have the battery electric vehicles or the BEVs. These may also be known as electric vehicles because they are fully powered by the batteries. They have a full-electric drivetrain and are very simple. Due to the fewer number of moving parts, they require much less maintenance as compared to traditional combustion engine vehicles.

This helps owners save on maintenance expenses, which could pile up over time. The only limitation of electric vehicles is that they depend on the battery to run. That’s why they need to be recharged quickly and often to use them efficiently.

Over the years eco-friendly like those of the Hybrid variety have made a consistently good case that they can save owners money in the long-term with reduced costs at the fuel pump.  On top of that they help the environment through lower emissions.

However, their benefits don’t stop there.

They can also offer financial incentives for owners throughout the year. Nowadays, most states have hybrids and electric cars easily accessible and affordable.

Although some people might be surprised at just how much eco-friendly car costs, the long-term financial benefits can outweigh that price. Plus, it also provides long-term environmental incentives, which is why many consider it as an investment.

Tax Incentives

One benefit that people who buy eco-friendly cars have is tax deductions. With it, the government hopes to encourage more people to choose eco-friendly vehicles instead of combustion engine vehicles. Taxpayers in the US can experience tax refunds and lower income taxes due to this incentive.

Energy Laws For Tax Incentives Of Eco-Friendly Car Buyers

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 allows taxpayers who bought new hybrid cars to have an income tax credit for up to $3400. However, this is limited to those who purchased the new vehicles from January 1, 2006, up to December 30, 2010.

The Energy Independence and Security Act is another law that was passed in 2007. This policy includes plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles in the tax-saving incentives. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was also passed. Rather than affecting personal tax incentives, this act is more focused on the infrastructure affecting eco-friendly vehicles. This act has affected various aspects including alternative fuel, diesel engines, and electric vehicles. Some states even allow hybrid cars to pass through carpool lanes even when there are no passengers as an added incentive.

Incentives For Those In California

California is one of the states that offers great incentives for those who have low or zero-emission vehicles. High occupancy vehicle lanes can be used by those who have a minimum of two people inside the vehicle. In California, the eco-friendly vehicles are exempted from this rule. The drivers must also get a special decal so they can travel high occupancy toll roads for free.

Various cities like Santa Monica, San Jose, and Hermosa beach offer an added incentive such as free parking for eco-friendly vehicles.

Through the Consumer Assistance Program, those who have vehicles that cause much pollution can get an incentive of $1000 to $1500 if they decide to voluntarily retire those cars. Another great incentive for eco-friendly car owners in California is the insurance discount. The insurance discount can range from 10% to 30%.

Incentives For Those In Florida

Just like California, those in Florida can use the high occupancy vehicle lanes even if the only person in the car is the driver, provided that the car is certified by EPA as a low-emission vehicle. Although this doesn’t save money, this does save lots of time for eco-friendly car drivers. Additionally, Florida gives out tax incentives for businesses that own alternative fuel cars. They will receive rebates for owning alternative fuel vehicles.

On top of that, some car insurance companies also provide discounts. However, this would vary from one provider to another. The discount will also range from 10% to 30%.

Many of the large vehicles, like trucks, tractors, and buses run on diesel fuel. However, we all know that diesel isn’t renewable and contributes to the greenhouse effect. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is renewable and is made from fats of animals, grease, or oils from vegetables.

Comparing biodiesel and regular diesel from petroleum, biodiesel produces much less pollution than the other. The good news is that vehicles that run on diesel can also run on biodiesel. This is because the chemical characteristics of biodiesel are very similar to that of the diesel from petroleum.

Biodiesel can be used as a substitute for diesel fuel but or it can also be used to blend with petroleum diesel. This helps make the fuel greener while not affecting the fuel economy of the vehicle.

Biodiesel Blends

Vehicles that have a diesel engine will work well with biodiesel blends that contain 5% of biodiesel (B5). Those that have 20% biodiesel mixed with 80% petroleum diesel are known as B20. These are used by some government and federal fleets. School buses, garbage trucks, military vehicles, snowplows, mail trucks as well as snowplows also used the B20 biodiesel blend or even higher biodiesel blends. Biodiesel blends are available to the public and almost every state has them.

