Time to Go Green On The Road?

Here’s a story that hits close to home. I’d love to buy a hybrid, but I just don’t have the available scrilla, and apparently I’m not alone.

Green resources report that despite the public interest in green transportation, andthe fact that car companies continue to come out with new models, thecost of going green is still keeping many of us in our old fossil fueled jalopies.According to the associates at J.D. Power, Ye Olde Hybrid and electriccars are predicted to represent less than 10% of new car sales through2016.

“The bottom line is that most consumers want to be green, but not ifthere is a significant personal cost to them,” said Mike VanNieuwkuyk,director of global vehicle research at J.D. Power and Associates.

So what are most car shoppers interested in? Why saving green on gas, naturally, to the tune of about 75% of those polled;particularly with gas clicking up toward the $4.50 a gallon mark. Add in the fact that the feds are phasing out the tax bennies for hybrids andthe price of petrol becomes an even bigger factor.

So what are some green auto options that won’t break your bank? Green resources have a few finance friendly suggestions that won’t bleed youdry at the pump.

Ford Motor Company offers the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid at a cost that’svery comparable to its non-hybrid counterpart. GM will also be offeringhybrid versions of some of existing models for around the same price.

Ford reports that the MKZ hybrid currently represents about out 21% of the MKZ sales, but just 6% of Fusion sales. (With the Fusion, there’s a less expensive 4-cylinder gas version available.)

Electric plug-in cars not only face the issue of price, but theirlimited driving range is currently the biggest factor for most people,so it’s no surprise that they have the lowest level of consideration of the three major alternative fuel options.

And then there’s diesel. While more fuel efficient than gas cars,diesel has the rep of spewing disgusting, black exhaust. Diesel fuel isalso not always readily available. However carmakers have made somegreat strides with diesel, and many claim that there is no noticeabledifference in sound or smell when compared to gas-powered cars. Dieselcars tend to be a little more expensive, but with diesel running about25 cents a gallon less, it may be an attractive option for some. TheJ.D. Power study was based mostly on a survey of 4,000 people who saidthey planned to buy a new car within the next one to five years.

According to the folks at J. D. Power and Associates, by 2016 themarket will boast almost 160 hybrid and electric models, compared to the 31 that were available in 2009.


CNN Money

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