Greener rides to ponder

You are going places in 2011 but how are you planning on getting there?

Assuming you are driving a car that is no longer safe, reliable or meeting your family’s needs and you are in the market deciding on a vehicle that is more fuel-efficient, has lower emissions vehicle and one that minimizes our growing dependence on foreign-oil. Below is a list of greener rides that you might want to consider in getting you where you are going.

There are several innovative options outside of the conventional petroleum-based gasoline engine. I will focus on just a few here today.

Systems and Technologies:
All electric – a battery electric drive and no emissions
Charging Stations – free-standing electric battery chargers
Electric Highways – series of charging stations along a high traffic corridor
Hybrid – a gasoline engine plus an electric motor
Plugin electric – use “dryer” type plug to connect to the grid for recharging at home
Biodiesel – a cleaner burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable fuels can be made from soybeans and biomass

Featured Car Options
* Nissan Leaf, newly introduced in late 2010 Nissan’s first all-electric vehicle
* Toyota Prius Hybrid, this car became the game changer in adapting to alternative energy car platforms, it’s unique styling and Hollywood cache brought the spotlight on Toyota becoming the number one car company in the world.
* Honda Civic Hybrid, for that traditional look with greater fuel efficiency.
* Chevy Volt, American’s late entry into the electric game just won honors as the 2011 Green Car of the Year!
* Ford Focus Electric – US company turning around to embrace not only new green tech but overall sustainability and corporate responsibility.
* Fisker Hybrid, if you have lots and lots of money you don’t have to sacrifice styling nor performance.
* Tesla, the whole shopping experience has been redefined by this company’s new age showroom.
* BMW, no sacrifice in engineering in going green with a new entrant by powerhouse “beamer”.
* Mercedes-Benz USA Delivers First Customer Zero-Emission F-CELL Vehicle, luxury and a solid brand.
* Volkswagon with four biodiesel VW models to choose from in the USA.
* REVA India, around the whole world the car game is played in the lower price arena.
* Prokhorov Russia, a snapshot of an affordable entrant in the electric car arena coming from “Russia with Love”.
* BYD Electric Car Company of China - introduced the 2012 ECO at the International Car Show adding to its electric vehicle portfolio. The company’s North American headquarters are in LA.

Even if you are not ready to embrace these technologies, consider learning about the various options available as many experts in the field are confident that by 2030, electric cars will be the new normal in personal and light vehicle transportation. After all, ten years ago you could not imagine the market penetration and use of a smartphone or iPad to change the way we communicate, learn and share information thus providing a shift away from our conventional desktops.

For those of you that are adventurous, head to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show beginning Jan 15th. The rest of you arm chair travelers’ check out the online resources. Another great guide, is the US EPA’s Green Vehicles site.

Of course, there is always a bike to get you where you are going without emissions and a whole lot of health benefits, too.

If you decide to buy a new EV, PHEV, Biodiesel, Hybrid vehicle in 2011 – share your story with our readers.

Happy travels on the journey of life! –alex