Many of those in the trucking industry prefer to use biodiesels at low-levels, usually the B2 and B5 blends. This is because biodiesel also has lubricating capabilities. This helps improve the engine performance of the trucks.

Pure biodiesel or B100 is also available but biodiesel blends are preferred because pure biodiesel is a solvent. It can potentially harm the rubber components of older vehicle models. Creating biodiesel blends prevents this from happening.

Increasing Use Of Biodiesel

In previous decades, it has been observed that there has been an increase in the use of biodiesel. This may be due to the positive effects of the biodiesel to the environment plus the different incentives offered by the government for consuming biodiesel.

The increase in the consumption of biodiesel is not only observed in the United States. An increase is also evident in the worldwide consumption. Many other countries also have incentives to encourage the use of biodiesel and biodiesel blends.

 

Thanks to the likes of pioneering manufacturers like Tesla, the number of electric vehicles on the road today is exponentially more than that of 5 years ago, in fact, there was an 81% increase in electric car sales year-over-year from 2018  with adoption rates showing little signs of abating.

While the overall number of EV on the road are still dwarfed by traditional gas-guzzlers,. there’s no question:  the appeal of electric cars is increasing because more and more people are concerned about pollution and carbon emission of their cars. Electric cars are better for the environment because they don’t emit as much greenhouse gasses as fossil fuel-powered cars.

With a growing interest in electric cars, there are also many questions in the mind of the public. Some wonder how green they really are. There are some who also want to look further into some manufacturing issues affecting the environment. Also, there are questions on the way electricity is generated and whether hybrid cars are also good for the environment. All that will be answered below.

Are Electic Cars Good For The Environment?

The short answer is yes. Using electric cars instead of diesel or fuel cars will greatly improve air quality in cities or towns. The pure electric cars do not produce any carbon dioxide emissions when they are driven. Simply using them will greatly reduce air pollution. The reduced air pollution makes the area a better place for pedestrians, cyclist and other people in their own vehicles.

Aside from air pollution, electric cars are also great for reducing noise pollution. The cars are quieter than conventional vehicles. This helps create a more peaceful environment not only for us but also for the animals around us. Some animals are greatly alarmed by the sound of cars and it can be stressful for them.

What Is The Effect Of Electric Car Production In The Environment?

Some people argue that greenhouse emissions are also produced in the production of electric vehicles. They say that the emission in the production negates the absence of the emission while the car is driven.

It is true that manufacturing electric cars take a lot of energy. There are also emissions produced while electric cars are manufactured and they can also be higher than when a conventional car is produced. This is because of the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. That is an essential part of an electric car. The CO2 emission related to the electric car is mostly from the manufacturing process.

However, as technology advances, this scenario also gets better. More efficient manufacturing techniques will soon be used. This will also greatly reduce the number of gas emissions produced.

Additionally, reusing and recycling batteries is also an alternative. The market for this is now growing and there are researches done to look for ways on how to reuse the batteries. When the day comes that the batteries are efficiently reused and recycled, we could greatly reduce the manufacture of them and their environmental impact.

Even if the manufacture of electric vehicles produces greenhouse gasses, it is still a greener option as compared to traditional cars. This is because the emission is greatly reduced over the lifetime of the car.

What Is The Impact Of The Electricity On The Environment?

Another concern is how electric cars get powered. We know that it has to be charged, but how green is the production of the power for the electric car?

In research done by the European Energy Agency, they found that electric cars produced fewer car emissions compared to traditional cars even when the procedure of producing electricity for electric cars was considered. The emissions are further lowered when low carbon electricity is used.

Are Hybrid Cars Good For The Environment?

Hybrid cars are equipped with an electric motor and a traditional fuel engine. That is why they still produce emissions while they are driven.

However, how green they are will depend on several factors. First is on how much of the journey is spent on electric miles vs the use of fuel. Another factor is how the cars are charged or where it gets the electricity to make it run.

