Monthly Archives: February 2019

Xcel Energy manhole

Xcel Energy Jobs: Availability, Salaries, & More

Looking for an exciting career that you can be proud of? Want plenty of room for advancement and good compensation? A job at Xcel Energy may be exactly what you’ve been searching for.

As the energy industry grows and changes, opportunities to innovate and create with expanding energy companies are arising quickly. Xcel Energy jobs are numerous and varied. Positions range from entry-level jobs to corporate leadership careers and are available in 8 different states.  The company is seeking applicants with a huge range of skills and experience levels: from high school graduates on up to seasoned managers and directors.  

What Is Xcel Energy?

Xcel Energy is a customer-focused producer of clean, reliable energy that proudly powers homes and businesses across the West and Midwest. This Minneapolis-based company’s mission is to “provide our customers the safe, clean, reliable energy services they want and value at a competitive price.”  

Xcel Energy is the product of a merging between three predecessor companies, Northern States Power and Southwestern Public Service Company, which were established in the 1890s, and Public Service Company of Colorado, which opened its doors in the 1920s. Clearly, Xcel Energy has a legacy of experience in the area to lean on.    

Since its establishment in 2000, Xcel Energy has become an industry leader in renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions with one of the most ambitious green energy plans in the industry. By the year 2027, the company plans to retire 40% of its coal units and replace them with wind and solar energy.  By 2022, the company is projected to be 61% carbon free by using a combination of renewable energy sources including wind, solar, and nuclear energy.  Just since 2005, Xcel Energy has reduced its total water consumption by 40% and its total carbon emissions by 35%.  

With its focus on community, Xcel Energy is a rewarding place to work. The company finds balance and success by promoting environmental stewardship, customer satisfaction, and a respectful and motivating environment for its employees.  Xcel Energy facilitates safety campaigns which have lowered the rate of accidental dig-ins to underground wires and pipes by 33% and the number of workplace injuries by 58% since 2009.  They are also one of the most reliable power suppliers in the country with customers having power continuously for 99.9% of 2017.  Further, Xcel was recognized for two consecutive years by the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.

Available Company Positions

man installing solar panel

There is a variety of Xcel Energy jobs available in the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.  For the majority of the jobs listed below, more than one vacancy exists.  

Xcel Energy appreciates the service of our country’s veterans, and value the unique experience and skills veterans offer the company.  Ten percent of the company’s new hires are veterans!  On the website, there is an option for veterans to apply to a pool position, which connects applicants to Xcel Energy’s Veteran Recruiter.  Veterans must have served in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and have at least a high school diploma.

Internships at Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy offers internships to college students.  Students currently enrolled in classes are invited to apply to an enriching opportunity to test and hone their skills in a project-based atmosphere.


  • Nuclear Engineering Intern
  • Engineering Intern
  • Electrical Engineering Intern
  • Business Intern
  • Internal Auditor Intern
  • EMS Coordinator Intern
  • Regulatory Administrative Business Intern
  • Business Systems Intern
  • Engineering Intern within Transmission Project Management Department
  • Distribution Design & Operations Intern
  • GIS Intern
  • Entry-level Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Customer Service Specialist
  • Customer Care Clerk
  • Product Developer
  • Corporate Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Senior Budget Analyst
  • Communications Assistant 
  • RSA Archer Support Analyst
  • Solution Architect (including Senior positions)
  • Sr. Accounting/Financial Analyst
  • Systems Administrators and Analyst (including Senior positions)
  • Compliance Consultant 
  • Senior Internal Auditor
  • Network Operations Director 
  • Senior Principal Risk Management Analyst 
  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Communication Consultant 
  • Network Engineer
  • Load Management Analyst 
  • Regulatory Administrator 
  • Security and Compliance Consultant 
  • Channel Development Manager
  • Product Developer
  • Call Center Associate
  • Regulatory Accounting Manager 
  • Endpoint Security Systems Administrator
  • CIP Functional Consultant 
  • Accounting/Financial Consultant
  • Field and Skilled Labor Xcel Energy Jobs


  • Instructor Operations (including Senior and Principal positions)
  • Operations Manager
  • Plant Electrician Specialist
  • Medical Technician
  • Workforce Relations Specialist
  • Leadership Excellence Manager
  • Category Manager
  • Contract Management Consultant
  • Senior Energy Supply Asset Analyst 
  • Planner Buyer
  • Operations Supervisor
  • Designer/Associate Designer
  • Functional Consultant
  • Network Operations Director
  • Resource Planning Analyst
  • Control Room Supervisor-in-Training
  • Senior Engineer
  • Originator/Senior Originator 
  • Sr. Energy Trader
  • Fleet Project Scheduler
  • Program Manager 
  • Maintenance Supervisor
  • Construction Lead
  • Apprentice Plant Attendant 
  • Electrical Substation Construction Operations Supervisor
  • Senior Safety & Training Consultant 
  • Operations Procedure Writer
  • Associate Supply Chain Analyst 
  • Sales Accountant Specialist 
  • Outdoor Lighting Designer
  • Electrical Equipment Tester
  • Heavy Equipment Operator
  • Specialized Trade Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Distribution Lineman Apprentice
  • Sourcing Project Specialist (including Associate positions)
  • Substation Foreman 
  • Transmission Control Principal Engineer
  • Electrician Apprentice
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technician Specialist
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Substation Helper
  • IAM Specialist/Engineer (including Senior positions)
  • IVVO Engineer
  • Project Controls Specialist, Nuclear
  • Energy Efficiency Engineer
  • Leadership Xcel Energy Jobs

