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Which Car Is Most Suitable For You?

New 2017 Video Guide

 

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You? Individual videos and full length video

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – Petrol?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – Diesel?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – Hybrid?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – Plug-in Hybrid?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – E-REV?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You – EV?

Which Car Is Most Efficient For You? – full 10 minute version

Which car is most efficient for you?

Thinking of buying a new car?

Are you thinking of a petrol car? How about a diesel? What about a hybrid? Have you considered electric?

Which fuel – or technology – will be cheapest – for the driving that YOU do?

This guide will help you through the increasingly complex range of different car engine technologies, to help you save money on fuel and car running costs.

 

Petrol

What is it?

• Petrol internal combustion engines have historically been the most popular choice for cars.

 

Benefits

• They’re one of the lowest cost, and lightest, engines, which should result in a cheaper car to buy.

• Petrol is cleaner than diesel in terms of emissions that have an impact upon local air quality.

• Many of the latest petrol-powered cars have official economy figures of more than 60 miles per gallon – especially those with smaller ‘downsized’ engines.

 

Issues

• However petrol engines aren’t as economical as diesel.

• Petrol as a fuel isn’t as clean or as cheap as electric power.

• Official economy can be difficult to match in real-life with ‘downsized’ petrol engines.

Is a petrol engine ideal for your driving?

• Cars with petrol engines can be cost-effective for motorists who drive relatively low mileages or in mainly urban conditions and who need the ability to drive further than an electric vehicle, or EV, may allow, or who can’t recharge an electric vehicle.

 

Diesel

What is it?

• Over recent years there has been an increasing shift to diesel engines due to their lower carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions, and better fuel economy than petrol engines.

Benefits

• A modern, efficient diesel is likely to be one of the most economical engines, potentially returning over 60 miles per gallon in real life, as well as delivering good performance.

Issues

• Diesels have higher emissions of some air pollutants, which can affect local air quality – this could be a problem in urban areas.

• They’re heavier and more expensive than the equivalent petrol engines, which is reflected in the cost of the car.

Is a diesel engine ideal for your driving?

• Diesel engines are often ideal for business drivers covering lots of miles, especially in larger cars.

 

 

Hybrid

What is it?

• A hybrid has a powertrain that combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor powered by a battery. The battery is charged by capturing energy from braking and, under certain conditions, from the engine.

Benefits 

• Petrol-electric hybrids are ideal for urban areas as most can run on electric-only power for short distances, and when at standstill the engine is switched off, thereby reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and emissions that impact upon local air quality. Of course, stop-start systems are also found in more conventional cars these days.

• Diesel-electric hybrids are designed to offer diesel-levels of economy, with the ability for electric-only running in urban areas, thereby reducing emissions from the diesel engine.

• Urban driving is ideal to charge the hybrid battery.

• Hybrids don’t need to be plugged in to the mains to recharge the battery.

• Because there’s a petrol or diesel engine, hybrids have no range limitation.

• Hybrids can provide the performance of a larger engine with the economy of a smaller one.

Issues

• Hybrid technology generally means extra purchase cost but lower fuel costs than a petrol or diesel.

• Diesel-electric hybrid powertrains are relatively heavy, which in real-life can offset some of the theoretical fuel economy savings.

• Hybrids offer little advantage for motorway use.

• Most hybrids can’t be used for towing.

Is a hybrid ideal for your driving?

• Hybrids are ideal for people who split their time in and out of urban areas, where the hybrid system will reduce fuel costs and emissions in the city, yet the car is perfectly able to drive outside of urban areas.

 

Plug-in Hybrid

What is it?

• A plug-in hybrid combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor powered by a battery, with the additional ability to plug the car into the mains to gain a longer electric-only driving range.

Benefits

• Plug-in hybrids are ideal for urban areas as they can run on electric-only power for possibly 15-30 miles, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

• The petrol or diesel engine provides power when the battery is depleted, so there’s no range limitation.

• The government’s Plug-in Car Grant enables motorists purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car to receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.

• Plug-in hybrids have low official emissions therefore exemption from road tax, and low company car tax rates.

• Most plug-in hybrids are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

• Driving the plug-in hybrid in electric mode will save considerably on fuel costs.

 

Issues

• Plug-in hybrid technology generally means extra purchase cost but lower fuel costs than a petrol or diesel.

• You need to be able to plug the car in to the mains to recharge it. There is a Government grant available if you need to install a domestic charging point.

