I just purchased a car. I spent a bit of time on the road for my work (what others have told me is an inordinate amount of time). As I work in renewable energy and am a sustainability advocate, to walk the talk I wanted and I feel I need to drive the most sustainable ride that I can. My finding, a Ford Fiesta 2011 with its 6 speed automatic transmission. I really wanted a Honda Civic C/NG that runs on natural gas and my second choice was a Jetta TDI. The TDI was 10k more and although I love the engineering of that diesel engine, it is diesel and the premium was too high for me to digest. The Civic is too tough to source and CNG is too difficult to find in a lot of the places that my work has been sending me. That I hope is my next vehicle. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is an obvious choice in North America where it is cheap, plentiful and less polluting than oil (even when fracked from shale, relative to bitumen sands). A CNG in combination with regenerative braking would be a killer car for energy geeks like me. I did not consider a number of cars that others point to, largely because I did not like the aesthetic or design of those other cars (like the Yaris, for example). The Hondas are good, but just not as good as the Fiesta with the Super Fuel Efficiency package. It also helped that as an employee at Johnson Controls, I get a "Ford Partner" discount, so that tipped me over to Ford. The spreadsheet that I used to analyze this can be found here:
Ian is an innovator and serial social entrepreneur who focuses his time helping NGOs and companies to find sustainable solutions to address social, environmental and economic problems. He recently completed an International MBA at Schulich in Toronto, Canada. Ian is an expert in open source, economic development, sustainability and clean technologies.