Vehicle manufacturers have recently invested more of their resources into producing the next generation of cars with less concern about speed, and more focus on MPG and CO2, but what can we expect future green cars to look like? Here are some of latest eco cars to come out of the design studio and onto the production line.
The Volkswagen XL1
Set to be the world’s most fuel efficient car, the Volkswagen XL1 was unveiled back in 2011 at the Qatar Motor Show. Returning a 313mpg and emitting 24 g/km of CO2, this car really does set the benchmark.
The XL1 TDI engine can accelerate from rest to 62mph in 11.9 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 99mph. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions.
The Audi A1 e-tron is a Mega City Vehicle (MCV) with an innovative drive technology. It comes equipped with a powerful electric motor for zero-emission driving in the city. There is also an internal combustion engine on board, however the Audi A1 e-tron always drives on electric power; its internal combustion engine is only used to recharge the battery in isolated cases.
Audi has developed a proprietary thermal management system to keep the battery, the electric motor, and the power electronics within their respective ideal temperature windows.
The synchronous electric motor of the Audi A1 e-tron is mounted transversely at the front of the car. Its low mounting position has a positive effect on the vehicle’s centre of gravity. Continuous output is rated at 61PS, with peak power of 102PS available in short bursts. 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) of torque is continuously available, and peak torque is 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft).
This eco car is not so much a future car as it’s available for purchase now, however fully deserves a mention. The all electric i3 was launched simultaneously in New York, London and Beijing and this impressive BMW i3 features a 170bhp electric motor which gives the i3 a top speed of 93mph and a driving range of up to 100 miles on a singular charge, or 186 miles with the petrol powered range extender in play.
The result is that BMW have achieved a revolutionary eco car that lives up to BMW’s aspiration of producing the ultimate driving machine.
The Honda Fit is already considered a great all round car, delivering a space-efficient and very flexible interior design. Add a bit of eco dust onto this and you have the Honda Fit EV.
Although availability of the Honda Fit EV is very limited, as in 6 states within America, we still thought it warranted a mention.
With an electric motor rated at 123 horsepower, the Honda Fit EV has very quick acceleration. The Honda Fit EV ranges anywhere up to 118 mpg, with an estimated range of 82 miles on a full charge. One of the great things about the Fit EV is that it also boasts a quick recharge time; about three hours are required to recharge a depleted Fit EV using a 240-volt-compatible charger included with the vehicle.
Great Range, but what about costs?
The range of hybrid cars available is on the increase and we can see that car manufacturers are placing a lot of focus on building their range of hybrid vehicles, with some great cars set to be released.
At the moment when it comes to buying a hybrid car the costs are typically higher than that of a similar diesel or petrol engine car, this is partly down to the complexity of a hybrid system and the larger than normal battery. However, this additional cost is mainly offset by the lower running costs you can expect. Plus, as hybrids become more popular and manufacturers begin to increase their production and range available, it’s expected that the cost of purchase will reduce and we can expect to find a selection of deals and offers become readily available not only through dealerships but also on dedicated car saving sites such as www.autohouse.co.uk