If you are concerned about the air you breathe, consider your alternatives. Active drivers should invest in a lower polluting vehicle. South Coast AQMD, Clean Air Choice Vehicles reports the cleanest autos available in California. Presently, there are 62 choices available among the 2008 models, available in a wide variety of sizes, price ranges and styles. You can also shop California’s guide to clean and efficient vehicles. This comprehensive resource allows the user to easily select and compare vehicles and calculate the true costs of the vehicle. The fuel cost and smog emission calculators are especially useful, allowing you to tailor each vehicle to your actual driving habits. For your convenience, their list of the top ten cleanest cars has been reproduced, below. Finally, the federal fuel economy website offers additional automotive tips and vehicle information, as well as resources for finding affordable gas and evaluating the efficiency of your current vehicle.
According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, “A plug-in car running on battery power has no tailpipe emissions. No matter what the source of electricity, re-charging the battery of an electric vehicle from a 120 or 240-volt outlet produces less than half the greenhouse gases of the most efficient gasoline or diesel-powered engine – at 20-25% of the cost-per-mile. Renewable electricity from hydro-power, nuclear, solar, wind or bio-fuels further reduces carbon emissions.” So as California continues to invest in renewable energy resources, Californians driving PEVs will contribute less and less pollution for the same miles traveled...Not to mention the savings at the pump!
Changing over to a plug-in vehicle is not as hard as you might think. Just follow the expert's lead. Take a few moments to review these informational flyers from Southern California Edison (SCE) to determine if a Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) is right for you.
You can also reduce your vehicle’s impact through any number of changes in habit, such as using public transit, walking, joining a ride-share or adjusting your work hours (e.g. four ten-hour days a week with three days-off). You may even want to consider a battery-powered peddle bike if you can take surface streets to work.
Change can often appear more difficult than its reality. Consider the findings from the National Personal Transportation Survey (1990), “More than half of commute trips, and three out of four shopping trips are under five miles in length – ideal for bicycling,” and “Forty percent of all trips are under two miles.” Take a moment to think about changes you can make and the benefits you might reap. Orange’s Transit Online will get you on your way!