Ever since the National Fuel Efficiency Policy took effect in 2009, the number of eco-friendly cars available has grown steadily. In order to comply with global industry standards, model years 2012-2016 will have average fuel economy standards of 35.5 miles per gallon.
Budget Rental Car’s green car program is designed to help consumers explore new options. Renters can now select “fuel efficient/green” vehicles at the Budget Rental website. Under “Car Types” there are webpages of information for renting “green machines.”
Under the webpage “Fuel-efficient & hybrid” are tables proving the extent to which Budget and Avis comply with SmartWay Certified. For instance, most of their economy, compacts, and even medium-sized cars exceed the latest fuel efficiency guidelines.
New vehicle fuel efficiency standards reflect a collaboration between the federal government, auto industry, labor, and environmental regulators, and state governments since 2011. The result is high-tech standards for cars and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
All new vehicles are ranked by “Fuel Economy & Efficiency” and “Smog” pollution ratings on a scale of 1-10 by the U.S. EPA Green Vehicle. Each must score over 6 in each category and collectively score over 13 in order to qualify for SmartWay Vehicle Certification.
A host of innovative technologies are included for greener cars, from engine redesigns, to electrical recharge systems, to lightweight composite materials, to eco-driving monitors, and digital fuel cell technology.
However the best way to become convinced that fuel-efficient hybrids are worth the sticker price is by renting one to test its practicality. For instance, some electrical vehicles are so quiet it can take the driver a few days to get used to.
Budget Car Rentals website helps make it easy to compare model, seating size, mileage, and other amenities for different cars under “car types.”
One caveat is that fuel efficient hybrid model availability varies according to locale. At major car rental hubs, there are no lack of fuel efficient hybrids to choose from whether it’s the Toyota Prius or Ford C-Max. In other cities, one is at least guaranteed several fuel efficient models. (Your sales representative at the counter generally knows what’s available at the moment.)
Budget’s green car initiative is a commitment that goes beyond corporate green-washing. They guarantee new cars receive preventative maintenance, have incorporated smart car washes, offer GPS navigation, and e-Toll (for automated toll collection lanes).
Through partnership with Carbonfund.org, a nonprofit company dedicated to carbon offsetting projects, Budget car renters can even make their rental experience completely “carbon neutral.”
Just how much carbon dioxide might a car emit?
Suppose a 240 mile day road trip is taken in a Ford Fusion at 30 mpg. That translates to eight gallons of gas, which at approximately 20 pounds carbon dioxide release per gallon amounts to 160 pounds of total carbon dioxide release (not including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, benzene, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds and other toxic gases).
So for $1.25, up to 300 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted by your vehicle (and by you in all other activities) will be “neutralized” by Carbonfund.org via their green energy projects.
But there is yet more a Budget rental car owner can do to ensure he or she is eco-friendly. Check out the eco-driving tips page.