  • Payroll Manager
  • Functional Analyst
  • Cyber Intelligence Analyst
  • AMI Meter Analyst
  • Material Handlers
  • Product Portfolio Manager (including Senior positions)
  • Training Supervisor Operations
  • Material Operations Supervisor
  • Cost - Analysis Estimator
  • Senior IT Service Delivery Manager 
  • IT Project Manager
  • Technical Business Analyst
  • Design & Construction Director
  • Senior Rate Analyst
  • Average Salaries Per Position

    man doing a routine inspection

    Below, known salaries for positions within Xcel Energy are listed alphabetically by position title. This information was obtained through payscale.com. Compensation is competitive within the industry and demonstrates a company-wide respect for employees at all level.  

    Accounting Analyst:

    $38,614 - $72,710
    Administrative Assistant: $27,285 - $58,733
    Assistant General Counsel: $118,147 - $234,396
    Associate Product Manager: $57,251 - $112,459
    Category Manager:

    $64,581 - $115,548
    Civil Engineer:

    $47,888 - $81,492
    Compensation Analyst: $50,291 - $79,860
    Compliance Officer:

    $60,031 - $130,524
    Construction Superintendent:

     $74,988 - $164,188
    Customer Service Specialist: $23,804 - $60,209
    Data Analyst:

    $37,733 - $97544
    Director of Operations: $121,942 - $254,780
    Electrical Designer:

    $37,599 - $87,587
    Electrical Engineer:

     $40,268 - $115,222
    Employee Communications Consultant:

    $60,804 - $119, 362
    Energy Engineer:

    $49,252 - $78,511
    Energy Power Distribution: $67,220 - $93,543
    Environmental Analyst: $40,905 - $89,780
    Executive Assistant:

    $48,505 - $79,461
    Field Operations Manager: $73,086 - $147,422
    Financial Analyst:

    $43,831 - $85,513
    Gas Fitter:

    $45,268 - $111,142
    Geographic Information Systems Analyst:

    $32,654 - $56,363
    Health Physicist:

    $70,264 - $135,327
    Instrumentation & Controls Technician:

    $41,690 - $96,177
    Journeyman Lineman: $52,370 - $143,663
    Legal Analyst:

    $49,256 - $92,126
    Legal Secretary:

    $38,378 - $69,833
    Lineman:

    $36,659 - $87,066
    Maintenance & Engineering Manager:

    $76,909 - $150,983

    Maintenance Mechanic: $43,775 - $106,093
    Maintenance Supervisor/Superintendent: $53,791 - $151,344
    Marketing Assistant:

    $23,399 - $54,078
    Mechanical Engineering: $51,660 - $106,507
    Meteorologist:

    $62,401 - $126,140
    Meter Reader:

    $36,444 - $89,080
    Nuclear Engineer:

    $63,079 - $125,858
    Operations Manager:

    $61,794 - $168,664
    Operations Superintendent: $43,524 - $111,445
    Plant Supervisor:

    $47,332 - 100,718
    Power Plant Operator: $41,310 - $91,789
    Power System Operator: $58,033 - $103,654
    Project Coordinator, general: $35,417 - $73-232
    Project Coordinator, IT: $45,875 - $85,067
    Project Manager, general: $48,553 - $124,381
    Project Manager, engineering:

    $69,013 - $168,826
    Project Manager, IT:

    $60,903 -$120,606
    Regulatory Administrator: $40,596 - $79,200
    Safety Consultant:

    $47,080 - $124,283
    Senior Accountant:

    $63,037 - $101,359
    Senior Budget Analyst: $57,389 - $116,945
    Senior Business Analyst: $70,567 - $163,341
    Senior Electrical Engineer: $78,121 - $144,722
    Senior Financial Analyst: $65,190 - $102,669
    Senior Human resources Generalist:

    $54,174 - $100,143
    Senior Systems Analyst: $63,410 - $136,591
    Senior Administrative Assistant:

    $36,598 - $73,806
    Staff Engineer:

    $52,289 - $101,900
    Systems Analyst:

    $52,952 - $111,504
    Transmission-Line Engineer: $66,964 - $100,686

    Conclusion

    group of men working on a line post

    Countless people across America are searching for the career that they love. Most people are looking for a career and a workplace that they can be proud of.  Xcel Energy goes to great lengths to be that kind of workplace — a company that values the environment, that seeks to build community through safety initiatives and employee diversity, and that provides a reliable, affordable product to its customers.  

