It doesn’t matter whether you are an eco-activist or just trying to save money on fuel costs, a hybrid car is an excellent choice. You don’t have to sacrifice size for great fuel economy, nor do you have to lose style for green features. From compact to luxury, there is a green, fuel-efficient car out there for you.
• Chevrolet Volt
One of the kinks with electric cars is that they have a limited mileage range before they need to be charged. But the Chevy Volt breaks free of that mold by combining the mpg of an electric car, with a back-up engine that kicks in after 35 miles. The car gets an average of 61 mpg and with its backup engine, the car can go 350 miles before it needs to be charged or refueled.
• Toyota Prius
When it comes to hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius has been around the block. With years of eco-friendly experience, this five-passenger hybrid is one of the most economical vehicles that doesn’t have to be plugged in. The car gets 44 mpg, alternating between electric and gas modes and has a reputation of reliability.
• Ford Fusion Hybrid SE
Affordability meets style in the Ford Fusion Hybrid SE. Besides getting 47 mpg, this hybrid gets high scores for safety, reliability and stylish exterior. Unlike your typical fuel-efficient car, the family-sized Fusion Hybrid has plenty of room. US News & World Report has even ranked the car as No. 1 in affordable midsize cars.
• Honda CR-Z
Green goes sporty with Honda’s CR-Z. The sleek exterior and high performance ratings will appeal to drivers who want to have fun and only need two seats. The CR-Z gets about 31 mpg, putting its fuel efficiency at the low end of hybrid cars. But if you want a car that handles the road well, but you want to be environmentally conscious, this hybrid may be the right choice for you.
• Volkswagen Golf
High-quality interior, spacious cabin and comfortable seats make the Volkswagen Golf a comfortable driving experience. The car also has an above-average safety score, which might be an acceptable trade-off since the car is one of the highest priced in its class. The engine is powerful for a car of its size, but it only gets a mediocre 24 mpg. An alternative Golf model, with a diesel engine, boasts 38 mpg.
• Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Eco-savvy families might find the size, technology and fuel economy of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid to be the perfect green car choice. As a mid-size hybrid, the car gets about 35 mpg with hardly any performance trade-offs from a non-hybrid vehicle. It also has a long list of standard features, which can make it a great value.
• Lexus CT 200h
If you’re looking for the car that blends luxury with environmentally friendly, look no further than the Lexus CT 200h. This hybrid hatchback boasts an average of 40 mpg and can sustain itself completely on electric power at low speeds. The car also includes four selectable driving modes and has been rated as one of the best in its class for reliability.
Hybrids aren’t for everyone but if you decide to go all-electric in a car purchase, you may see a spike in your energy bill. You can combat this by finding a lower energy rate by comparing prices between all the different suppliers. Some suppliers even offer green energy options so you can offset up to 100 percent of your home’s energy use.
The catch is you have to live in one of the deregulated areas, like Texas for example. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these deregulated areas of North America, you have the power (pun intended) to choose your own retail energy supplier based on the competitive rates they offer. Again, back to the Texas example, you could use sites like this one: http://www.shopelectricityratestexas.com/texas-electricity-rates/Texas/ to shop electricity rates in Texas to find the best energy plan to fit your green lifestyle.