Why Buy a Green Car?

article image
Three green cars, one great MOTHER EARTH NEWS team.

Just how high will gas prices go? Nobody really knows, but lots of people are understandably worried. Fortunately, there now are dozens and dozens of vehicles that use new (and old) technologies to deliver better fuel economy and produce less emissions. Whether gasoline-only, gasoline-electric hybrid, all-electric or clean diesel, there’s a richer range of “green” car choices than ever before.

These vehicles are efficient, comfortable and fun to drive. Whether now or months from now, if you’re considering a new car or a slightly used vehicle, you’ll find this special issue to be an invaluable resource — from the expert answers to common questions to the buyer’s guide that features 54 models rated at 35 mpg or better in city or highway driving.

The sheer number of cars in our buyer’s guide is evidence that America’s transition to greener transportation is well underway. We will weather the storm of unstable and rising gas prices, but the transition won’t be painless. One way or another, we are going to have to pay more for our transportation, at least for a while. We can continue to drive low-mpg cars and pay at the pump, or we can pay more upfront (in some cases) for fuel-efficient vehicles and save more (fiscally and environmentally) over the long haul.

Remember that we pay for our transportation in ways other than just the gasoline we buy. Billions of taxpayer dollars are being spent in an attempt to assure that America can continue to import the oil we depend on. Deciding which car to buy isn’t just about reducing how much you spend on gas. Buying a green car can be a way of contributing to our national security.

Some cynics defend the status quo and say practical, high-mpg vehicles can’t be done on a mass scale. They’re wrong. At the least, the success of the Toyota Prius over the past decade suggests otherwise. The faster the public embraces these new green car options, the faster we can reduce our dependence on oil.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been reporting on alternative transportation options since the magazine started in 1970. Way back in ’79, we ran an article about how to convert a gas car to a hybrid. Throughout the decades since, we’ve reported on the slow (now fast!) evolution of green cars. We are convinced the day is coming when many of our cars will be electric and will be recharged by renewable energy — whether from solar panels on your roof or utility-scale wind turbines. Every time someone chooses a green car, we all move one step closer to a better future.

This editorial is from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Green Cars, which has everything you need to save money on gas and find the right green cars for your needs: expert advice, reports from real-world drivers and reviews of more than 50 cars that are rated at 35 mpg or better.