Things You May Not Know About Your Eco Friendly Car

Mar 22

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”
Joni Mitchell-“Big Yellow Taxi”

As it is preached that our environment and Mother Nature is worsening, many have been doing all they can to make sure that they can help out our planet, even if it is just a little bit at a time. By buying environmentally friendly cars, many people across the United States of America and the globe have been helping decrease the amount of fossil fuels being used. But what do you not know about the different types of eco-friendly cars?

Did you know..?

Hybrid Vehicles

  • A Mo-Ped (motorized pedal bike) is considered a hybrid because it relies on the pedal power of the rider with the power of the gasoline.
  • Most cars that you see on the roads today are electric hybrids (or gasoline-electric).
  • Hybrids often times shut off their engine because they do not need to rely on gasoline all the time like conventional gasoline cars do. They can turn their engine off when occurrences such as a red light.
  • Most locomotives you see pulling trains are diesel-electric hybrids.
  • Many cities (i.e. Seattle, Washington) have diesel-electric buses for public transportation.

Electric Vehicles

  • Electric cars are able to drive in the carpool lane even if there is only one person in the car.
  • Vehicles that are powered by fuel cells can also be considered electric cars.
  • According to the Transportation Electrification, “Plug-in vehicles can be driven for roughly one-third to one-fourth the cost of a gasoline-powered vehicle.”
  • Plugging-In states that “If the [electric] vehicle is plugged in every day, as recommended, it may be possible to drive 1000-2000 miles more between fill-ups.”
  • Electric Vehicles have been around for over 180 years!
  • In 1828, Anyos Jedlik (from Hungary) made a model car that was powered by a small electric engine.
  • Following, William Morrison from the United States developed the first six-passenger electric vehicle.
  • In 1897, the electric taxi debuted in New York City.

Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs)

  • Nearly 120,000 NGVs are on the American roads today, with more than 15.2 million on the roads across the globe.
  • There are about 1,000 Natural Gas Vehicle fueling stations nationwide, but only about half are open to the public.
  • Natural gas is considered a clean fuel due to the fact that it releases carbon dioxide and water vapor when it is burned instead of CO2 and other harmful chemicals emitted by coal and oil.
  • Natural gas is plentiful in the United States of America; it can be found underground in 33 different states!
  • 50 countries worldwide also have moderate to high amounts of natural gas that are ready to be extracted.

Biodiesel Vehicles

  • Biodiesel is non-toxic as well as biodegradable.
  • Biodiesel is made from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats.
  • The most common process used to create biodiesel is called transesterification.
  • Biodiesel is not flammable and has a higher flash point that is higher than fossil diesel.
  • Biodiesel has the possibility to increase the life of your engine because it lubricates more than petroleum diesel fuel.
  • If you are looking to start using biodiesel, you will not need to change your car’s engine or convert it in any way. Your conventional gasoline car is able to run off biodiesel just the way it is.

Diesel Vehicles

  • Mercedes-Benz manufactured and sold the world’s very first production diesel-powered automobile that they named the 260D.
  • Audi’s diesel engine won the Le Mans in France, the world’s most distinguished endurance race.
  • The very first diesel oil was invented by trial-and-error by Rudolf Diesel while he was trying to create a fuel to run an engine he had created.
  • Diesel vehicles have raced at the infamous Indianapolis 500. The most memorable moment being when expert driver Fred Agabashian drove his Cummins Diesel Special in 1952 and had a record time.
  • Diesel does not evaporate when it is mixed with water as gasoline does. Instead, it becomes a slippery concoction.
  • Diesel generally has a higher cost not because it is more expensive to refine, but because it is taxed as an industrial fuel rather than a consumer transportation fuel as conventional gasoline is taxed.

Hydrogen Vehicles

  • Even though hydrogen is used to power vehicles, it is not a fuel, but rather an energy carrier.
  • Hydrogen can be produced from water by using a process called electrolysis.
  • Hydrogen allows drivers to not rely on fossil fuels to power their vehicles.
  • Hydrogen can be difficult to store on your vehicle because it has an extremely low density. The way that hydrogen is stored today is as a liquid at a very low cryogenic temperature or as a highly compressed gas.
  • Hydrogen is able to be produced by using either renewable or non-renewable energy sources, although it is mainly produced by coal gasification or by using natural gas.


  • 96% of all gasoline that is sold in the United States of America is blended with some percentage of ethanol.
  • Ethanol does not pollute groundwater and is biodegradable.
  • Ethanol is not a new idea—it has been used in automobiles since Henry Ford designed the 1908 Model T to operate on pure ethanol to help the local farmers.
  • Roughly 99% of all the United States’ ethanol production is from the starch in grains such as sorghum and corn.
  • Any car (no matter the make and model) that was manufactured after 1980 can run off E10 ethanol.
  • About 85% of all the corn that is grown in America requires no irrigation; as much as 96% of all corn used for ethanol is not irrigated.

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