Eco-friendly cars are cars that have a lower negative effect on the environment than traditional automobiles. These cars include electric cars, hybrids and cars that run on alternative fuels. These cars have many benefits.
The main benefit of eco-friendly cars is that they use less oil than traditional cars. Electric cars use no oil at all, while hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles, such as those that run on ethanol or liquid natural gas, use much less oil than regular automobiles. Using less oil has many benefits in and of itself.
For example, using less oil means fewer harmful carbon emissions. Emissions from automobiles have been linked to smog, global warming and health conditions such as asthma.
Using less oil also helps the environment because there is less chance of a spill or pipeline leak, which can pollute land and water sources and kill wildlife.
Using less oil also means less U.S. dependence on foreign oil sources, which are often the subject of political conflict. The U.S. imports about 60 percent of the oil it uses, and much of it comes from the politically unstable Middle East. Also, much of the energy that eco-friendly cars do use — electricity, natural gas, ethanol and other biofuels — is produced in the United States.
In addition to global and environmental benefits, eco-friendly cars also have personal benefits to the owner.
For example, most eco-friendly cars get better gas mileage than traditional automobiles, making them cheaper to own and drive. The fuel cost for hybrid vehicles is about half as much as that of a traditional automobile, while the cost to operate a full electric car is about one-quarter as much, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. And though eco-friendly cars often cost more to buy, much of the cost is offset by tax credits and other government incentives.
Another personal advantage of owning an eco-friendly car is the ease of refueling certain models. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids can both be plugged in to a home electrical outlet for battery recharging, which is a big plus, because public infrastructure for fueling such cars is in its infancy.