January 26, 2010

Why Some Think 2010 Is The Year For Green Vehicles

The grass is always greener on the other side’. While this may not always be true, it could be for the ‘green’ vehicle forecast of 2010. Sustainability, eco-friendly, and green are just a few buzz words floating around our recessed economy as consumers are constantly looking for ways to better the environment around them. Is 2010 the best time to go green on the road?

Car companies wised up a couple years ago, catering to the mass market demand of more fuel efficient vehicles as gas prices rose to more than $4 a gallon, and they continue to please with new options every year. In 2010, Honda will introduce a new Insight, modeled very closely after the Prius, with an EcoScore system that tells the driver how ‘green’ they are driving. And going to back to the basics by choosing a manual over an automatic transmission boasts Insight’s overall mile per gallon to 51 mpg. Honda also introduced the Civic GX that runs completely on natural gas. Since the Smart Car passed U.S. standards and safety inspections, more consumers are jumping on the European bandwagon and purchasing this mini vehicle, realizing its 44 highway mpg is checkbook as well as eco-friendly, not to mention convenient to park. Looking larger, automotive companies are converting more and more SUVs to be environment-friendly, such as the Cadillac Escalade. In 2010, GM introduced the first ‘green’ Escalade as a hybrid. The unfortunate downside is it starts at $80,000. It may be eco-friendly, but that is all. However, GMC’s Sierra is also a SUV hybrid that offers a more economical price tag starting in the high 30s.

Perhaps the most anticipated vehicle of 2010 is a Canadian import that is lauded for its 280 mpg, affordable pricing for under $22,000, and its silence. ZENN Motor Company is tagging the ZENN as ‘Zero Emission. No Noise’. It is a fully electrically-operated vehicle that requires no gas and can be recharged within four hours by plugging it into any electrical outlet. The only ugly side as of now is that it’s not approved for highway use and has been deemed a city car. Other than that not bad, eh?

Last year had many consumers bating their breath in hopes of the ‘greenest’. This year may be greener than 2008 and 2009, as technology is allowing automotive companies to create more alternatives, revamp the old alternatives and augment with new additions such as EcoSource. However, this does not mean 2010 is it. Automotive companies are constantly learning on how to improve and how to innovate, and many 2010 advances are not enough to trade in your 2008 eco-friendly vehicle for the ‘new and improved’ 2010 eco-friendly vehicle.