Written by Go Green

car2goThe car, one of the worst enemies of the environment, is considered irreplaceable by most people because it gives them independence. Big cities have been trying to find solutions to reduce car pollution and traffic for years, but the public transport cannot reach the same level of favor as the car.

 

However, various studies on European mobility show that all around Europe significant amount of drivers are slowly changing their driving habits - mainly due to economic reasons, but also environmental.

Constantly criticized for being a heavy polluter and for requiring expensive maintenance, the car has become more of a means of transport on demand rather than an object of necessity. All the big cities have excellent public transport networks and many of them have developed or are developing a bicycle culture. New ways of car-use are also emerging that help the individual both reduce his/her car expenses as well as reduce the CO2 emissions and help the environment.

Following are some of the ways that Europeans use the car as a means of transport while at the same time helping the environment.

Car rental is the rental of a vehicle for a day, a week or even for few weeks. It is most attractive to tourist-drivers who want to be independent when they travel far from their home without their car. However, this is also an alternative for those who want to give away their car, but are hesitating doing this since they know they would need a car for special occasions.

Car sharing is a type of car rental system, but it is usually used for short periods of time, often by the hour. This type of rental is usually attractive to customers who don’t have a car, but need occasional use of a vehicle in the city.

Car pooling is the sharing of a car journey with other people who go in the same direction as you in order to save money on fuel for example. Usually co-workers or students living in the same area use car sharing as a way to get to work or school in the morning.

Car2Go project is a something similar to car rental/car sharing, but unlike these two systems, Car2Go is not station-based, charges are based on the minute and you don’t have to worry about fuel. The Car2Go fleet, consisting only of Smart cars, is located throughout strategic places in the city and can be accessed on demand. The great thing about this system is that you don’t have to worry about insurance or maintenance costs, and it is perfect for urban mobility because of its compactness. Once you rent the car, you can use it as long as you like without having to return it to the same place from where you took it. When you are done with it, you can leave it on any available public parking space in the city. The project is quite new and it is only integrated in few cities in Germany and Texas. Hamburg is the next city where this project will be put into operation.

Even though all the above means of transport contribute to the CO2 emissions, they do help reduce the amount of pollution and contribute further to changing the driving habits and car ownership relationship. In addition, companies providing these services and automakers recognize the new trends of eco- and cost-consciousness and the necessity to reduce CO2 emissions, and thus they offer a great variety of hybrid or electrical vehicles. This year, almost all of the major car manufacturers presented their new-generation electrical vehicles at the Paris Motor Show.
    eco car

 


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Saturday, October 16 2010