Coal-powered green cars can still be a good option

coal-powered Car Prius c

Here at Suburban Toyota in Troy, Mich., we like everything to do with cars. With Earth Day right around the corner on Monday, April 22, we’ve been thinking a lot about energy-efficient cars, especially our hybrids. There has been some discussion in certain car circles lately about whether cars that are all- or part- electric really help the environment if the energy that powers the batteries comes from coal. So what’s the deal?

The fact is, few electric cars or hybrids are powered entirely by coal. It turns out that only 45 percent of electricity in the United States comes from coal-fired power stations. Most power companies, in fact, use a combination of different energy sources, from wind, solar and hydro to nuclear, coal and natural gas. By 2020, the state of California plans to have a third of its power derived from renewables such as wind, geothermal and waste.

But say a driver DOES get all his car-power energy from a coal-fueled power plant. One curious driver put that assumption to the test. By his calculations, an electric car charged entirely from coal-powered electricity creates 15 percent less carbon dioxide that a similar-sized gas-powered vehicle.

With Earth Day coming up, now is a great time to investigate the 2013 all-electric and hybrid options available at Suburban Toyota, including our Avalon Hybrid Sedan, Camry Hybrid Sedan, Highlander Hybrid SUV and our many models of Prius—including a plug-in hatchback.

If you want to do even more for the environment, consider taking part in the Earth Day Network’s goal to have the country commit a billion “acts of green.” You might plant trees, become a climate reporter or even recycle your electronics. Visit Earth Day Network’s website to find out more.

Whether you wait until Earth Day or come see us now, we here at Suburban Toyota are eager to get you into a vehicle that best suits your needs and budget. If it helps the environment, all the better!

Suburban Toyota is in the Troy Motor Mall on Maplelawn Road, north of Maple and west of Crooks Road.

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