Each model year brings more options for “greener” driving, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. Browse the websites below to inform yourself of the vehicle options and special offers in Massachusetts. And take a look at the driving tips to see how you can maximize the efficiency of your vehicle.
EV Discount Program
The non-profit Green Energy Consumers Alliance, (formerly Mass Energy Consumers Alliance), has organized “Drive Green,” an electric vehicle discount program which includes plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars.
Anyone is eligible to sign up for deals. Once you sign up, you have the option to test-drive cars of your choosing and are able to receive a discount to purchase or lease a top EV model at a participating dealer.
Their website also offers general information about electric vehicles.
See Green Needham’s blog post “Driving Green webinar — How to obtain discounts when purchasing electric vehicles.”
Green Car Reports bills itself as the “ultimate guide to cleaner, greener driving.” The site offers reviews and road tests of green vehicles and articles about new technological developments.
Plug in Cars allows users to compare electric cars and plug-in hybrids by features, price, and range. It offers guides about buying and charging EVs + locations of charging stations.
A New York Times website allows users to keep up with news about electric and hybrid vehicles, including commentary and archival articles published in the NY Times.
Plug In America is a non-profit advocacy groups that aims to “accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity.” Their website includes a “State Incentives Map” and a “Take Action Page.”
www.fueleconomy.gov is a U.S. Dept. of Energy/EPA website that offers general information about fuel-efficient cars and EPA ratings, plus specific data on individuals models.
Efficient Driving Tips
Fueleconomy.gov efficient driving tips include:
Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) “can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.”
Observe the speed limit: “While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph.”
Remove excess weight and avoid hauling cargo on the roof: Or at least remove the external cargo container when not using it.
Avoid excessive idling: “It only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle.”[Note: A little-known Massachusetts law limits unnecessary idling to 5 minutes. Violators are subject to fines. More information.]