    Whether you are a new graduate seeking to stake your place in the world, or a long-time veteran of the industry, an Xcel Energy job could be exactly what you’ve been hoping for. Xcel Energy is a well-established company in the West and Midwest United States with strong values that make their business successful. Even if you are not quite ready to apply, the company offers an online talent community that provides interested prospective applicants updates on opportunities that match their skills and invitations to company events.  Job listings can be searched by title, skill level, or location.  

    A solid mission, competitive compensation, and plenty of room for upward mobility make this company worth considering.    

    Find more information and apply for Xcel Energy jobs on the company’s website, xcelenergy.com.  

    black car

    Top 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars

    Gas prices may fluctuate from day to day and week to week, but they always seem to increase year after year. That makes fuel economy a very important factor when considering buying a new car. Many consumers are realizing the usefulness of considering the most fuel efficient cars available now in their car search. Before you invest your hard earned cash on a car, consider these 10 fuel-saving options.

    Most Fuel Efficient Cars FAQ

    1. What is a Fuel Efficient Car?

    2. How Do Hybrid and Electric Cars Work?

    3. Where Can You Buy Cars?

    How We Reviewed

    The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We went to many sources to gather and compare this information.

    The lowest base price of the lowest end model that we reviewed was $16,975, which was the Chevy Cruze. The highest base price was for the Toyota Avalon Hybrid at $42,800. It is like comparing apples to oranges here because the Chevy Cruze is a compact sedan with minimal standard features and the Toyota Avalon is a large sedan with many standard features.

    Overall Price Range of These Cars

    What We Reviewed

    • Toyota Prius 3
    • Hyundai Ioniq Blue
    • Toyota Prius Prime
    • Honda Accord Hybrid
    • Toyota Camry Hybrid LE
    • Honda Clarity PHEV
    • Kia Niro FE
    • Toyota Avalon Hybrid
    • Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
    • Chevy Cruze

    comparison table

    Name

    IMage

    MSRP

    Where to Buy?

    TOYOTA PRIUS 3

    TOYOTA PRIUS 3

    $23,475-$30,565

    Hyundai Ioniq Blue

    Hyundai Ioniq Blue

    $22,200-$27,550

    Toyota Prius Prime

    Toyota Prius Prime

    27,100-$33,100

    Honda Accord Hybrid

    HONDA ACCORD HYBRID

    $23,570-$35,800

    Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

    Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

    23,495-$34,950

    Honda Clarity PHEV

    Honda Clarity PHEV

    $33,400-36,600

    Kia Niro FE

    Kia Niro FE

    $23,340-$32,000

    Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    $35,500-$42,800

    Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

    Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

    $21,680-$31,020

    Chevy Cruze

    Chevy Cruze

    $16,975-$25,920

    Toyota Prius 3

    TOYOTA PRIUS 3

    Image Via Toyota.com

    Features

    Every Prius model is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense™, an advanced suite of safety technologies to help you drive with confidence. It has a comfortable modern seat design and a nice multimedia display. The suspension, body rigidity, and aerodynamics of Prius provide a smooth ride.

    The Toyota Prius has been one of the most fuel efficient cars available for quite some time. It was an early entry into the market, with limited sales in the year 2000. The latest generation Prius has been improved greatly since the last generation. The Prius has always been shown to be efficient and has low operating costs. There are many different models of the Prius, including a version that offers a plug-in combination (the Toyota Prius Prime, discussed below). This particular review is of the Toyota Prius 3.

    Pros

    • Comfortable handling
    • Comfortable ride
    • Straightforward touch-screen infotainment system
    • Colorful digital gauge with lots of fuel-economy information
    • Standard forward-collision warning and automatic braking
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • Seats have mediocre support
    • Low stance can make it a challenge to get in and out of the vehicle
    • Noticeable tire noise

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $23,475-$30,565.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at toyota.com

    Interior

    The Prius has a standard 4.2-inch color dual Multi-Information Display with customizable screens. The Prius has a comfortable, smart seat design with front bucket seats. The driver’s seat has many adjustment settings with power lumbar support. You can control the audio, display, and hands-free calling from the steering wheel. 60/40 split fold-down rear seats maximize cargo space.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Prius has an aerodynamic exterior which allows it to smooth airflow, thus maximizing fuel efficiency. This also provides a smooth ride because of smart design, advanced materials, and construction techniques. The Prius 3 boasts an overall MPG of 52, a city MPG of 43, and a Highway MPG of 59.

