Going Green on the Road: Eco Vehicles

Since the Toyota Prius hybrid car burst on the automotive scene in the late '90s and early 2000s, American drivers have been showing a growing interest in ecologically friendly vehicles. Today there are many "green cars" for the environmentally minded driver, from hybrids to fully electric options. Here are just a few models offering an alternative to the traditional gasoline internal combustion engine:

* Chevrolet Bolt — Though Chevy already has an entry in the eco category with the hybrid Chevrolet Volt, the Bolt is an all-electric subcompact with an estimated range of 238 miles. The car can be charged through a professionally installed 240-volt home charging unit or at electric charging stations available in many metropolitan areas. Though the car is making its nationwide debut in early 2017, the Bolt has already attracted plenty of buzz, netting accolades from Motor Trend, AutoGuide.com, and Time Magazine. 

* Nissan Leaf — First produced in 2010, the 100% electric Nissan Leaf has sold almost 240,000 units, including 102,000 in the United States alone. The 2016 model has a range of 107 miles on a single charge, boasting a 124 mile per gallon equivalent (mpg). The Leaf is currently the most affordable eco option, with a starting MSRP of $30,680.

* Tesla Model X — Tesla Motors, the ambitious company co-founded by Moonshot entrepreneur Elon Musk, has pulled out all the stops for its Model X, a falcon-winged electric SUV with all-wheel-drive and a range of 289 miles. The Model X also comes equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability, so you can be at the forefront of new technology as it develops.

While many of these vehicles come with a higher price tag than their conventional counterparts, reduced dependence on gasoline can save drivers money off the total cost of ownership. And you can hardly put a price on the benefits of reducing environmental damage.

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