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one green planet

Transportation results in 7.3 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions every year, and cars are responsible for 41% of that. However, not every car produces the same amount of carbon. One study found that a mere quarter of the cars they looked at produced 90 percent of “the total traffic-related air pollution.”

The good news is that cars are getting greener and there are more eco-friendly cars on the market than ever before. Here are the most sustainable vehicles for 2021. 

1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric EV

While the Hyundai Ioniq Electric EV may not look like much at first glance, its innovative design and commitment to the environment have made it the green car of the year. This electric car is labeled as zero-emissions and is very energy-efficient. It can drive 193 miles on a full battery and can be charged in several ways. The car’s coefficient drag and impressive speed gain (0 to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds) make the driving experience even more futuristic and fast. 

2. MINI Cooper SE Hardtop EV

MINI Cooper cars have always been adorable, but they’re way more than cute. The MINI Cooper SE Hardtop EV emits zero driving emissions, has an impressive range of digital interior features like a retractable transparent screen, and can drive up to 145 miles on a fully charged battery. It charges from 0 to 80 percent in a mere 36 minutes with public rapid charging and will take a few hours to charge at home. The good news about this mini is that it’s anything but small. All of the backseats can go down, making it ideal for couples with lots of baggage on a long road trip or drive to the airport. 

3. Tesla Model 3 

Arguably the most famous fully-electric car brand, Tesla excels in long ranges and quick-charge times. A Tesla Model 3 can drive up to 360 miles on a fully charged battery and can recharge up to 172 miles in 15 minutes — that’s nearly half! It can also go from 0 to 60 miles in 3.1 seconds, which (from personal experience) feels like taking off in a spaceship without the thousands of gallons of petrol! 

4. Volkswagen ID.3

Named the Small Company Car of the Year 2021 by AutoExpress, the Volkswagen 1D.3 is spacious and practical. It can drive anywhere from 217 to 263 miles on a fully charged battery and is reliable and affordable. This car ticks all of the green boxes and we love how modern but modest it looks! 

5. Toyota Prius Prime PHEV

The Toyota Prius Prime PHEV is a hybrid, so isn’t fully electric but it is perfect for driving around the city running errands or getting to work with its 25 miles range. It’s perfect for people not ready to commit to a completely electric car but still want to make a step in the right direction. After all, having to worry about finding charging zones during a long trip can be daunting for prospective customers.

While car emissions are contributing to the serious climate crisis, it is important to point out that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse emissions than all the transportation in the world (cars, ships, planes, etc). So, before you rush out and spend thousands of dollars on a brand new electric vehicle, start with making changes to your diet and reducing your meat and dairy consumption first.

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