With the release and popularization of the Toyota Prius in 2000, the idea of hybrid and green cars has been growing rapidly. Now almost every major car company in the United States offers at least one hybrid option in their car lineups. Not only are these vehicles becoming more common, but other companies that specialize in sport vehicles are starting to go green. Companies like McLaren and Porsche have released top of the line super cars that are hybrid powered. The McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918, while at the top of the list for best super cars, run on both electric and gas-powered engines. Although these cars are extremely rare to own and aren’t exactly saving the environment on their own, I still think it is incredible that even performance car manufacturers are designing cars with the environment in mind.
Taxis and Buses
Using public transport not only saves you from having to pay the high gas prices, it can also be beneficial for the environment. With less vehicles on the road there a far less emissions being released into the atmosphere. Not only that, but cities are working on ways to make these forms of transportation more green and fuel efficient. As of 2010, hybrid buses, natural gas buses, and bio-diesel fueled vehicles were common among public transit systems and made up nearly 34 percent of all transit buses.1 Buses are typically seen as vehicles that are not good for the environment, but if more of these green buses get on the road and people keep riding them, they can be quite beneficial for our planet.
Green taxis are another quickly growing trend in cities all over the United States. All of the major cities have companies that provide hybrid and fuel efficient cabs to
the people of the city. Having these taxi cabs driving around is much better for the environment as they nearly double the miles per gallon ration of the typical Crown Victoria taxi (seen to the right) which is estimated at 15 mpg.2
NASA has hopes to have green aviation by the year 2020. They have a new series of X-Planes which they claim will burn half the fuel and generate 75 percent less pollution during each flight as compared to now all while being much quieter than today’s jets.3 That’s a very exciting figure when it comes to planes being much better for the environment. But believe it or not, just like in the automobile industry, fully electric planes are being built and tested. Now while these planes are not near full development yet, it is exciting to think of a future where planes don’t need to rely on any fuel at all, they’ll just need a proper charge. Solar planes are also another possibility for the future of aviation. The sun-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 made a trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Tulsa, Oklahoma recently with no source of energy other than solar powered batteries. This is something that would work really well for planes since during the day they often receive a lot of sunlight and can save up battery life for flying at night.
With all the initiatives people are taking to make transportation more green, it is clear that we are on the path to a much greener Earth.
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