Every major metropolitan city offers limousine service, Chicago included. There are also suburbs, towns, and small cities with limo service. There are over 9,000 limo service cars in Chicago alone, and that does not include taxis or suburban limo companies. The number of limos that are not yet going green is toxic.
To quote directly from Jason Rothstein’s book, Carless in Chicago,
“According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average car burns 581 gallons of gasoline per year, and in doing so, emits nearly 600 pounds of carbon monoxide, nearly 40 pounds of nitrous oxides, nearly 80 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and a whopping 11,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, a contributing greenhouse gas. The average Chicagoan burns through about 880 gallons of gas per year, making his or her contribution about 65 percent higher.”
Now, what makes these numbers even more significant is in the consideration of limo companies. The statistics above relate to the average resident, not limousine services that spend the majority of the day idling. Limousines, both sedans and stretch limos, idle while they are waiting at the airport, which can be for hours at a time. They also idle during traffic as well as when they are in front of their pick up location waiting for passengers.
This means that the statistics for poisonous emissions listed above are much higher for limos, especially in Chicago and other major metropolitan cities where limos are used regularly. This is why it’s not enough to think green. Limousine service needs to be going green with truly reduced emissions.
Hybrids can reduce emissions in our industry by up to 80%, which means you are making a significant impact by using an eco car service that uses hybrids instead of traditional sedans or other vehicles. With all of the technology that is available today, only hybrids and electric vehicles can really help to reduce your carbon footprint when you are taking a limo service.
There are some cars now that are being touted as more energy efficient, such as cars using the Ford EcoBoost. However, those cars are designed to deliver high performance, such as getting V8 power in a V6 engine. They only range from 16mpg to 22mpg on the highway and even Ford admits the Eco Boost is not really advantageous for the environment.1 In comparison, the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV gets up to 36mpg on the highway, and Going Green Limousine has seen their Ford Escape Hybrid Signature vehicle get up to 60mgp in the city.
That being said, the eco part of EcoBoost cars does not really come into play in the limo service industry. When you hire a limo you are not hiring a race car driver. You are hiring a professional chauffeur who will take you to your destination safely and on time.
Our next blog will follow up on different types of cars that can help reduce your impact on the environment. But in the meantime, regardless of the car you own, next time you need to hire a private car service, think Going Green Limousine or choose another eco limo service that uses hybrids.
1 Driving Smart, by Sheryll Alexander, Why Smaller Engines Save you Money. Posted on Autotropolis.com
Section entitled Ford EcoBoost: