How To Make An Environmentally Friendly Car Look Badass

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Any decent guy wants to help make the earth a safer, healthier place, but it’s tough to give up your sweet ride. Sure, it’s a gas-guzzling, smog-producing hazard to the ozone layer, but it also makes you look incredibly cool. For some guys, their car is the one thing keeping them in the dating gene pool.

If, however, the eco-guilt (or the insane rise of gas prices) is just too much to bear, here are ways to keep a hybrid or electric from converting your last gallon of cool into a cloud of low emissions.

1. Put a bitching stereo system in it

This is an old trick from our high school days, back when the coolest car we could afford was the one our parents gave us: To obscure the fact that you’re cruising around in a soccer mom mobile, spring for a stereo system bumpin’ more bass than a nightclub. Your wimpy hybrid is now a “green party” on wheels.

2. Get a custom paint job

Most car companies give hybrids an ugly shape, and then add insult to injury by slathering them in garish, bright colors that scream, “Hey! I gave up my awesome Mustang to commute in this!” You can’t change the shape of the car, even if you think you’re a whiz with a welding torch and an angle grinder, but you can get a paint job that’s a little less bubblegum and a lot more kick-ass.

Hell, put racing stripes and flames on the thing to create the appearance that you could go fast, if you wanted to, but you’re just saving it up for a really important race.

3. Make it sound like it has a big engine

Your eco-friendly automobile produces fewer emissions, but also produces way less sound because it doesn’t use a traditional combustion engine. A badass vehicle makes every other driver on the road scared they’re about to be eaten by some wild mechanical animal, which is impossible when the loudest noise your car makes is the streaks from its windshield wipers.

Some hybrids offer a system that can produce the sound of a traditional car engine as a safety precaution for pedestrians. So, go all out and have it play the sounds of Steve McQueen‘s Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback from “Bullitt.”

4. Spring for a Tesla

If you’ve got enough money, you can always trade up your granola mobile for something with the appearance of class and beauty…that still won’t make Earth Day lovers cry. Tesla is one of the few electric car makers that’s publicly trying to compete in the looks department with high-end brands like Audi and Mercedes-Benz. They are a bit pricier, but they can keep you from looking like you have tickets for an Al Gore-curated film festival.

5. Date a hot hippie chick

Even if you aren’t willing to soup-up your low-emission vehicle, the right passenger will make you look like a winner. She might not let you eat hamburgers in front of her — or listen to any music without a mission statement — but she thinks you’re helping to save the world. So, don’t worry about the car’s price tag, because she believes in free love.

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Danny Gallagher (@thisisdannyg) drives a Ford Mustang that runs on Patchouli oil.