As vehicles become more advanced, one trend is clear: green vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated and varied. Their rising popularity is due to a number of unique benefits that these vehicles can offer.
Lower fuel cost
This is easily the most obvious benefit to buying a green vehicle. Whether the vehicle is a hybrid or fully-electric vehicle (EV), the cost to fuel it is markedly lower than a comparable vehicle powered purely by internal combustion. This is especially true in the case of electric vehicles, where the cost to “fill the tank,” or in this case charge the battery, is often a tiny fraction of the cost of paying for gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Next is a benefit that may surprise some: hybrid and electric vehicles offer a quicker torque response than their internal-combustion counterparts. As Autobytel points out, the reason for this is that in hybrids and EVs, power is provided by electric motors, which deliver all of their torque from the moment the pedal is pressed—no waiting required for the motor to catch up.
Autobytel also points out that although hybrids and EVs are sometimes criticized for their higher cost, that cost is often offset by government tax incentive programs. For example, for plug-in hybrids and EVs, the federal government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500, depending on the vehicle’s electric range. The federal programs are also supplemented by state-level incentives, such as discounts on registration and excise taxes, as well as additional income tax rebates.
HOV lane access
The government-offered benefits to green vehicles don’t stop at tax breaks, however. Some states also offer programs which give hybrids and electrics access to high-occupancy vehicle, or carpool, lanes on the road, without any restrictions on the number of people in the vehicle. This is because normal carpools are encouraged to save gasoline and reduce emissions, while a green vehicle does so all on its own.
When specifically referring to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Department of Energy points out that green vehicles have a unique advantage in fueling flexibility. Since the electricity grid is available almost anywhere people can park their cars, plug-in vehicles can charge overnight while the owner sleeps, in a parking lot while the owner works or at public charging stations, which can often be found in store parking lots.
The greater good
Finally, driving a green car helps both the driver and those around it. It does so most directly by reducing the emissions that it produces, which can be dangerous if inhaled. In addition to this, if the driver buys a green car, that makes them far less susceptible to fluctuations in gasoline prices due to outside pressure, helping make the United States as a whole less dependent on fuel from other nations.
Clearly, green vehicles offer a variety of benefits, whether they be due to financial reasons, based on government perks, offering increased flexibility or environmental in nature.