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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogCars, trucks and other vehicles have traditionally used unleaded fuel or diesel for at least the last few decades, but this is changing. The push to reduce carbon footprints and to minimize negative effects on the environment is reaching into the auto industry. There are now more electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles on the road than ever before. These are private-use vehicles as well as commercial delivery vehicles, city buses and more. At first glance, the green vehicle initiative seemingly has minimal impact on professional drivers. However, with a closer look, you can see that this is a major change that can have far-reaching effects on professionals who rely on vehicles for their livelihood. Upgrade Your Vehicle If you are one of many professional drivers who own your own business-use vehicle, you may need to make a vehicle upgrade soon. Green vehicles may have a more expensive sticker price in some cases, but they also typically are much more affordable to operate. As a contractor using a vehicle for professional purposes, you may need to keep overhead as low as possible so that you can charge competitive rates to your customers. Professional drivers who own their own vehicle may range for ridesharing drivers to professional big rig truck drivers. Keep in mind that you may need to update your truck driving certifications when you change the type of commercial vehicle that you drive. Adjust to Alternative Fuel Sources At most gas stations, the primary options at the pump continue to be unleaded and diesel fuel. Some gas stations are transitioning to offering alternative fuel sources and even electric charging stations, but these fuel stations are few and far between in most areas. With this in mind, professional drivers who have already upgraded to alternative fuel vehicles may need to plan ahead by researching locations for refueling along their route. It may not be feasible to simply plan to stop at any gas station that you come across when you drive a green vehicle. Revise Your Budget Driving a green vehicle for business can affect your operational budget in numerous ways. For example, you may have a higher auto loan payment because of the generally higher price of a green vehicle. Your fuel expense likely will decrease dramatically. Any change in your vehicle may also affect your auto insurance premium in different ways. Because upgrading to a green vehicle can have a significant impact on your business budget, it is wise to review finances before making an upgrade. Also relevant to your budget is the continued availability of certain vehicles. If you set out to make the switch to green vehicles, you may find that the selection differs from what you and your employees are certified to drive. This can mean paying for something like an auto heavy rigid vehicle course on top of replacing vehicles. While this doesn’t have to prevent you from making the change, it should be considered so you are adequately prepared. For many drivers, investing in a green vehicle now makes sense. However, you should explore options, crunch numbers and think through the impact that this may have on your daily work experience before you finalize your vehicle upgrading plans.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogWith vehicle emissions a hot topic and budgets strained by the cost of gas, fuel economy has become increasingly important. Many car buyers wonder how to find a fuel-efficient vehicle that suits their needs. Here is a process for finding a fuel-saving vehicle and still getting what you need out of your next vehicle purchase. Choose a Suitable Vehicle To make the most fuel-efficient choice, consider what the smallest vehicle is that suits your needs, advises Energywise. A compact car can offer great fuel economy, but if you work out in the country, chances are you need a pickup, and if you have several kids to haul to soccer practice, you may need a van or small SUV. Once you determine what type of vehicle you really need (sedan, compact, SUV, pickup) look at what the smallest vehicles are in that category. Consider Hybrids and Electric Cars Electric cars give you the best efficiency. But when driving long distances, charging becomes an issue. Also, the cost of electric cars may be out of your price range. Hybrids are great because they solve a lot of the issue with charging, but they can be cost prohibitive. If they are in your price range and will work for you in a suitable vehicle, electric and hybrid vehicles offer incredible fuel economy. Fuel Efficiency Once you have determined the type of vehicle you want, look for the best fuel economy in its class. Remember: not all cars have better fuel economy just because they are smaller. The fuel-economy ratings indicate what you can expect under average conditions. Fuel efficiency ratings are an average because environmental factors, such as hills and mountains, high or low temperatures, and altitude affect fuel economy. Driving habits also play a big role. Drivers who routinely exceed the speed limit, are prone to hard braking and aggressive acceleration, and who put off maintenance—like oil changes and refilling the tires—always end up with fuel economy much lower than their vehicles average. Get Rid of a Junker The fastest way to become more fuel efficient is to get out of an old car and into a new, fuel-efficient model. Older cars don’t have today’s technology, so their fuel ratings (when they were new) are much lower than today’s options. Also, as the parts in older cars wear out, their fuel economy slips because the cars have to work harder to maintain the same performance level. Oftentimes, the best way to get rid of an old car is to sell it for cash to a self-serve used auto parts shop that tows your car from home, such as U Pull & Pay. With carbon emission awareness on the rise and gas often costing an arm and a leg, finding the right fuel-efficient vehicle helps the environment and your pocketbook.