A hybrid car will certainly be better for the environment if you do short frequent short trips and charge your car using 100% renewable electricity. However, if you tend to use your hybrid car’s combustion engine, then your car’s emission will be the same as that of a traditional vehicle. It wouldn’t be better than any other fossil-fuel vehicle.

When Is The Electric Motor In A Hybrid Car Used?

To produce lower emissions with your hybrid car, it is important to know when it uses the electric motor. Usually, the electric motor is used at slow speeds, which is observed in urban areas. However, electric motors aren’t only used in that scenario. They also give additional power to cars when going uphill, when accelerating and during traffic.  For more detailed information, you may also read our post on “How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

 

Despite an uptick in the popularity of electric vehicles, and low gas prices,  the number of hybrid car models is increasing.  Even the government is pushing a change from traditional fossil-fuel vehicles to those with that use alternative fuel.

For 2019-2020, one such vehicle is the Toyota C-HR or the Toyota C-HR Koba Hybrid. It is fitted with a hybrid engine and has an average cost of about $37,000. Popular competitors of this vehicle would include the Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos, and Hyundai Kona.

The Appearance

Looking at the C-HR, you will see that it’s just like a classic. Unlike futuristic designs of other cars today, this one exudes somewhat of a traditional yet stylish vehicle. Even if it looks like a classic, there are still some futuristic elements to it that make it look great. It has a two-tone finish that some people love but there are also others who are not a fan of it.

The interior also looks great and there are a few noteworthy accents like the diamond-shaped trim found on the doors. There are also heated seats with leather accents that make it look good and feel comfortable. A well-designed center console plus a steering wheel that’s comfortable to hold adds to the functionality and overall appearance of the vehicle.

The Performance

This vehicle from Toyota is a fuel/electric hybrid combination that feels good to drive. It drives smoothly and handles well. Like other cars with an electric motor, it is silent when you start.

It is fitted with a 1.8-liter engine that has four cylinders. It functions when you reach higher speeds so it can get a bit louder but it isn’t too noisy as well. One common comment about this vehicle is the sluggish acceleration, the four-cylinder engine may not produce enough power for smooth acceleration. However, it does have a nice 4.3L/100km fuel consumption average. This is definitely lower than other vehicles powered by fuel engines only.

Although it is sluggish in acceleration, the car is easy to stop smoothly. The steering wheel is also easy to turn and control. That makes it easy to do a U-turn or control the vehicle to make it easy to successfully use tight parking spots. Fitted at the rear end is a reversing camera that clearly shows a 360-degree view. There is also a forward camera that greatly helps with the parking.

The Interior Space

It’s easy to get in and out of the vehicle because of the elevated seating position. The front area offers a lot of headroom for the passengers but the rear seats do not. Although it can fit regular sized adults comfortably, the roof pillars make it look and feel stuffy and small.

Aside from the rear seats, the storage space is also limited. It only has about 19 cubic feet of rear trunk space, which is the average size for that class of the car. When the rear seats are folded, you get 36.4 cubic feet.

For information and entertainment, an 8-inch touchscreen is used to read and scroll through the menus. It is compatible with both Apple and Android. It is also fitted with a good audio system that provides decent quality of sound for songs but for louder volume levels and those with thumping bass, the sound quality may not be as good.

More greener alternatives to conventional fossil fuel vehicles are gaining popularity nowadays. Even the government takes steps to convince the public to go for more environmentally-friendly vehicles. They’ve also created laws that help decrease environmental and health hazards brought about by vehicle idling.

Nowadays, some states already have idling limits for different kinds of vehicles like school buses and public city vehicles. They anti-idling law is a great way to reduce unnecessary emissions until such time that most cars already run on the greener source of fuel.

The Engine Anti-Idling Law

In a way to reduce emissions, the government now implements the anti-idling law to limit engine idling. This law covers all vehicles with a few exceptions. Vehicles that run on diesel or gasoline are only allowed to be idle for 3 minutes. Anyone who violates this rule will be given a ticket and fined for $500 for first-time violators.

A few exceptions to the rules include the following:

  • Private and non-commercial vehicles
  • In case the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, vehicles are allowed to be idle for only 5 minutes.
  • Vehicles are also allowed to idle when they are used for various operations requiring power. Examples of these vehicles are cement mixers, those with refrigeration systems.