    Reliability

    The Prius received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    The standard forward-collision warning and automatic braking system are great safety features. The integrated backup camera appears when you are in reverse, to help when you are parking in a tight spot or backing up. Also available is the Blind Spot Monitor system. It helps you determine when it is safe to change lanes. Additionally, there is an available Rear Cross-Traffic Alert designed to provide an audible indication to help warn you of approaching vehicles. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are also very important for safety.

    Warranty

    The basic warranty for the Prius 3 is 36 months/36,000 miles. It also has a 60 months/60,000 miles warranty for the Powertrain, Corrosion Perforation, and Restraint Systems. There is a 96 months/100,000 miles warranty for the Hybrid System.

    Hyundai Ioniq Blue

    Hyundai Ioniq Blue

    Image Via hyundaiusa.com

    Features

    The Hyundai Ioniq has a clean, aerodynamic shape and modern styling. Additionally, it has solid engineering and advanced technology. There are a number of advanced safety features that are available. But its 52 overall MPG makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars available now.

    There are three highly efficient powertrains available (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric). This review focuses on the hybrid (Blue) version.

    Pros

    • Combined 139 horsepower engine
    • Available automatic braking and blind-spot warning are available
    • Standard Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • Its transmission isn’t the smoothest
    • There is some delay accelerating from a standstill
    • Has unusually long stopping distances for the class of car
    • Limited back-seat space

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $22,200-$27,550.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at hyundaiusa.com

    Interior

    A power driver seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, and leather seating surfaces are available. Additionally, there is an available 8-inch color audio touchscreen navigation is available. The car has 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks to give you flexibility.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Ioniq has an aerodynamic exterior which allows it to smooth airflow, thus maximizing fuel efficiency. This also provides a smooth ride because of smart design, advanced materials, and construction techniques. The Ioniq hybrid boasts an overall MPG of 52, a city MPG of 43, and a Highway MPG of 59.

    Reliability

    The Ioniq received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    There is an automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection feature available, an available blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert system, and an available Lane Keep Assist, that alerts you when you are veering into another lane of traffic.

    Warranty

    The basic warranty is for 5 year/60,000 miles. There is a 10 year/100,000 miles Powertrain warranty, a 7 year/unlimited Rust through warranty, and a 5 year/unlimited Roadside aid warranty. Every detail has been optimized to make it advanced and efficient.

    Toyota Prius Prime

    Toyota Prius Prime

    Image Via ​toyota.com

    Features

    The Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in Prius version. It is by far one of the most fuel efficient cars with an EPA equivalent MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent - a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed) of 133. You are able to choose drive modes to help you select the perfect drive. Prime also has an available intelligent drive coach feature to help elevate your efficiency even further.

    The Prime can usually drive about 23 miles on electricity only, but the gas engine starts up in cold weather and under full acceleration. It takes 2 hours to charge the Prime through a 240-volt connector and 5 hours on a regular 120-volt. When not running in EV mode, the Prime alternates between electric and gas power, returning 50 mpg overall.

    Pros

    • Compliant ride
    • Responsive handling
    • Standard auto emergency braking
    • Standard lane-keep assist
    • Excellent fuel efficiency
    • Smooth transition between gas and electric power
    • Many standard safety and technology features

    Cons

    • Holds four passengers instead of five
    • Does not have a rear wiper
    • Slow acceleration
    • Difficult available infotainment system

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $27,100-$33,100.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at toyota.com

    Interior

    There is a nice 11.6 inch HD multimedia display that is available. The customizable 4.2-in color dual Multi-Information Display screen provides lots of information and is steering wheel controlled. The Prime has comfortable supportive seats. The front seats feature deep bolsters for body hugging comfort. 60/40 split fold-down rear seats maximize cargo space. Heated front seats are standard in the Prime.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    Similar to the regular hybrid Prius, the Prius Prime has a compliant ride and responsive handling. It has many aerodynamic features and efficient design components, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars available now. It has an MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent - a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed) of 133. When using the gas engine only, it has an overall MPG of 50, 38 City MPG, and 62 Highway MPG.

    Reliability

    The Prime received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    Toyota Safety Sense™ makes the Prime designed for safety. It includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. This system may apply additional force using Brake Assist. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses vehicle distance control which adjusts your speed. The prime has lane departure alert with steering assist (the system may make small corrective steering inputs to keep your vehicle in its lane). Additionally, the Prime has Automatic High Beans to help you see more clearly at night, available Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, backup camera (standard),  and other features.

    Warranty

    The Prime comes with a basic 3 year/36,000 miles warranty, a 5 year/60,000 miles Powertrain warranty, a 5 year/unlimited Rust through warranty, and a 2 year/unlimited Roadside aid warranty.

