Greener car options gaining popularity among new car owners

Environmentally friendly car options are becoming more and more popular among new vehicle buyers as they look for ways to cut fuel costs and reduce their environmental footprint. Here are some of the bells and whistles on the market today:

  • Nov. 12, 2008 8:00 p.m.

(NC) – Environmentally friendly car options are becoming more and more popular among new vehicle buyers as they look for ways to cut fuel costs and reduce their environmental footprint. Here are some of the bells and whistles on the market today:

• Variable valve timing and lift improves the flow of fuel and air during the engine cycle by varying the opening and closing of the engine valves depending on need. The technology can result in both greater power and better fuel efficiency;

• Cylinder deactivation allows V-6 and V-8 engines to operate as though they had fewer cylinders. While cylinder deactivation cannot decrease the weight of engines, it does reduce fuel consumption under light-load highway cruising conditions by only delivering fuel to activated cylinders;

• Gasoline and diesel direct injection uses sophisticated electronic fuel-flow and air flow controls, and precision injectors which inject the fuel directly into the cylinder and optimize the ideal mixture of air and fuel during combustion;

• Continuously Variable Transmission or CVTs don’t have a gearbox with a set number of gears, instead they typically operate on a pulley configuration that allows an infinite number of engine/wheel speed ratios. This technology results in better engine speed matching, ideal “gear” selection and improved fuel efficiency;

• Hybrid Technology: by combining an internal combustion engine with an electrical motor and battery pack, most hybrids today achieve improvements in fuel efficiency by using the electric motor to supplement engine power. Some hybrids can also operate exclusively using the electric motor at low speeds. Batteries do not require plugging in and are recharged by harnessing the energy from coasting, braking and from the engine;

• Electronic throttle control responds to changing engine conditions and precisely controls fuel combustion. Decreased amounts of unburned fuel result in improved fuel efficiency;

• Real time fuel consumption monitoring allows you to determine how much fuel your vehicle is using under different driving conditions;

• Tinted glass can help to keep your vehicle interior cooler and more comfortable on hot sunny days;

Natural Resources Canada has produced other helpful tips on fuel efficiency at vehicles.gc.ca.