Five of the UK’s Best Green Cars

Green car among other vehicles

Go back two decades and green cars were blue-sky thinking. Whilst scientists pushed the technology of the time to its limits to see if they could make solar-powered cars that could travel vast distances in desert climes, such innovations seemed a lifetime away from the UK’s roads, especially when electric cars only ever seemed to promise a fraction of the power of their petrol-driven cousins. However, in the last five years this situation has changed considerably, and the demand for a cleaner, greener generation of vehicles has shaped the industry, with many of the top manufacturers now offering some serious environmentally friendly cars.

Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera

This short wheel-based hybrid car from UK manufacturer Vauxhall uses an electric motor at all times. Believe it or not,the Ampera actually only ever uses its 1.4 litre petrol engine when it needs to recharge its batteries. Offering an amazing combined/weighted fuel consumption of 235.4 mpg, this car has won the coveted Auto Express Magazine’s Green Car of the Year award for two consecutive years. It looks good on the road, has an engine that’s so quiet that it wouldn’t wake a sleeping mouse, and it even comes with a plug so that you can easily recharge it from your home power-point. On top of all this, it even qualifies for the government green car grant, allowing drivers to come to terms with its £30K price tag.

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is one of the newest cars to feature on our list, and is the only totally electric-powered car to be entirely manufactured in the UK, cutting down on the amount of carbon emissions generated by transporting the vehicle to this country for sale. Featuring an incredibly fast charge time – the battery can go from flat to 80% full in around 30 minutes, this is a great option for people looking who’re after a cool city-bound car that packs in the performance of a standard 1.6 litre petrol driven hatchback. This is the second generation of the Leaf, and Nissan have clearly learnt from their previous production, making a number of small changes that will make a big difference to new owners of this vehicle, such as the locking charge system that prevents people from unplugging your car whilst you’re not looking. Again this car qualifies for the government’s EV grant, which takes around £5k off its list price, making an entry level model start at a very reasonable £15K.

Tesla Sedan S

Tesla Model S

Up till now all the cars we’ve featured in this list have been small urban runabouts. What about the more serious car enthusiast who wants something that’s going to show off their status? Well for those looking for an executive electric vehicle, there’s the Tesla brand of luxury cars. Their Sedan S is a five door car that can go toe to toe with any of the big European manufacturers when it comes to classy good looks and stylish shaping – it even features a dummy radiator grill so it won’t look out of place in the company car park. This isn’t just a big car either, it’s a very big car that some reviewers say takes a little bit of getting used to on the road. It’s the performance stats that are something however, with the top end model pushing nearly 4.2 seconds in the 0-60mph test and a full battery providing a range of 300 miles.

Prindiville Hummer

Prindiville Hummer

Large SUVs are always getting a bad rap for their gas-guzzling ways. However if you’re looking for a bulky car that swerves petrol then you might be interested in the Prindiville Hummer, which is a mini-copy of the famous boxy Hummers that are so popular in the states with Pop Stars. From the outside this car apparently looks the part, with shark fin antennae, alloy wheels and high powered LED lights. However, it’s the interior that lets the car down, as the original Hummer is known for a luxurious ride and the fittings and seats in this copy-car are considered to be quite Spartan. If it’s not the best car in the world why did we include it in our list? Well, it’s another car that’s completely powered by batteries, and its energy consumption is equivalent to an amazing 600 mpg – the best by far on our list.

Renault Kangoo ZE


For those who like their vehicles with a bit more utility, then the best electric van on the road is considered to be the Renault Kangoo ZE. It comes in two seater and five seater variants, allowing you to use it as a family vehicle when it’s not being used for more business-like purposes. Apparently this vehicle has an incredibly smooth drive, and makes very little noise on the road. Under standard conditions it has a range of around 105 miles, although you can choose to drive it in an even more green torque-limiting mode, which will give you an increase of 10% on its endurance stats. The best thing about this vehicle is that as the electric drive and power units are so small, you get an amazing 2,600 litres of space in the back. The only bad thing about this car is that as a commercial vehicle unfortunately it doesn’t qualify for the government’s EV grant.

A Final Thought

 Of course, all the cars we’ve featured in this article are incredibly environmentally friendly in terms of the fuel consumption and energy efficiency. However, there is one factor that’s not often taken into consideration when discussing the green impact of vehicle ownership, which is the carbon costs of manufacturing a modern road worthy vehicle. Some ecological experts claim that the greenest method of car ownership is to buy and older car and completely run it into the ground, purchasing second hand parts and repairing it as much as possible on the way, ensuring that a good return is made on the huge energy and material costs that have gone into its creation.

This entry was posted in Environment on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

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