Drivers have a lot of decisions to make when they're buying a new car. One of the first things they must determine is if they want a traditional vehicle or an option that runs on alternative fuel. Although most people may be drawn to what they know - gas-powered cars - hybrids or diesel-powered automobiles are rapidly becoming viable choices.
Eco-friendly models are popular
A recent report from IHS Automotive noted that registration rates for fuel-efficient vehicles increased in 2014. More people bought hybrid and diesel cars in spite of the fact that gas prices were dropping for the second half of the year, which made it easier for many to stay behind the wheel of a traditional ride. Even with this economic trend, the number of clean diesel vehicles on the roads jumped by 13.5 percent in 2014 compared to the year before. Hybrid automobiles also increased by more than 15 percent in the same time frame.
Certain states posted the highest rate of registration for these eco-friendly cars. California had the biggest growth, with more than a 23 percent increase in the number of new vehicles hitting the road. It was closely followed by Massachusetts, which had a 21 percent spike, and then Nevada, Rhode Island and New York. However, 49 states and Washington, D.C. experienced an increase in registrations for eco-friendly models. The only region to buck the trend was Georgia, which had a 4.6 percent drop in hybrid registrations in 2014.
The appeal of alternative fuel
Saving money is one of the main reasons why alternative vehicles are taking off. Drivers don't have to stop at gas stations to fill up as often with the help of hybrid and diesel engines. The fuel economy is typically more impressive than with gas-powered vehicles, providing a way to save money throughout the ownership of a car.
"Clean diesel cars, trucks and SUVs typically achieve an impressive 20 to 40 percent improvement in fuel economy and 10 to 20 percent reduction in emissions when compared to a similar gasoline powered vehicles," said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "This fuel economy advantage is a major factor in the steady increases we've seen in diesel vehicle sales and registrations since 2010."
Fuel efficiency isn't the only reason people want to get behind the wheel of one of these alternative vehicles. Diesel power gives drivers access to a more intense powertrain while also decreasing emissions. Green Car Reports noted that this ecological benefit is one of the main reasons why the government offers tax incentives and rebates for drivers of these vehicles. That's just another way of saving money without sacrificing performance on the road.
A commitment to maintenance
Regardless of what inspired a driver to get behind the wheel of an eco-friendly car, they must remain committed to the vehicle if they want to continue reaping the benefits. That starts with following a plan for scheduled maintenance. Drivers need to make sure the engine, whether hybrid or diesel, is running smoothly and efficiently. Having a fuel injection cleaning as needed can ensure energy isn't being wasted, and regular auto tune ups will also have all aspects of the vehicle operating in perfect harmony.
Hybrid and diesel-powered vehicles are projected to grow even more in the coming years. As these automobiles become more prevalent on the roads, technicians will gain experience servicing and repairing them. In the meantime, it's in your best interest to choose an auto repair franchise you can trust. The right facility will be honest and transparent about the work your car needs, no matter what it's running on.