Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2014

Department 1

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