Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 looks to be the greatest year for green cars yet

Joey Tebben
Staff Writer

10 years ago, environmentally friendly cars were not easy to find. The most environmentally friendly car you could buy was a hybrid and the only zero emissions vehicle was a bike. In 2016, as climate change becomes an even more prevalent issue and oil prices rise, green cars are more in demand than ever. People no longer want to drive gas-guzzling Hummers. Instead, they want environmentally friendly “green” cars with the best fuel mileage.
 The Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid vehicle in history. The 2016 model was revealed in Sept. 2015, but the model was not instantly on sale. The car will be released for sale in early 2016; Prius fans eagerly await its release.
 The 2016 Toyota Prius is similar to all Prius models before it, but the design has slightly changed. The nose is much lower than before and the model badge is now as close to the ground as it is on the Scion FR-S sports car.
 The Prius is one of the most efficient and economical cars you can buy. A used Prius can go for as little as $4,000. The new, 2016  Prius will range from $20,000 to $30,000. The 2016 Prius v, the minivan-styled Prius, has already been released and is being sold starting at $26,000. The 2016 Prius c, the smaller version of the Prius, has been released as well and starts at $19,000.
 If you want to completely eliminate gas from your life, the hybrid Chevrolet Volt is probably the car for you. The Chevrolet Volt was released in late 2010, but sales are still going strong to this day. At the 2015 North American International Auto Show, Chevrolet released the second-generation Chevy Volt and the new all-electric Chevy Bolt crossover. The second-generation Volt won the 2016 Green Car of the Year Award. The 2016 Chevy Volt will be sold for $33,000, so it’s not the cheapest car in the world, but if you really want a fully electric car, it’s one of the most affordable ones you can buy.
 The all-electric Nissan Leaf was also released in late 2010, and sales are still going on. The 2016 Nissan Leaf starts at $29,000, so it’s much more affordable than its rival: the Chevy Volt; it has much less horsepower. The car is infamously known for not being able to climb slightly steep hills. Sales are dropping off at this point, which even Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn admits, but the Nissan Leaf is definitely a good car if you really want an electric car. Despite its ugly appearance and horsepower troubles, the Leaf gets twice the amount of mileage as the Chevy Volt. You’ll just have to deal with carbon monoxide being pumped in your face by giant pickup trucks and being called a hippie.
 The Tesla Model X was finally released in 2015 after two years of delays. It’s the third car Tesla has released after the Roadster and the Model S. If you want an affordable, realistic electric car, the Tesla Model X is most definitely not for you. With a starting price of over $100,000, it is certainly not the car for high school students that want a cheap car. While they do make amazing cars, buying a Tesla as a student is really only realistic if you’ve won the lottery or if you’re a very wealthy person.
All of these previous cars may be good choices, but the 2015 Porsche 918 hybrid is easily one of the most affordable green cars on the market. For $900,000, you can have an 887 horsepower supercar that averages 20 miles per gallon. The 2015 LaFerrari is sold for $1,416,000, so it’s a bit more expensive than the Porsche. But,with 949 horsepower and only 12 miles per gallon, it is definitely the working man’s perfect car.
 All sarcasm aside, 2015 was a very productive year for green cars and 2016 is looking to be even better. Other new electric cars include the $23,000 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the $25,000 2016 smart fortwo electric drive, the $32,000 2016 Fiat 500e, and the $42,000 BMW i3.
 Electric cars have also been important in ways other than road driving. In 2015, Monegasque car company Venturi teamed up with the Ohio State University to set the electric land speed record of 307.666 mph. In 2014, the first all-electric racing championship, the FIA Formula E Championship, began. Competitors in the series race on street circuits in cities across the world, including Beijing, Long Beach, Moscow and London. Electric cars are as popular and relevant as ever and they’re only going to become more and more popular if progress continues.

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