Citizen Enforcement Pilot Program

The anti-idling law isn’t a brand new law but some feel that it is loosely enforced. In New York City, for example, the law was just tightly implemented starting 2009.

Nowadays, the Citizen Enforcement Pilot Program in Washington DC will use district residents to patrol and catch violators of the said law. They are to report using a mobile app and there are also some guidelines that help determine which information is needed for the report.

Other areas like Los Angeles city also introduced the anti-idling law limiting idling to only a minute. Philadelphia is also joining in the move for less emission by allowing its citizens to report violators through their mobile app or through their website.

Conclusion

Not all people can instantly switch to using vehicles with alternative and greener sources of fuel However, they can still help lessen the bad impact of the emissions on the health and environment with the anti-idling law.

There are different areas around the country that have their own versions of the anti-idling law. The fines and allowed idle time minutes also vary.

 

Cars powered by fossil fuel produce pollution that doesn’t only hurt the environment but is also a risk in the health of the people. Many countries and states in the US are trying their best to try and lessen the dreadful effects of such vehicles.

Although there are lots of sources of alternative fuel for cars, there are still lots of problems that come with them. For example, cars with hydrogen fuel cells are challenged because of the rarity of hydrogen stations. Similarly, electric cars also take very long to charge and they don’t cover much distance on a single charge.

Nevertheless, there is still something that the government can do to help the transition from fossil fuel cars to alternative fuel vehicles. Such ways include the following:

Research And Development

Cost and expenses are the most common hurdles new technology faces. At first, the costing will really be high but as it improves and manufacturers find a better and more economic manufacturing process, the price will eventually drop.

Here is where the government can help. They can fund research grants and build partnerships with people or organizations so they can research the new technology. When the researchers successfully do it, it is not only them who benefits but the whole industry.

As an example, due to research, there are now smaller and lighter batteries that still offer the same level of power as the previous models. Many are looking forward to further improving those in the coming years.

Infrastructure Network Construction

Researching better ways to improve the battery of electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells or other alternatives is just one part of the equation. Another bigger challenge when it comes to transitioning from fossil fuel cars to alternative fuel cars is the construction of an infrastructure network.

Unlike fossil fuel gas stations that you can find just about anywhere, there is still a limit in the alternative fuel infrastructure network. There is now a growing number of recharging stations for electric cars plus owners also have the option to charge at home. On the other hand, hydrogen fuel stations available for public use are only about 14 and they are mostly in California.

Whether it is for fuel cells or for electric charging stations, the network still isn’t comfortable enough for most of the public to change their minds and purchase alternative fuel vehicles. Many are still not confident about relying on electric vehicles to get them where they want or need to go due to the lack of public and accessible charging stations.

Also, the locations of such charging stations or refueling stations should be carefully thought of so that they get efficiently used. Building infrastructures that won’t get used are just a waste of money so they also have to make sure that it’s really going to be used.

Forming Partnerships

In order to determine where hydrogen fuel stations should be put up, the government can create partnerships with organizations of car manufacturers. The manufacturers can share their knowledge about the type of people they think are likely to purchase hydrogen fuel cars or electric cars.

With that identified, they can better determine where to place charging stations or refueling stations. For example, most observe that electric car buyers tend to stay within the city so they can design a network of charging stations that can cover the whole city to prevent limiting where the cars can go.

Offer Incentives

Today, a lot of people are still not convinced of buying alternative fuel vehicles. One way to encourage the public to make that decision is to offer incentives. Usually, these incentives come in the form of tax breaks. In some states, they even offer cash incentives. With such incentives, the price of alternative fuel vehicles cuts down to what more people can afford.

Depending on the state, there are different incentives they have to offer. You can read more about the best incentives by various states in our previous post. The incentives are currently available and they work in increasing the number of electric car sales.

With more electric vehicles, the need for fossil fuel also diminishes and the demand for electricity for charging increases. This helps the locality because instead of buying fuel from other countries, electricity is produced locally.