The question of whether cars will ever become eco friendly comes down to looking at current trends – what cars are the most eco friendly at the moment, and how do they achieve this? What kind of technologies are becoming a standard feature of eco cars, and how are these being affected by changes in regulation? By reviewing some of these trends, it’s possible to think about how eco friendly cars will become more commonplace and advanced in their technologies over the next ten to fifteen years.
Hybrid cars are becoming more and more common as an option for automakers, and are being joined by increasing trends for all electric cars, methane powered vehicles, and plug in hybrids. Using a combination of an electric motor and a petrol engine, hybrid cars reduce CO2 emissions, and lower mileage by alternating between different driving modes. An all electric car relies on a charged battery and motor to deliver next to no emission driving.
Some of the current cars that are epitomising green driving trends include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic GX, the Mitsubishi i-MIEV, and the Nissan Leaf. Stricter fuel economy ratings in the United States are similarly encouraging more vehicles like the Kia Hybrid, and the Toyota Camry Hybrid LE. Other manufacturers are also developing sport and compact cars with low emissions and hybrid engines, which include the Lexus CT 200H, while technologies like Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive are becoming standard parts of hybrid designs.
The increasing popularity of hybrid and all electric cars forms part of consumer demands for cheaper fuel economies, lower emissions, and efforts by regulators to impose stricter regulations on mileage. Low mileage cars like the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt are offering 50mpg and 95mpg mileages, while lowered CO2 emissions are being targeted at a rate of 95g/km by 2020. Recent announcements by the European Commission on more eco friendly driving are encouraging this reduction, offering tax incentives and manufacturer regulations that aim to significantly reduce emissions over the next ten years. At present, emission ratings are dominated by electric cars like the Peugeot iON’s 88g/m, and hybrids like the Toyota Auris (109g/km).
So, what kind of future can be expected for eco friendly cars? Trends suggests that the current improvements in eco friendliness will reach a point when a hybrid and electric car will be able to significantly cut out CO2 emissions, oil dependence, and driving costs. Some trends that are currently being developed by manufactures include the improvement of lithium ion batteries, as well as the development of solar panels on car bodies as a way of recharging batteries. Carbon fibre shells and the use of recyclable materials will also improve manufacturing standards.
The EU are currently targeting a significant reduction in carbon outputs by the car industry by 2050, with tighter standards on emissions promising higher savings on fuel, and a greener footprint for drivers. These trends are being joined by investments in hybrid and alternative technologies in the United States, which are being enhanced by plans for self driving cars, and apps that will limit mileage by reducing speeds, and setting optimum levels for fuel use in vehicles.
Author Bio: Liam Ohm is a regular blogger on all topics related to the environment. He highly recommends Inchcape Toyota Burton for a great place to view a range of fantastic cars.