How green is your prospective car purchase?

My view on the CO2 emissions tax is a little different to the industry doom and gloom. By becoming more “Green” aware when it comes to purchasing a car, we can actively be part of reducing our carbon impact on the earth. It just takes a little mindset change and a big commitment to change…in the words of Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

For those who don’t know what CO2 emissions tax is: new passenger vehicles will be taxed based on their certified CO2 emissions at R75 per g/km for each g/km above 120 g/km. This tax could add between R5 000 and R10 000 to the price tag of the average
new passenger vehicle.

So, how green is your prospective car?
Well when looking at how green your prospective purchase is read the product brochure or research over the Internet – there are so many sites to help you with this.

To give you a good idea a medium size 4×4 vehicle will emit approximately 270 grams of CO2 per km. A small passenger car that is “Green” will emit anything from 23 grams of CO2 per km. What you need to be looking at is anything below 120g/km – the lower the better!

Did you know that research indicates a close correlation between vehicle engine size, fuel efficiency, and CO2 emissions. In 2007 China became the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally, per capita. South Africa emits three times more carbon dioxide, and overall, emits more than the rest of Africa combined. Higher greenhouse levels have led to higher temperatures, or ‘global warming.

In South Africa, besides hybrid cars, there are a myriad of vehicles that are light on fuel and have a low CO2 footprint. These are also called “Green” cars and CO2 emissions are published on the product brochure. “Going Green” refers to an individual’s efforts to help preserve our planet by consciously reducing their carbon impact on the earth.

The automotive industry has been an abuser of the environment for too long and this needs to change. Scientists and politicians can’t solve this alone, but ordinary South Africans can take a stand to impact the environment positively.

Opting to drive a Green car or hybrid vehicle goes a long way towards doing this.

I believe the changes in the industry will be positive as the industry will be forced into making more innovative solutions. And the industry is making ground-breaking progress. Look at Tesla Motors in California which has been producing high-performance electric sports cars to fill the gap for a ‘Green’ sports cars. The industry is being driven to release ‘greener’ cars utilising alternative fuel sources and we will continue to see these being launched in the global market.

But if you are purchasing a 4×4 or bakkie in South Africa there is no good news and the extra price tag as a result of CO2 tax will have to be paid! Let’s hope the industry is working on a low CO2 emission 4×4….

Marthinus Strydom

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