It’s no secret that we need to dramatically transition away from fossil fuels. The good news is that 69% of Americans now support efforts to transition to clean energy. Well, after our energy grid, our transportation is the biggest offender.
Most of us drive cars for work, leisure, and daily activities, and it’s a freedom we aren’t ready to give up. Fortunately, you don’t have to. From electric vehicles to hybrid cars, let’s talk about the most environmentally friendly cars on the market today!
What Makes a Car Environmentally Friendly?
First, let’s determine what makes a car environmentally friendly. Obviously, hybrids and zero-emissions vehicles are more environmentally friendly than traditional gas-guzzling cars, but what matters from there?
Zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and partial zero-emissions vehicles (PZEVs) are more environmentally friendly than traditional vehicles. However, exhaust from your car is not the only way emissions are created. CO2 and methane will emit during extraction, processing, and transportation long before it ever reaches your vehicle’s fuel tank.
For this reason, hybrid vehicles are typically a better solution, as they dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed. Many hybrid cars can run at 40 to 60 miles per gallon, making them far more efficient. Plug-in hybrids are even better!
Essentially, the fewer fossil fuels, the better. Your mind may go immediately to electric vehicles, but that’s not always perfect. Different batteries, manufacturing processes, materials, and even your home’s energy source will play a role in how green it is, so let’s talk about some of our most modern eco-friendly cars.
Toyota Prius Prime
For those who aren’t ready to switch fully to electric vehicles, the Toyota Prius Prime is perfect for you. These are plug-in hybrid vehicles with an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery and an impressive 55 MPG. If you need a commuting car, this is tough to beat for the price.
The biggest benefit of the Prius Prime is Toyota manufacturing quality. For those who don’t know about Toyota, they hand-build all of their equipment until they find the perfect automated process in their factories. This is one of the reasons why Toyota cars are known for their dependability.
While the Prius Prime is still relatively new, we have long-term experience with their parent models. Many Prius cars from the early to mid 2000s are still on the road today. You can even find used ones for sale with 300,000 miles or more on them, likely making this the most dependable item on this list.
Without a doubt, the Nissan Leaf is the best way for those on a budget to enter into the EV market. It is the most affordable all-electric vehicle on the market year after year, and it’s a relatively safe and reliable vehicle.
There were notable problems with the Nissan Leaf in its earlier days, particularly with the range. Many Leafs will only travel for around 90 miles with a full charge. However, if you’re using this as a commuting EV car in or around your city, this won’t be a big deal.
Tesla Model S
We all know Tesla to be an environmentally-friendly company. The entire mission of the company was to start introducing the first stylish EV cars to the market.
Well, the Tesla Model S does just that. All newer Teslas are luxurious, fast, and have a high range. However, the Model S tops out at 200 mph and can go from 0 to 60 in 1.99 seconds. If you want a luxurious and fast car, there’s no reason to get a gas-guzzler anymore.
Lucid Air Grand Touring
With a 415-mile range and solar capability, there are no sacrifices with this vehicle. It’s incredibly fast, luxurious, and road trip-compatible, putting it close to the top of our list. Also, it won “car of the year” by several popular car review platforms in 2021 and 2022.
The Lucid Air Grand Touring offers a 112 kWh lithium-ion battery, 536 horsepower, and a fairly spacious cargo volume for a sedan. However, they aren’t giving these away, so make sure this fits into your budget!
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX
While this certainly isn’t a budget item on our list, it is easily one of the most green cars in existence. The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX has a sleek, aerodynamic design, unprecedented range (up to 620 miles), and you can even use rooftop solar panels to charge the vehicle with clean energy.
Also, the Vision EQXX is incredibly stylish and luxurious. If you’re looking for a luxury EV, this blows Tesla out of the water.
Ford F-150 Lightning
The reason this is on our list is not because of its fuel efficiency. Nothing weighing over 6,000 pounds is going to be the most energy efficient, but that’s okay. Ford makes up for it with its stellar technology.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is on this list because it takes the most popular truck in the United States and shows the world how appealing electric cars can be. These trucks can tow up to 7,700 pounds and drive up to 320 miles on one charge. This shows the future possibilities of work trucks, which previously had no clean, viable alternative to combustion engines.
Shop Environmentally Friendly Cars Today
Now that you know some of the most environmentally friendly cars on the market today, you can make the switch for yourself or upgrade an older EV car. We all need to do our part to start reducing our harmful emissions, and our transportation is a great way to start. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice anything thanks to modern technology!
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.