The Environmental Impact of Driving

The Environmental Impact of Driving

The harmful effects that automobiles have on our environment are vast, and in a world that requires regular commuting for work, grocery shopping and activities it is often hard to limit the amount of driving you to do.

Fortunately, there are a lot of eco-friendly car modifications and regulations in place that help reduce the environmental impact of driving electric, gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

Electric Cars

While the manufacturing of electric car batteries may cause more carbon pollution during production, the overall greenhouse gas emissions from electric cars are less than that of gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicles do not emit any pollutants during travel. In addition, when renewable resources like solar energy are used to charge the batteries of the cars, the carbon footprint of these vehicles is minimized even further.

If a fully electric vehicle is not something you are committed to just yet, hybrid vehicles are also a great eco-friendly option.

Gasoline-Powered Vehicles

When gasoline is burned, it emits a slew of harmful chemicals into the environment, which contribute to the overall air pollution and greenhouse gas problem. Fortunately, as the negative effects of burning gasoline have become more widely understood, there have been important regulations and modifications made to help prevent the excess emission of greenhouse gases.

Acts such as the Clean Air Act, emission testing requirements and gasoline composition changes have all helped in reducing the environmental impact of driving gasoline-powered vehicles. 

Diesel-Powered Vehicles

Unfortunately, the burning of diesel fuel is a heavy contributor to greenhouse gases emitted from vehicle exhaust. To help combat this problem, there are standard regulations on both the sulfur content in diesel fuel and on the emissions levels coming from diesel engines. 

With the regulations on sulfur content in diesel fuel, the industry can better control the amount of sulfur emission into the air. To help control the overall emissions from the engines, recent regulations require the use of a diesel fuel particulate filter to help filter and trap the exhaust soot from entering the environment. While there will still be emissions from the vehicle, if the soot is trapped in the filter, the exhaust released into the environment is a lot cleaner.

There are pros and cons to all types of vehicles, with no one vehicle choice offering a completely environmentally friendly driving option; however, with continued improvements in vehicle engineering and regulations, the environmental impact of driving may be greatly reduced.

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