    Honda Accord Hybrid

    Features

    The Honda Accord Hybrid looks sporty with a lower stance and coupe-like silhouette. It is one of the most fuel efficient cars available, with 47 mpg overall without sacrificing acceleration. It has a new 192-hp engine that delivers adequate power. It also has a new and improved infotainment system which includes knobs or tuning and volume adjustment. Standard safety assistance includes Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. It has a roomy interior with dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver’s seat, and heated mirrors.

    Pros

    • Sporty look
    • Good acceleration
    • Good standard safety features
    • Has a nice 10-speed automatic transmission
    • Responsive handling and a comfortable ride
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • Unintuitive push-button gear selector
    • Available dual-screen system can be frustrating
    • Under hard acceleration, the engine gets noisy

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $23,570-$35,800.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at automobiles.honda.com

    Interior

    The Accord has nice leather trimmed seating and roomy interior and includes a 10-way power driver’s seat and dual-zone climate control, as well as heated mirrors. The full-color 7-inch driver interface offers a customizable in-dash display. Its cabin includes Active Noise Cancellation™ which contributes to a quiet interior.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    There is an uplevel turbo-charged 2.0-liter engine available that brings 252 hp and a slick 10-speed automatic transmission with a push-button gear selector. The Honda Accord hybrid has an overall MPG of 47, a city MPG of 40, and a Highway MPG of 52.

    Reliability

    The Accord received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    In addition to Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, the Accord is equipped with the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and drive-assistive technologies. Features include a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane keeping assist system, and traffic sign recognition.

    Warranty

    The Honda Accord Hybrid comes with a 3 year/36,000 limited warranty, a five year/60,000 mile Powertrain warranty, and either an 8 year/100,000 or 10 year/150,000 mile warranty for Hybrid components (depending on state regulations where you purchase and register the vehicle).

    Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

    Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

    Image Via ​toyota.com

    Features

    The recently redesigned Toyota Camry Hybrid LE is one of the most fuel efficient cars available. It is a sporty looking car. Camry has a Dynamic Force Engine, which provides remarkable efficiency with a powerful and nice drive. The Camry Hybrid has a new standard feature—Apple CarPlay, which allows you to pair your compatible iPhone to provide excellent functionality. The Camry offers the impressive Toyota Safety Sense™ P safety package. This is a mid-size car, making it roomier than other choices.

    Pros

    • Comfortable ride
    • Quiet ride
    • Standard Forward Collision Warning
    • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking
    • Larger trunk than many hybrids
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • The lower stance makes it difficult to get into and out of
    • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) is sluggish
    • Blind-spot warning is optional

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $23,495-$34,950.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at toyota.com

    Interior

    The Camry has 8-way power-adjustable driver’s and front passenger seats that are nicely shaped, with available leather trim. Heated front seats are available. The rear seats are also supportive and have optional rear-seat vents. The Camry has an available Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan to help you see all around you. Wi-Fi connect by Verizon turns the Camry into a hotspot almost anywhere you go.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Camry hybrid has an overall MPG of 47, a city MPG of 39, and a Highway MPG of 53, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars available. What makes it even nicer is the fact that it is a nimble and nice-looking mid-size car, roomier than many of the other models reviewed.

    Reliability

    The Camry Hybrid received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    In addition to the excellent Toyota Safety Sense™ P safety package, the car has an Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking available that warns you of nearby obstacles and may reduce engine power and apply the brakes under certain conditions. Also available is a Blind Spot Monitor. There are ten airbags standard on the Camry. Lastly, it includes six advanced safety features standard.

    Warranty

    The Camry Warranty includes a basic warranty of 3 year/36,000 miles, Powertrain warranty of 5 year/60,000 miles, Rust through warranty of 5 year/unlimited, and Roadside aid of 2 year/unlimited.

    Honda Clarity PHEV

    Features

    The Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid model is new for 2018. It is a mid-size car that offers a quality cabin with comfortable seating, excellent fuel economy, and a good electric range (compared to other plug-in hybrids). Additionally, it offers a comfortable ride.

    Pros

    • Comfortable ride
    • Quick charging time
    • Comfortable seating
    • Good electric range
    • Upscale for the money
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • Competitors are more agile
    • Sluggish highway passing power
    • Audio controls lack knobs and buttons

    Price

    The 2018 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $33,400-36,600.

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at automobiles.honda.com

    Interior

    There is roomy seating for five. The Clarity offers a very quiet interior. There are heated front seats with power adjustments. Additionally, there is a dual-zone automatic climate control in the front. There is an 8-inch display audio touch-screen with an 8-speaker system. The car offers Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ integration, and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Clarity body shape provides streamlined airflow, making it very efficient and quiet. It is very aerodynamic. When using gas, the Clarity gets 44 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway.

    Reliability

    Since this plug-in hybrid is new for 2018, we don’t have sufficient reliability data at this time.

