Last updated on March 21st, 2018
Larger vehicles such as trucks and sports utility vehicles are notorious for being “gas guzzlers” and having higher emissions than cars, and especially higher emissions than green vehicles that are hybrids or electric. However, there are many benefits to owning a traditional truck or SUV, especially if you have a large family, move a lot of furniture, or go four-wheel driving or even drive around in nature a lot. Trucks and SUVs are also great to have in inclement weather conditions. These benefits can make it difficult to trade your larger, high emitting vehicle for one that is much more economically friendly, but due to the lack of larger green vehicles on the market, smaller and not able to hold as much or go as far.
Due to these issues, trading your car in is a highly personal decision, and you must be able to lay out the pros and cons of each option. Pros for keeping your larger vehicle include the ability to still hold as much as you are used to, helping friends move, or ensuring that you always have a vehicle ready to bring large pieces of furniture home or move supplies from one place to another. In some careers, a lower emitting vehicle may not even be a possibility, such a farmer or people who work in lawn care. If you have a large family, your large sports utility vehicle will be hugely convenient and will keep large amounts of children separate and roomy. These are the most common excuses for not trading in a high emitting vehicle, and in some cases, they are very relevant. However, there are still some answers to these usual arguments that are available on the market.
First, there is no reason you can’t keep a higher emitting vehicle for the only recreation. A Jeep or a pickup truck for recreational driving while owning a lower emission car for daily commuting and for driving around town, because even this small change will make a huge difference in your emissions overall since you commute a lot more than you four-wheel drive.
Second, though large families have a point with wanting as much room as possible, there are models coming out that offer roomier back seats than normal and are actually a lot larger on the inside than they look. Don’t write off a lower emitting vehicle just because of the room factor, because some new makes and models may surprise you!
Third, if you like having a truck for moving or hauling, you can keep your truck for that, just as in the first explanation. Keeping a higher emitting vehicle for special circumstances, while driving a hybrid or an electric car for commuting is an environmentally smarter and safer option which ensures that you keep your larger vehicle for the utilities that it needs. You can also use this vehicle in winter weather, which is not the majority of the year but is a great backup.