• Plug-in hybrids have very high official fuel economy figures (typically over 100 miles per gallon), but it’s very difficult to achieve such figures in real-life driving unless the car operates on electric power for a high proportion of the time, which can only happen with short driving cycles, when a pure EV is likely to be most suitable.

Is a plug-in hybrid ideal for your driving?

• Plug-in hybrids are ideal for driving in urban areas, where they can make the most of their electric zero-tailpipe emission capability, but they can also drive anywhere thanks to their petrol or diesel engines.

• Plug-in vehicles can also work very well in rural areas if a car is typically driven for around 20 miles between charges; the low fuel costs and the lower number of rural fuel stations can make them a good, financially-sound choice.

 

Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV)

What is it?

• An Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) is an electric car with an additional ‘range-extender’ petrol engine that provides extra driving range when the battery becomes depleted, by generating power to charge the battery.

Benefits

• E-REVs are ideal for driving distances of up to around 50 miles between charges – in urban or rural areas – as they can run on electric-only power for such distances, or more in some cases, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

• With the petrol engine, there’s no range limitation, so they’re also ideal for occasional longer journeys.

• The government’s Plug-in Car Grant enables motorists purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car to receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.

• E-REVs have low official emissions therefore exemption from road tax, and low company car tax rates.

• E-REVs are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

• E-REVs can provide significant savings on the cost of fuel.

Issues

• Two powertrains means extra purchase cost and weight, but lower fuel costs than a petrol or diesel.

• Very high official fuel economy figures (typically over 200 miles per gallon) only if the car operates on electric power for a high proportion of the time.

• Most efficient when driven on electric power rather than when using the range-extender.

• You need to be able to plug the car in to the mains to recharge it. There is a Government grant available if you need to install a domestic charging point.

Is an extended-range electric vehicle ideal for your driving?

• E-REVs are ideal for use primarily in urban areas or for journeys of up to 50 miles between charges, where they can run on electric-only power, with occasional use for longer journeys.

 

Electric vehicle

What is it?

• A ‘pure’ electric vehicle is powered by an electric motor, which takes its energy from an onboard battery. You plug the car in to the mains to recharge the battery.

Benefits

• With zero tailpipe emissions, a pure EV is the lowest emission car that you can buy.

• Even when taking the emissions from the National Grid into account, EVs are greener than petrol or diesel-powered cars per mile.

• EVs offer a very quiet, smooth and refined driving experience.

• EVs have very low running costs – approximately one-fifth of a conventional petrol or diesel car.

• The government’s Plug-in Car Grant enables motorists purchasing a qualifying ultra-low emission car to receive a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.

• EV drivers currently pay zero company car tax.

• EVs are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

• Low fuel costs can outweigh high purchase costs.

Issues

• Most EVs have a limited driving range – on average, around 80-100 miles, though some have more.

• EVs can be relatively expensive to buy, though this can be offset by the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant, and by lower running costs.

• You need to be able to plug the car in to the mains to recharge it. There is a Government grant available if you need to install a domestic charging point.

• Driving at motorway speeds will run the battery down more quickly, reducing range.

Is an electric vehicle ideal for your driving?

• If you drive fewer than 80-100 miles per day, and you can recharge overnight at home, or can recharge at work, an electric vehicle may be an ideal way to reduce your vehicle running costs.

 

So what is the most efficient car technology for you?

• If you only drive a low number of miles each year, with a mix of local and longer journeys, and don’t have somewhere to charge an EV overnight, then a petrol car, or a hybrid, may be your best bet.

• If you spend lots of time on long motorway journeys then a diesel may be the most efficient powertrain choice.

• If you spend around half your time in the city or driving relatively short distances, and half of your time out of the city or on longer journeys, then a hybrid is likely to save you money on fuel.

• If you spend most of your time in the city or driving relatively short distances, but also want a car that is capable of much longer journeys, a plug-in hybrid or Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) would both be ideal.

• If you spend the vast majority of your time in the city or driving relatively short distances, but need a car that can also do the occasional longer journey, an E-REV or plug-in hybrid would both be perfect.

• If you rarely drive more than 70-80 miles in a given day, or also have access to a conventional car – if not your own, then through a car rental company, car club, or the mobility service of an EV manufacturer – then a pure electric vehicle could provide you with extremely low running costs and save you money.

See the ‘Which car is most efficient for you?’ videos above

 

Want to find out more?

For travel and transport advice visit www.est.org.uk/travel

To find out how you can drive a low emission vehicle visit www.fleetdrive.co.uk – the UK’s leading low carbon car and van leasing company

For more information about electric, hybrid and green vehicles visit www.GreenCarGuide.co.uk