Green motoring is an increasingly hot topic for all motorists in the UK. With vehicle emissions still contributing a large percentage of all CO2 emissions, every car owner can play their part in helping to reduce the amount of pollution produced by their vehicle. Manufacturers are aware of this trend and we are now seeing a rise in the number of different green cars available, so which of these are tagged for success in 2015?
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
This strong looking SUV offers drivers a dual motor system consisting of a full four-wheel drive hybrid engine, complemented by a 2 litre petrol engine. Unlike other hybrids it can be driven as a solely electric car, with a range of 30 miles and a top speed of 60mph making it the perfect vehicle for the short city run around. It has a regenerative braking system that constantly tops up the battery, ensuring that no energy is wasted by any of this car’s processes. It is a plug in vehicle, which does mean that owners will need to connect the car up to an external power supply to charge the Outlander’s electric motor, but Mitsubishi believe this will not deter potential customers due to the competitive pricing of the car.
If you want the greenest option available then the hydrogen cell powered Toyota FCV could well be your best choice. This vehicle has no conventional combustion engine and therefore produces no harmful emissions. Instead it uses a fuel cell stack where hydrogen is converted into oxygen and water, which will need to be replenished at service stations that feature a hydrogen pump. Toyota have not come up with an official name for this car as FCV is only the current working name, so expect a full rebranding by the time it goes on sale in the UK around July – August.
Audi A3 e-tron
Audi’s venture into the plug-in hybrid market is the A3 e-tron. This car has a range of 30 miles and can reach a very impressive 81mph whilst in electric mode. It can gain power via its regenerative braking system, whilst coasting or owners can pop open the four ring logo at the front of the car and plug the vehicle in to an external power supply to charge at home. Audi claim that this car is capable of a 188 miles per gallon, returning a CO2 equivalent of 35 g/km, which means that it will not only be one of the greenest vehicles to be found on UK roads, but it should also be tax free. The electric motor is combined with a 1.4 litre petrol engine, giving it the necessary extra power and range to deal with longer journeys.
BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid
The BMW X5 has been cleverly styled to look like a standard high powered BMW sports activity vehicle, featuring large cosmetic exhaust pipes to complete its profile. It uses a standard turbo charged 2.0 litre engine that is combined with a 95 horse-power electric motor to create a 270 horsepower vehicle with a range of up to 20 miles on pure electric power. In the electric mode the X5 can reach a very impressive 75mph giving it the necessary speed and acceleration to cope with the demands of urban driving. Reviews in the motoring press have been very favourable, with critics only quibbling about the loss of carry space in the rear of the car due to the large lithium batteries that power the electric motor.
Consumer awareness of the environmental impact of their vehicles means that the industry has to sit up and listen to the demands of this responsibility. Looking at the number of new green vehicles that are set to appear on our roads in 2015 it appears that car manufacturers are responding quickly and efficiently to this change in the wants and needs of the motorist. Even high end producers like Ferrari and Porsche and now creating hybrid engines, insuring that the ecologically friendly cars of the future will be accessible to everyone, even supercar drivers.