When looking for an eco friendly car you should look at the CO2 emissions to check how green the car actually is. Any car with less than 100 g/km CO2 emmissions is a pretty good car. Another way to tell if a car is eco friendly is by looking at the tax band; the lower the better. There are now a lot of cars in the market now that cost nothing to tax because of their low CO2 emmission.
We have put together a list of top 5 hybrid and electric cars to help you select an eco friendly vehicle:
The Toyota Prius has been the most popular hybrid car since its launch in 2008. The newer 2010 model has been overhauled and has a lot more added extras including an on board computer, built in satelite navigation and cruise control as standard. There are also a lot of optional extras which you can choose from such as a touch tracer system that mimics your hand gestures over the steering wheel so you don’t have to look at the radio when adjusting the radio or climate control and a solar roof package which is designed to power the ventilation fan.
It is sporting a 1.5 litre engine which produces a nice 98bhp and 142Nm of torque. The Prius has a luxury feel inside and is beautifully crafted though it does have a certain twist to the style some people might not like.
The Honda Civic IMA Hybrid was first released in 2003. The new Honda civic is even more energy efficient than its predecessor and believe it or not even more powerful. It comes with a 1.3 engine but easily achieves the power of a 1.8 litre engine. Even with this added power it is still as energy efficient as a 1.0 litre engine which is truly incredible.
The interior in the Honda Civic looks very professional. The front has a digital speedometer with blue lights used on every screen. On the outside it looks similar to a saloon car such as the VW Passat.
It is not quite as eco friendly as the Toyota Prius but with the hybrid system added it does boost your fuel economy to a very healthy 40 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the motorways.
The Lexus CT 200h was first seen in 2010 .It is powered by a 1.8 engine with an electric motor, which in turn produces a whopping 134hp. The Lexus is aimed at current Prius owners who want to stay green but also want something a lot sportier and stylish. Although its not quite a green as the Prius, it is still one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market to date.
As you would expect form a Lexus it is not lacking features and style as standard. It comes fitted with bluetooth hands-free calling and audio, iPod control, push-button start, climate control, cruise control and steering wheel audio controls. If that is not enough then there are a lot of optional extras which can easily push up the base price by at least £8,000. These include LED Headlamps with washers, a power moonroof, heated seats, rain sensor wipers, satellite navigation system.
The style of the Lexus is beautiful inside and out but what else would you expect from a luxury car manufacturer like Lexus.
Introduced in 2011 the Honda Insight is supposed to be Honda’s low price hybrid. But as you would expect from any ‘Low Cost Car’ it does have some drawbacks. The build quality of the Insight is not great, it feels very tinny and fragile. Though on the outside it does look very nice from the front. Some reviewers dislike the flat rear end but it does have a certain controversial style.
When driving the car something doesn’t seem right, this is probably the gear box as it is a CVT gearbox (constantly variable transmission) which some drivers may dislike. When driving a normal car if you put your foot down the revs and speed rise together, if you put your foot down in the Insight the revs rise fast and then the speed will rise to match it. The only way to describe this is by imagining you accidentally put your car into first gear instead of 3rd and you get that sudden jolt of power, the feeling is not enjoyable.
But with all that said it is a hybrid car and it is eco friendly, and for the price £3000 cheaper then the Prius it does deserve a spot in this list.
The Toyota Auris is a beautiful car outside but inside its lacking that wow factor. The interior looks quite plain and standard.
The Auris is supposed to be able to achieve an impressive 70 mpg which would put it on par with the Prius. But after 3rd party tests from various car reviewers, they have only managed to produce an average of 55mpg which is still very environmentally friendly but not quite as good as the Prius.
After all that said the Auris is a very smooth car to drive and is very well equipped, if you are a town driver you will be able to achieve a much higher mpg, and at slower speed the engine is silent. The Auris is one of the most eco friendly cars on the market but if you are looking for the full package you are better off going for the Prius or Lexus.
The Nissan LEAF is probably the first real attempt at making an electric car for the mass market. The interior of the Nissan LEAF is beautiful, with lovely light white and cream colours with some blue plastics and metal parts its definitely one of the best interiors on the market. Unfortunately the beauty stops inside. The outside of the car is very strange looking, maybe the shape will grow on people but at the moment it is a very ugly car. The rear end really lets the car down as it looks like a spaceship.
However, its not the looks that attract people to this car; it is the beautiful engineering under the bonnet. The car is powered by a powerful 90kW electric motor producing 120hp. The car also has an impressive trickle-charge which charges the car on the go using the kinetic energy produced by breaking.
The car comes with a few gadgets as standard including an on board computer with built in satellite navigation and climate control. The inboard entertainment system is brought to you by Microsoft in the form of an 8 inch touchscreen tablet in the centre of the dashboard. This touch screen computer is nothing other then brilliant, it allows you to see how much power the car is using, not just from driving but also the air conditioning and stereo. The stereo is also loud, powerful and crystal clear.
All in all this is by far the best electric car on the market and best of all it produces 0 emissions.
The ev’ie is basically a Citroen C1 that has been gutted and fitted with an electric motor, some batteries and a charger. So as for the design it is exactly the same as the Citroen C1 which is a good thing as the C1 is a very nice looking car if you are into superminis.
The ev’ie is not the most technically advanced car on the market but it does come with the essentials like electric windows, ABS, side impact protection, isofix multi location points for attaching a car seat and of course a CD player with radio and MP3 playback.
The C1 ev’ie will give you a reasonable average of 70 miles per charge and can reach up to 65mph. One of the best things about the car is the charge time, because it uses a lithium-ion battery you will be able to fully charge it in only 6 hours.
The ev’ie does have a hefty price tag of just under £20,000 but the car will start paying for itself straight away and if you are a commuter to London you won’t have to pay congestion charges!
The iMiEV is a very futuristic looking car, which is not a bad thing. Its smart, elegant and very comfortable to drive. The iMiEV comes with all of the standard technology including stability control, Isofix anchor points, ABS, side curtain airbags and a very beautiful digital speedo.
The iMiEV has a decent range of 80 miles, can can provide a very impressive top speed of 81mph and the charge time is similar to the ev’ie as it also has the lithium-ion batteries which allow it to be charged in just 6 hours.
The Smart Fortwo is a brilliant little car for town and city driving. The design is basically the same as the classic small smart car, it has a very tall driving position and a large windscreen.
Though since it is made by Mercedes I thought it would be much better looking inside and have a few more gadgets , the build quality is ok but no where near the build quality of the usual Mercedes cars which is a bit disappointing. The handling of the car could be a lot better as it provides you with terrible understeer. However, other then that it is is a very smooth car to drive and very quiet. The size of it also means you will be able to fit into the spaces other car drivers can’t.
As with its predecessor it still only has two seats which is not very practical, but if you are on your own or with one other its a very comfortable and, believe it or not, a very spacious car.
The Mega City from Nice is the low cost alternative in the electric car section coming in at just £13,295.
The Mega City is a bit square but it is a much better looking car the the G-Wiz which unfortunately didn’t make it onto this list (for a good reason).
The Nice Mega City was designed for short journeys and city travelling hence the slow tops speed of just 40mph and a range of 60 miles on a fully charged battery. The battery is made from lead-acid which takes a lousy 8 hours to charge. Although this car does have its draw backs for the smallish price tag it is an excellent car for city and town use and will also save you a great deal of money over the years.
In conclusion, if you have the extra money you will be better off going for one of the other electric cars because the Mega City is not a very good looking car, has a poor range and an even worse top speed.