    Safety

    The Clarity Electric comes with Honda Sensing®, which is a suite of safety features. The key safety features include Lane Keeping Assist System, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow.

    Warranty

    The basic warranty for the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is 36 months/36,000 miles. There is a 60 months/unlimited distance Corrosion perforation warranty, a 96 months/100,000 miles Hybrid electrical components warranty, a 60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain warranty, and a 36 months/36,000 miles Roadside assistance coverage.

    Kia Niro FE

    Kia Niro FE

    Image Via ​kia.com

    Features

    The Kia Niro is a five-passenger car which is one of the most fuel efficient cars available. It is considered a subcompact SUV. It is quite powerful, at 139 hp. It offers an upscale, comfortable cabin and has lots of cargo space.

    Pros

    • Very comfortable seats
    • Spacious interior
    • Good cargo capacity
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • High base price
    • Not very agile handling
    • Choppy ride

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $23,340-$32,000.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at kia.com

    Interior

    The Niro has an optional power drive seat provides nice support. The interior is stylish. The Niro offers a nice 7-inch color touch-screen display with Apple CarPly™ and Android Auto™. A premium sound system is available and you can charge your compatible smart phone on the available center-console pad.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Niro has an overall MPG of 43, a city MPG of 33, and a Highway MPG of 52, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars in its subcompact SUV class. The 139 hp at 5,700 rpm provides plenty of power. It has an aerodynamic design.

    Reliability

    The Niro received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    In addition to the airbags, the Niro has an Anti-lock Braking System, Vehicle Stability Management, Electronic Stability Control and other features standard. A suite of advanced safety features is available as well which includes Automatic Emergency Braking, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning.

    Warranty

    The Niro basic warranty is 5 year/60,000 miles, its Powertrain warranty is 10 year/100,000 miles, its Rust through warranty is 5 year/100,000 miles, and Roadside aid is 5 year/60,000 miles.

    Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    Toyota Avalon Hybrid

    Image Via ​toyota.com

    Features

    The Toyota Avalon Hybrid is a large sedan. It was completely redesigned for 2019. It is very roomy and has an extremely comfortable ride. It has a 3.5-liter V6 engine providing plenty of power and the engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is very plush and has a 9 inch easy to use touch screen.

    Pros

    • Plush interior
    • Very smooth ride
    • Fancy, upscale cabin
    • Spacious seats
    • Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are standard
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • High base price
    • Low stance makes it difficult to get into and out of

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $35,500-$42,800.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at toyota.com

    Interior

    The Avalon Hybrid has a large 9-inch multimedia touch-screen display that comes with pinch-and-zoom navigation controls that are very easy to use. It offers Apple CarPlay™ standard, and a premium sound system is available. Toyota Remote Connect allows you to control some Avalon functions from remote devices. Additionally, the Avalon has real wood and aluminum trim, and has beautiful leather heated and ventilated front seats available,

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Avalon Hybrid has an overall MPG of 42, a city MPG of 32, and a highway MPG of 52, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars in its large sedan class. It has a sleek design.

    Reliability

    The Avalon received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    The Avalon has the excellent Toyota Safety Sense™ P standard. This includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams. Other available safety features include adaptive cornering lights and Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan among others.

    Warranty

    The Avalon Hybrid basic warranty is 3 year/36,000 miles, its Powertrain warranty is 5 year/60,000 miles, its Rust through warranty is 5 year/unlimited, and Roadside aid is 2 year/unlimited.

    Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

    Features

    The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid is a very stylish mid-size vehicle. It has a very comfortable ride, is very quiet, and has easy-to-use controls. This hybrid uses some of the Chevrolet Volt’s technology.

    Pros

    • Stylish design
    • Quiet cabin
    • Very comfortable ride
    • Intuitive controls
    • Excellent fuel efficiency

    Cons

    • Compromised outward visibility compared to competitors
    • Getting in and out of this vehicle can be difficult
    • Base cloth seats are not very supportive

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $21,680-$31,020.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at chevrolet.com

    Interior

    The Malibu Hybrid’s interior is spacious, comfortable, and quiet. There is a 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat offering flexibility. There is an 8-way power driver seat and 8-inch diagonal color touch-screen display standard.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Malibu Hybrid has an overall MPG of 41, a city MPG of 33, and a Highway MPG of 49, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars in its mid-size class. It handles very nicely.

    Reliability

    The Malibu received solid, above average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    There are 10 airbags in the Malibu, a rear vision camera, StabiliTrak, electronic stability control system with traction control and tire pressure monitoring system.

    Warranty

    The Malibu Hybrid basic warranty is 3 year/36,000 miles, its Powertrain warranty is 5 year/60,000 miles, its Rust through warranty is 6 year/100,000, and Roadside aid is 5 year/60,000.

