IT USED to be so simple. When buying a car you’d select the body style you wanted, along with the colour and spec. Of course there was also the fuel type – petrol or diesel – but that was pretty much it. Now you’ve got to consider electric cars, hybrids, E-REVs and before long even machines powered by hydrogen. Well, possibly.
But how do you choose between the technologies and, more important, do these so-called green cars really make any difference to global temperatures, energy consumption and air quality?
Here we take a look at what makes a car green, why green cars are starting to become so popular and how all the different technologies work. We also discuss whether hydrogen-fuelled cars can ever have a future.
You’ll find watts-and-all analysis of what it’s like to own an electric car, so you can make up your own mind. However, we have spilt the beans on which are our favourite green cars, in case you’re in two minds about spending your cash.
Though more of us are choosing to drive environmentally friendly vehicles, with new cars increasingly featuring some form of electrification, sales of hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) are still slow when compared with the large number of petrol and diesel models sold. But if you’ve been considering making the leap to green, here’s everything you need to know.
Driving Green contents
Introduction to green driving
- What is a “green” car?
- What does Euro 6 mean when it comes to emissions?
- Why have green cars been developed?
- Nine tips for eco-driving
Choosing a green car
- What are hybrid cars?
- What are plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars?
- What are extended-range electric vehicles (E-REVs)?
- What are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?
- Are pure-electric cars suitable?
- Whatever happened to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)?
- What are biofuels?
Green car buying guides
Financial, environmental and practical implications of green motoring
- Electric car UK public charging point maps
- The truth about real-world mpg and fuel costs
- How much is VED (road tax) for green cars?
- Are electric cars expensive to insure?
Green car community online forums
Some early adopters are pretty fanatical about their transport, and they love to share that enthusiasm with anybody who will listen. As a result, there’s an array of forums that allow you to benefit from the experiences of others, whether it’s hybrids or electric cars.
While you might not think of yourself as the sort of person who joins an owners’ club, when it comes to new technologies it’s not a bad idea. Whatever your difficulty, there’ll be someone out there who has already encountered it and found a solution.
- Audi A3 e-tron: myaudia3etron.com
- BMW i3: mybmwi3.com
- Chevrolet Volt: gm-volt.com
- Ford Focus: myfocuselectric.com
- Mercedes B-class: mybclasselectricdrive.com
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV: myimiev.com
- Nissan Leaf: mynissanleaf.com
- Nissan Leaf: leaftalk.co.uk
- Porsche plug-ins: myporscheplugin.com
- Renault EVs: renaultzeforum.com
- Renault Twizy: twizyowners.com
- Renault Zoe: myrenaultzoe.com
- Smart ForTwo ED: mysmartelectricdrive.com
- Tesla: my.teslamotors.com/en_GB/forums
- Tesla: teslamotorsclub.com
- Volkswagen e-Golf: myvwegolf.com
- Volkswagen e-Up: myvweup.com
- Volkswagen Golf GTE: mygolfgte.com
- Volvo XC90: myxc90phev.com