Saving our environment is a top priority for many people. The environment we live in is directly impacted by many of the choices we make. For decades, automobiles were available in one form and one form only. These vehicles of the past were powered solely by gasoline. Though gasoline is efficient and relatively clean, new choices have come along that offer buyers eco-friendly alternatives to the common gasoline powered vehicle.
Now buyers can consider hybrid vehicles that offer both battery and gasoline power. Buyers can consider plug-in hybrids that allow travel for short periods of time without using gasoline at all, and topping the list of environmentally friendly choices is the full battery powered vehicle which consumes not one single drop of gasoline.
These new, efficient offerings give buyers a chance to drive a vehicle that has a lower impact on the environment. Many of these vehicles have come to market in the last decade and some will come to market in the next year. The list below provides a look at the 10 most influential, important, and efficient vehicles of the last decade.
- The Toyota Prius. This traditional hybrid model is the best selling hybrid of all time. In its current form, the vehicle returns around 50 mpg and costs only $23,000. This vehicle is the symbol of hybrids and the most important green car of the decade.
- The Honda Insight. The first modern day hybrid to hit the streets. Though it is not as efficient as the Prius, nor does it sell at the volume of the Prius, the Insight opened the eyes of buyers to hybrid vehicles.
- The GM EV1. This foray into electric vehicles did not last, but it showed that electric vehicles had a following. The prototype vehicles have since been destroyed, but even books have been written about this car.
- The Nissan Leaf. This electric vehicle will debut next year and is estimated to achieve a gasoline equivalent of 367 mpg for only $32,000.
- The Ford Escape Hybrid. A SUV that returns around 30 mpg.
- The Ford Fusion Hybrid. Perhaps the best American hybrid vehicle made. A winner of multiple awards.
- The Chevy Volt. This breakthrough vehicle has been in the works for nearly a decade and it will finally come to market next year. Its plug-in hybrid setup offers 40 miles of full electric range with an on board generator that extends the range of the vehicle.
- The Mitsubishi i-MiEV. One of the very first electric vehicles by a major automaker ever made.
- The Tesla Roadster. Though its $100,000 price tag is expensive, its thrilling performance and 300 mile range are groundbreaking for a fully electric vehicle.
- The Subaru Stella EV. Not known by many, this vehicle is the first electric vehicle from a major automaker. Worthy of recognition because it was the first EV to go on sale this decade.
There you have it. A list of the 10 most influential, environmentally friendly vehicles of the past decade. The list is sure to expand as times goes by and the automotive industry focuses their efforts on the “green” vehicles of tomorrow.