Many would like to save money and run a car that is as kind as possible to the environment, and manufacturers have focused heavily in recent years on not only making existing models greener, but developing new technologies such as electric power to provide the ultimate solution in environmentally-friendly options. There’s now plenty of choice when it comes to both saving money and saving the planet.
Choosing a greener car
You may think it’s as simple as going for an electric model, when it comes to choosing a greener car. Despite the current government subsidy, electric cars are vastly more expensive than their fossil-fuelled counterparts, and if the bulk of your motoring is longer trips, the relatively short range of a fully charged electric car could be a limiting factor. On the other hand, if your driving is mostly short local trips, electric could be a sound option.
Perhaps a combination of fossil fuel and electric in the form of a hybrid is the answer? Or maybe the lower initial costs of a less green (but far cleaner than cars of yesteryear) fossil-fuel only car is still the way to go? The current issue of environmentally friendly cars having a price premium over their fossil fuel-only counterparts can be countered by certain funding options, such as those from specialists such as Lease Car.
Most mainstream and even some niche manufacturers offer good choices for the environmentally conscious; here are some of the best:
BMW’s foray into electric power comes in two flavours of the i3; an electric-only version with a powerful 168bhp motor and a ‘range extender’ option which is basically a motorcycle engine that keeps the batteries topped up.
VW Golf BlueMotion
The VW is diesel power only and very good to drive because you never feel you’re driving purely to protect the planet. Near 90mpg fuel economy is possible thanks to clever aerodynamic and mechanical features, including lower rolling resistance tyres and lowered suspension.
SEAT Leon Ecomotive
Very closely related to the Golf BlueMotion above, the SEAT offers similar near 90mpg fuel economy and relatively clean running in three or five door form, and you may get some change out of £20,000.
The car that pioneered hybrid technology, the latest model is still a good green choice despite a raft of competitor offerings.
Hybrid cars use a combination of electric and fossil-fuel for power, and the Prius offers a potent combination of economy and clean running; over 100 mpg is possible and it emits just 59g/km of CO2.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
If you need a larger SUV it doesn’t have to be the archetypal gas-guzzler. The plug-in hybrid Outlander is even more economical and greener than the Toyota Prius above; it’ll return nearly 150 mpg and emits just 44g/km of CO2.
The above represents a mere handful of the best environmentally-friendly cars but there are many more. For example, the MINI Diesel shows that retro chic style and driver appeal doesn’t have to be sacrificed on the alter of going green. The diminutive all-electric VW Up! offers a small but spacious city option, and if you’re looking for a second-hand green car, Vauxhall’s Ampera offers a range-extending petrol engine and amazing fuel consumption potential of over 200mpg with just 27g/km CO2 emissions.
Being environmentally friendly doesn’t necessarily mean dull motoring.