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Future Growth: Green Driving Trends for Tomorrow

Nissan Leaf (Photo: Wikipedia)

Nissan Leaf (Photo: Wikipedia)

In March 2013, President Obama announced support for the green auto industry with a proposal to use oil revenue to fund the growth of eco-friendly fuels and green car tech, Digital Trends reports. This could be excellent news for green drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, especially drivers in car-culture cities like Los Angeles, where public transit simply is not a viable option. Green autos have already made strides toward becoming much more widespread — Toyota’s hybrid Prius was California’s top selling car in 2012, Chris Woodyard reports in USA Today. These future trends will have green drivers eagerly awaiting tomorrow.

Ridesharing

Drivers can expect to see continued rising costs for traditional fuels. While this may not cause all drivers to reduce their miles, it should cause an increase in nontraditional rideshare and car share arrangements, Entrepreneur’s Glenn Croston reports. While B2C car sharing companies like Zipcar have been around for a while, expect to see an increase in P2P car share and ride share outlets like RelayRides and LAX CarShare. The rise of smartphones and apps like Lyft and Uber have made major inroads for car sharing and ridesharing, and the ability to rate drivers on safety, reliability and other criteria and to enable ridesharing that’s both socially advantageous and green. Drivers interested in earning extra income by offering their vehicle or by offering rides have many ways to do so.

Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging

As electric vehicles become more commonplace, stores, shopping malls and housing complexes are dedicating space and installing charging stations for these vehicles. Duke Energy is experimenting with green improvements to the traditional charging station through solar power and wireless technology, Forbes writer Peter Kelly-Detwiler notes. The EV driver would simply drive over the wireless charging pad, park their vehicle and allow the car to charge.

Expect to see continued innovations in electric car charging technology, battery life (which presently lasts approximately 80 miles per full charge), and EV market share. At present, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf have cornered the market share for electric cars, but this will change as more auto makers get into the business of making electric cars.

If the idea of an electric vehicle intrigues you, PlugShare offers an EV charging station map that can help you identify open charging stations near you. There are many new and used electric vehicle locations in Los Angelesand the Valley where you can test drive these cars and see whether they meet your needs. Often, getting inside an electric vehicle converts curious drivers, The Los Angeles Times’ Catherine Green notes.

Automated Driving

Google’s driverless car made roads in 2012, and Automobile Magazine listed autonomous driving as one of the industry’s trends to watch for. In the future, commuters may join a convoy led by a professional driver, set their car to autonomous mode, and cruise the highways at speeds over 80 m.p.h. to cut down on commute time, reduce automobile accidents and conserve fuel. Freed from driving, commuters can read a newspaper, eat, or text to their hearts’ content. Driverless cars may also boost car sharing efforts, as people won’t need to own a car if they’re not driving it.

Todd Bigelow restored his first muscle car – a 1968 Pontiac Firebird Coupe – when he was in high school. Now he’s a high school science teacher who writes about cars on the weekends.

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