Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2014


Environmental Studies


Cars of the past are notorious for poor fuel efficiency and high carbon emissions. With the presence of hybrid technology, along with a variety of other green innovations, many of these negative side effects can be mitigated. The purpose of this study is to answer the question: how do green technology vehicles compare with similar models that exclude such innovations in relation to efficiency and price? A total of 47 green-tech vehicles were identified and compared against their base model counterparts. Vehicle weight, horsepower, fuel efficiency and other variables were matched within pairs (green-tech vs. base) and between car types (sedans, SUVs and trucks). Regardless of vehicle type and green-tech, weight proved to be an influential factor, showing that as curb weight increased, fuel efficiency decreased. Compared to the base models, green-tech luxury vehicles also exhibited few improvements in fuel efficiency with disproportionately high growth in price. Non-luxury green-tech sedans ranging from 2500lbs to 4000lbs showed the largest improvements in efficiency while also maintaining an average MSRP of $28996±1089, producing a green-tech vehicle that is economically affordable. The impressive results from this category of vehicles suggest that consumer investment in non-luxury green sedans may not only help to save money in fuel consumption, but also save the environment.


Environmental Studies Thesis