The topic of sustainability has been growing in importance in recent years, especially with rising tensions and concerns surrounding climate change and global warming. One aspect to consider regarding this is sustainable travel – in particular, eco-friendly cars and green tourism.
In this blog, we will explore this in more depth, touching upon what green tourism means and how eco-friendly cars come into play, as well as taking a look at some of the best eco-friendly cars on the current market.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Definition and Principles of Green Tourism
First, let’s define what green tourism is.
Tourism in general contributes a great deal to the economy of a country – however, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the industry was impacted heavily. In particular, statistics show that there was a 72.2% decrease in the number of international tourist arrivals in 2020 compared to 2019.
This figure is significant, showing that the pandemic took a toll on the tourism industry worldwide. After all, how could tourists travel when countries shut their borders?
Nonetheless, in 2022, tourism skyrocketed, with a 111.2% increase from the previous year – and this brings us to the importance of green tourism.
Green Tourism, Ecotourism, and Sustainable Tourism
In short, green tourism refers to tourism that aims to minimise environmental impacts associated with travel. This could mean reducing greenhouse gas emissions when possible by avoiding tourist attractions that are harmful to the environment and visiting natural areas
The term was first used in the 1980s by researchers to describe hotels that utilised green cards that encouraged guests to reuse their towels. These hotels, on the one hand, did little to actually minimise their waste and conserve resources.
It is not, however, to be confused with ecotourism or sustainable tourism – the three terms are related, but not entirely the same. Ecotourism is focused on conservation, respecting communities, and generating financial benefits.
Meanwhile, sustainable tourism expands on ecotourism, creating socio-economic benefits for communities and protecting the environment when managing tourism activities.
Introduction to Eco-Friendly Cars
An eco-friendly car is classed as a car that is made from eco-friendly materials, manufactured through sustainable practices, and has a minimal impact on the environment when used. In essence, it is a car that is specifically designed for the environment – producing little to no carbon emissions.
In comparison to conventional vehicles that may use fossil fuels to operate (petrol and diesel), you might find that an eco-friendly vehicle uses electric motors that do not emit harmful emissions.
As a result, this means that they are ideal for travelling sustainably.
Benefits of Eco-Friendly Cars for Sustainable Travel
The benefits of using eco-friendly cars for sustainable travel are vast. Should you make the choice to join the movement to go green, the benefits you can expect include:
Low Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint of a car with a battery electric is significantly lower than that of gasoline cars. This makes them incredibly energy efficient, ideal for sustainable travel.
Electric cars also run for longer, without having to be recharged – conventional vehicles might need to be refuelled between A to B, but most fully charged eco-friendly cars can make the distance without interruption, travelling up to 300 miles on a single charge.
No Congestion Charges
The implementation of congestion charges, particularly in London, means that vehicles that drive within the specified areas or the Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) that do not meet its emission standards will be charged.
However, electric vehicles are exempt from the London congestion charge and the ULEZ charge as they are zero emission vehicles. So, if you’re planning a trip to London, one way to travel around the city sustainably is to switch to an eco-friendly car.
Availability of Charging Stations
Most eco-friendly cars require battery life to run, and they can easily be charged at home or even when you are driving around. For instance, many supermarkets, public car parks, shopping centres, and more will often have electric vehicle charging stations that will allow you to charge your vehicle, at no extra cost. This means that you can charge your electric car conveniently as you travel.
Types of Eco-Friendly Cars: Electric, Hybrid, and Hydrogen
There are many different types of eco-friendly cars to choose from. With the advancement in technology, each provides its own features and benefits that impact their driving experience.
Let’s take a look.
Electric vehicles are powered by renewable energy and are the most common form of eco-friendly cars on the road. The majority of electric cars operate on an automatic transmission, and this is likely to be the same for all future models.
Meanwhile, hybrid cars utilise a combination of both electric motors and a petrol or diesel engine. While not fully electric, plug-in hybrids still offer better fuel efficiency compared to cars that rely solely on fossil fuels.
Hydrogen cars use hydrogen fuel to power their engines, producing electricity through a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is clean, safe to use, and can be made with renewable energy sources.
Features and Advancements in Eco-Friendly Car Technology
Technology constantly evolves, and the same can be said for technology within the automotive industry. Innovation for eco-friendly cars isn’t just limited to their engines but to other core parts of their design.
Depending on the model, you can expect:
- Stop-start systems
- Improved fuel efficiency
- Solar-powered functions
- Smart charging and advanced battery technology
- Reduced weight via the use of lightweight materials
- Regenerative braking
- Recycled materials
- Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) capability
- Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) capability
The Top Eco-Friendly Models to Keep an Eye Out for
When it comes to eco-friendly cars, there is an impressive range to choose from.
The Nissan Leaf is a cost-effective electric vehicle that offers ample leg and headroom for long and short journeys – perfect for a small family or an individual who prefers extra space.
The Toyota Prius is an affordable hybrid car with low carbon emissions, surprising for a car its size. Yet this only makes it an even better eco-friendly car to use for travelling.
The BMW i3 is not only attractive, but it also performs efficiently. Made with light carbon fibre and aluminium, it is a great choice for travelling sustainably.
Lease an Eco-Friendly Car for Your Next Sustainable Trip
If you are planning for a sustainable trip, you can’t go wrong with leasing an eco-friendly car for your travels.
At LeaseCar, you can lease an electric car at an affordable price, no matter your budget. Practise green and sustainable tourism and reap the benefits of reduced fuel prices and a smoother driving experience.
- Sustainable Travel: Eco-Friendly Cars and Green Tourism - 23 June 2023