3 Cool Eco-Friendly Family Rides

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Eco-friendly vehicles are no longer a vision of the future. They are vehicles of the here and now. However, many of the cool new eco-friendly vehicles you see today are designed for one or two people. They are designed for tooting around town or getting to and from work, but what about eco-friendly transportation for families?

Here are 3 cool forms of eco-friendly transportation the whole family can enjoy:

1) Bicycles: When you need to get around town or want to get out with the family, bicycles are a great way to get around. If your kids are old enough, each of them can have their own bike or you can add a bike attachment for younger kids.

Going for a bike ride
Going for a bike ride

It makes for a great family outing and allows the entire family to travel together.

Don’t forget…May is National Bike Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to get you and your family some exercise and enjoy the great outdoors too.

2) Nissan LEAF: If you need a vehicle for a family outing, the Nissan LEAF seems to be a decent choice. With an estimated 100 miles on a single charge, the Nissan LEAF is a sensible option for driving around town, running errands or taking the entire family out for a local excursion.

Charging for the Nissan LEAF can be done in about 8 hours from a home outlet. However, if you need a quick charge, the LEAF can be charged up to 80% capacity in about half an hour using a quick charger.

Nissan LEAF by cliff1066™ via Flickr
Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

One of the nice features of the Nissan EVs is the “EV-IT support function”. This feature connects your vehicle’s on-board transmitting unit to a global data center to provide such information as:

  • how far you can go on your current charge,
  • available charging stations within range of your destination,
  • best time to start charging your car in order to get lower electric rates,
  • text messages when your car is fully charged and more.

Take a look at some of the other advantages of having a Zero Emission vehicle. What do you think? Is the Nissan LEAF a vehicle you would consider for your family transportation needs?

3) EcoRoamer: If you are looking at taking a longer family vacation take a look at this EcoRoamer. Promoted as “The world’s first open-source, eco-friendly, family sized, 4×4 overland expedition vehicle“, this vehicle may be just what you need if you are looking for an outdoor adventure.

The EcoRoamer was designed to be environmentally-friendly too. Built on a recycled chassis, rather than buying a new vehicle, the EcoRoamer (and backup generator) are powered by bio-diesel.  Recycled Aluminum/plastic material make up the camper shell.. No plywood was used in the building of the camper either.

Solar panels on the roof and LED lighting help bring the electric impact down. Recycled foam board insulation was used to help lower heating/air conditioning costs. When there is a need for A/C, the 24V DC unit takes energy from the solar panels so neither the engine nor generator need to use fuel in order to keep the trailer cool. Even the toilet is “low emission”….it’s a composting toilet.

More detailed information and photos of the EcoRoamer can be found here.

Also, if you are interested, and in the Southern Arizona Santa Cruz Valley area this coming weekend, EcoRoamer will be at the Overland Expo 2010.

Of course there are many different forms of eco-friendly transportation nowadays, from the simple to the extreme, but no matter where your personal adventures take you, please do check out eco-friendly vehicles, fuel additives, public transportation, eco-tours, etc. If you can have a great time while having less impact on the environment, why not do it?

I’d love to hear what adventures you and your family are planning this year. Do you have any cool eco-friendly family rides in mind?

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