    Features

    The Chevrolet Cruze is a fuel efficient diesel vehicle that has many nice features available in larger vehicles, such as a very comfortable ride and a quiet interior. While it is a compact vehicle, it has many nice “bigger car” features. There is a start/stop feature that reduces fuel use during idling. The Cruze is available in a 4-Door Hatchback or a Sedan body style.

    Pros

    • Comfortable ride
    • Quiet, spacious interior
    • Available built-in 4GLTE WiFi hotspot capability
    • Includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility
    • Lower base price than competitors
    • Rear sets are roomy for its class

    Cons

    • Front seats are short on lower-back support
    • Acceleration is lackluster

    Price

    The 2019 Base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $16,975-$25,920.
     

    Where to Buy

    Find information about where to buy this vehicle at chevrolet.com

    Interior

    The Cruze has front bucket seats, a Rear Vision Camera, a standard 6-way manual driver seat and a 2-way manual front passenger seat. There is a 4-speaker audio system, Bluetooth® standard, and a Built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

    Performance & Fuel Efficiency

    The Cruze LT Diesel has an overall MPG of 41, a city MPG of 27, and a Highway MPG of 60, making it one of the most fuel efficient cars that is not a hybrid. The Cruze can definitely compete with other compact sedans.

    Reliability

    The Cruze received above-average predicted reliability scores.

    Safety

    Standard safety features include a rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and others. There are a number of optional safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking (city), lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic detection.

    Warranty

    The Cruze basic warranty is 3 year/36,000 miles, its Powertrain warranty is 5 year/60,000 miles, its Rust through warranty is 5 year/100,000 miles, and Roadside aid is 5 year/60,000 miles.

    The Verdict

    All of the cars we reviewed are among the most efficient cars available today, so you can't go wrong there. If cost is your only consideration, then the Chevy Cruze is probably for you. It gets good gas mileage, especially for the money and the relative stability of diesel prices.

    But if you prefer a more environment-friendly car or one that is large and luxurious with lots of bells and whistles, then consider the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. It is truly a beautiful vehicle. The Hyundai Ioniq, is reasonably priced and offers Apple Play™ and Android Auto™ compatibility. So if those particular features are important to you, be sure to investigate that car.

    You may notice that of the 10 vehicles that we reviewed, four were made by Toyota. The Toyota Prius was first sold in the year 2000 and has had four major re-designs. Toyota was at the forefront of fuel efficiency, and they continue to improve. For an excellent vehicle for your money, the Prius will not disappoint.
     

    plant

    Environmental Degradation: What We Are Doing To The Environment

    The "environment" refers to the surroundings or conditions in which an organism resides. This includes the climate, the land, natural resources, flora and fauna. Over the past few decades, we have heard the term environmental degradation used over and over again: something that was not really talked about in the last century.

    The current era--also known as Anthropocene--is a geological period in the history of the earth when mankind has had the most significant impact on the environment. Scientists believe that in the last 50 years alone, the stress on the environment has doubled, while the amount of resources required for human survival have declined by more than 30%.

    The environment that we live in has a natural uninterrupted climate and resource cycle that has been operating for millenniums without halting. Recently though, man-kind has interrupted and disrupted this natural cycle in a big way. Research shows that many hydrologic, geologic, atmospheric, and biospheric systems of the earth have been altered by humans. The collapse of the natural balance of the environment due to man-made activities is what we know today as environmental degradation.

    What Is Environmental Degradation

    Disintegration of Natural Assets

    The earth is a vast store of natural resources like land, water, air, fossil fuels, and plants that serve many purposes. These resources have been around for years and regenerate themselves from time to time. Every natural resource has its own place, temperature, area and path of movement, be it rain water, polar ice, desert sand, minerals, or animal species.

    Extensive interference by man in the natural cycle of these resources has put a spoke in the wheel of the planet’s recurring systems, leading to climate changes and problems like soil erosion, a rise in sea levels, pollution, and the extinction of various plant and animal species.

    Environmental degradation does not occur in an isolated system but across all spheres on the earth. Water bodies are dirty and marine life is affected due to garbage dumping, fishing trawlers, oil spills, and soil erosion. This in turn renders all water reserves unhealthy and reduces the volume of potable water. The various modes of transport on land, sea and air pollute every layer of the atmosphere. Excessive agricultural practices spoil the land, resulting in poisonous crops. Environmental degradation ultimately causes more and more health problems for people everywhere.

    A Serious Threat

    The environment is a complex cluster of different ecosystems that are inter-dependent. When one ecosystem fails, there is a ripple effect all across the systems, resulting in the breakdown of other ecosystems as well. Environmental degradation is considered one of the gravest issues for the world today. Every country is trying its best to control the harm being caused to the environment and reverse some of the negative effects of it.

    Scientists believe that human overpopulation and overconsumption has led to the extinction of numerous animal species, a phenomenon they are calling ‘the 6th extinction’ and which may very well result in a worldwide biological annihilation.

