While buying a second-hand car is almost always more sustainable, sometimes the car you’re after might not be available second-hand, or the condition alone can be questioned. Sometimes, it can be best to buy a brand-new car. But when you’re out trying to find a greener car, one thing that’s so important to try to do would be to focus on car companies that are eco-friendly. Sure, sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between greenwashing and genuinely sustainable changes that a company is trying to do, but at the end of the day, it’s all about research.
So, if you want to make sure that you’re making a purchase that goes towards something good, towards helping the environment, then it’s all about doing enough research on car companies and feeling confident that they are truly making the change that the world needs. So, here’s exactly how you can assess the eco-friendliness of a car company.
No matter what car company or car model you’re looking into, you’re first going to want to look into environmental policies. Just because a car is from a luxury brand doesn’t immediately mean that they’re environmentally friendly. So, for any brand or car model you want, it’s going to help a lot to simply look at the commitments and policies that this company made.
You’re going to want to look into things such as emission reduction goals, renewable energy use, waste reduction initiatives, and even certification. It’s best not to look solely at PR statements or articles announcing changes, but you want to make sure there’s actual proof of changes that were made.
Surprisingly enough, just because a car is eco-friendly, such as fuel efficiency like EVs or hybrids, it doesn’t immediately mean that they’re eco-friendly, in terms of how they were made at least. In general, the manufacturing process is a pretty significant aspect of a car company’s sustainability efforts. While you’re not totally expected to know or understand what’s done, having a general idea of the manufacturing process, particularly if it’s eco-friendly, will honestly give you the best indication of whether or not a company is truly eco-friendly or if it’s merely greenwashing.
Look into how energy efficient the car company is during the manufacturing process, such as the use of energy-efficient technologies in manufacturing facilities, since this can easily indicate a commitment to reducing energy consumption. Some other aspects can include whether or not recycled materials were used and water management practices in general during the manufacturing process. With a bit of research online, you can find the answers, and some automotive companies will have the information right on their website for you to check.
Generally speaking, when it comes to any car owner, one of the main goals is to keep the car in pristine condition, making it run like new as long as possible, making the lifespan as long as possible, and of course, making it look new as long as possible. Some things are easier than others when it comes to keeping a car looking pristine; it’s really as simple as getting a new coat of paint, redoing the interior, waxing it, or giving a thorough cleaning.
It’s not really the case when it comes to keeping the car running in pristine condition. Sure, there are options such as buying a Whipple Supercharger for your car, which is a great option, and it’s technically eco-friendly, too.
While every car owner needs to do what they can to ensure their car lasts as long as possible for the sake of the environment, it should still be up to car companies too to ensure that each car runs for as long as possible, right? This is why when you’re assessing different car companies for buying the best eco-friendly car, it’s so important to look into green technologies they’re supporting, too.
You’ll need to investigate a company’s investment in innovative technologies, such as lightweight materials, advanced aerodynamics, and more efficient engines, to enhance fuel efficiency. You should also see if they’re exploring alternative fuels, such as hydrogen or biofuels, as this is basically a surefire way for them to showcase a broader commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their vehicles.
What about accountability? Unfortunately, nowadays, there are so many companies that focus on greenwashing, way too many, and honestly, one of the only few ways to narrow down what’s true and what’s not is how transparent and accountable a company is, even for car companies too.
You’re going to want to see if there’s any reports published. Companies that publish comprehensive environmental reports detailing their progress and challenges in sustainability are far more likely to be genuinely committed. The same can be said when it comes to partnerships, too. Is there involvement? What about initiatives? A couple of examples would be the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicle Initiative, but there are others out there that don’t allow greenwashing.
If you want to make the research as quick and easy as possible, then check to see what awards and recognitions a car company has received in regards to being eco-friendly. While sure, there’s probably some organizations out there that might not be reputable, but most should be, and quite a few are strict, too, when it comes to what awards and recognitions they’ll give out. Look for car companies that have received awards such as “Green Car of the Year” or recognition from organizations like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Some cars, unfortunately, have a reputation for just shutting down or breaking right when the warranty runs out or if they stop supporting a certain computer system for a car, which essentially makes the car brick. Even if it’s an EV, needless to say, this is far from eco-friendly. So, look into reviews of all these car companies, not just the model you’re after, but look into different models and the general reviews that consumers are giving. The last thing you want is to buy a car, and it not last nearly as long as you expected, all because of the intended faults that the manufacturer made to the vehicle.