Shopping for a car can be a real headache, especially for the eco-conscious consumer. Is electric really best? How about a hybrid? What if I just buy a used gasoline-powered car? The answer is…it depends. On a lot.
First, you need to know the main source of power for your area, as coal is the prevalent source of electricity in the U.S., and your swanky new Nissan Leaf or Electric Prius would actually be slurping its juice off the same coal fired plants The good news is, for about 45 percent of us, the total well to wheels CO2 emissions of an EV’s life cycle equate to a gas powered car that gets about 41 to 50 miles per gallon. Surprisingly, New Orleans is in that number! Keep in mind that batteries of electric cars are resource-intensive and toxic, so take battery disposal into consideration. While there is no universal “best” vehicle out there for those drivers who strive to be greener, a Carnegie Mellon study determined that hybrid engines with small batteries, for the are far better than conventional gasoline vehicles and 100 percent electric vehicles for average American drivers. So stop da gas guzzlin!