    Is There a Need To Understand Environmental Degradation?

    trash around empty trash bin

    Deteriorating Living Conditions

    The habitat in which we live is no longer healthy. The air, water, and soil are polluted due to industrial effluents and inadequate sewage treatment. To produce crops in large quantities, pesticides and artificial fertilizers are used, which decreases the volume of arable land over time and also renders food unhealthy. These fertilizers and pesticides get into the water system of a region and pollute it. This in turn contaminates the drinking water. Large-scale deforestation and land clearing has led to silting of rivers and extinction of many animal species that were an indispensable part of the food chain.

    In order to reverse the pernicious effects on climate, it is necessary to understand what environmental degradation is and what causes it. Only when there is large-scale awareness of the causes and consequences of climate deterioration to mankind, will different agencies be able to find solutions to combat it.

    Small Actions Have a Large Impact

    Another reason why it is extremely important to understand environmental degradation and its causes is to so we can reduce acts of pollution that go unnoticed but have a great impact on the climate. There are numerous daily activities we believe don’t make a big difference. But when one family adds to pollution with this belief in mind, we cannot forget that there will be millions of families who feel the same way and go about destroying the environment one day at a time.

    If everyone is aware of the waste they leave on the planet and the resources they expend, it will be easier to reduce the same and build a better habitat. Large scale afforestation, promoting the use of solar energy, recycling, the segregation of garbage, and a ban on plastic uses are some global measures climate agencies are harping on to slow down environmental degradation. But all of these measures must be put into place at the local household level in order to bring about results on a massive scale.

    Information On Environmental Degradation

    water pollution

    Population Control

    The planet we live on provides us with resources that help sustain human and animal life on earth. It has taken many years for these resources to form in quantities enough for a particular size of population. Unless population explosion is brought under control, the resources that have already taken years to get replenished will deplete at an alarming rate and no conservation measures will suffice.

    International Organizations for Climate Conservation

    Various groups at governmental and non-governmental level are working to find sustainable solutions to climate change, scarcity of resources, and deterioration of living conditions across cities. The United Nations Environment Program addresses serious climate issues of different countries through its key bodies like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

    Environmental organizations like Greenpeace, Worldwide Fund for Nature, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency also actively take part in conservation and awareness programs to counter environmental degradation.

    Economic Effects

    air pollution

    Environmental degradation is largely caused by economic development. The mechanization of work, industrialization across sectors, new modes of transport and sprawling urbanization is causing more stress on the environment in the form of increased pollution, felling of tress, or exploitation of ground water. Courses of rivers are erratic and soil erosion is increasing, causing roadblocks in irrigation projects. Oil spills are extremely tough to clean and cause a lot of damage to marine life.

    At the same time, more economic resources are required to deal with the consequences of climate change. Natural calamities induced by man-made activities, like floods and fires, are increasing in number. In such emergencies, large amounts of capital are needed for rescue and relief efforts, rehabilitation of affected people, and rebuilding of infrastructure. Hence, a progressive economy is causing environmental degradation as well as bearing the brunt of it.

    Social Impact

    crops

    Environmental degradation greatly affects the lives of people. Many places face untimely rains, cyclones, or drought conditions and ruined crops or harvest which in turn affects the income of the people. Rising pollution and smog levels cause grave health conditions and respiratory illnesses, especially in children and senior citizens. Increased smog levels are often a major cause for accidents.

    Conservation Efforts

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a global convention with the aim of limiting greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The Paris Agreement (one of the most significant agreements in recent times) under the UNFCCC was adopted in December 2015 and is to date ratified by 181 parties out of the 197 parties to the convention. The main aim of this agreement is for all countries to ensure that the increase in global temperature is restricted to below 2 degrees in the current century. This should be accompanied by conservation and enhancement of GHG (greenhouse gas) sinks and reservoirs everywhere.

    Conclusion

    people protesting

    Many agencies have taken up the task of searching for earthly resources on other planets or sustainable options on earth. This is an expensive endeavor in itself. But even if alternatives are found, no environment can stand up to the excessive exploitation of natural assets. Human activities have ruffled natural climate systems so much that we now need artificially created cycles like cloud seeding to bring rainfall.

    Unsustainable practices and abuse of renewable resources costs a lot. The global economy, health, as well as community living is under threat and can come to an end if viable ecological solutions are not put into place. And because climate change has been set in motion a while back, it will take some time before it comes to a halt or even reduces considerably.

    Even if all unwanted emissions stop completely today, the effects of the same will continue for centuries due to the cumulative impact of all the emissions that are already present in the atmosphere for so many years. It is late, but slowing down the environmental degradation that is affecting every organism across the various ecosystems is crucial for a healthy, sustainable habitat for the coming generations.

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