Best Green Cars for 2011.
2011 has so far been a very exciting year indeed for the green car. With yet more great green machines out later this year and the introduction of various government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles, consumers are offered much more choice as several major manufacturers launch high quality, fully electric and financially viable models.
While fully electric cars will be receiving their fair share of attention this year, several new hybrid and plug-in hybrid models making their way to the forecourts will certainly be stealing some of the limelight; the world’s first diesel hybrid available to buy, in particular, and its promise of fantastic reductions in running costs, is highly anticipated.
Drivers will be spoilt for choice this year, and will finally be able to choose a hybrid that more specifically meets their criteria, whether it’s a car that’s cheaper to run, that doesn’t compromise on power or aesthetics, is more environmentally friendly, or some or even all of the above: 2011’s new eco cars are sure to please most.
With recent media furore surrounding rocketing car insurance and petrol prices, drivers are sure to aim for more bang for their buck. Price comparison site moneysupermarket.com conducted a survey to find out whether rising fuel and insurance prices would influence its customers’ choice of car, with 48 per cent saying that they would opt for a more efficient car, 11 per cent claiming that they would choose a model that costs less to insure.
Commenting on the survey’s results, Peter Harrison of moneysupermarket.com car insurance said:
“With prices on the up the up it is more important than ever drivers ensure they are shopping around for the best deals on insurance – those who do will reap rewards and make their hard-earned cash go further.”
And with these models, they’ll do just that…
Peugeot iOn & Citroen C-Zero
Image credit to SOCIALisBETTER
The teaming of Mitsubishi with PSA Peugeot-Citroen has thus produced two French versions of the fully electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Unlike previous battery-electric models, this car will be a good sturdy 4-seater. Both models use a 64bhp electric motor, which enables the vehicle to reach 62mph in 16 seconds, peaking at a respectable 80mph. Using your average domestic-style plug, it will take seven hours to fully recharge (taking you 93 miles), or a rapid charge will replenish 80 per cent of the power in just half an hour. Released in January this year and initially for lease only, both models have been targeted at both private and business customers. This car will set you back £415 a month over 4 years/40,000 miles (price includes batteries, servicing and warranty).
Nissan LEAF electric
Image credit to Tom Raftery
Starting at £23,990, with zero emissions and powered by lithium-ion batteries, the Nissan LEAF is the world’s first five-seater, zero-emission medium-sized hatchback that will run for 80-100 miles. Awarded 2011 European Car of the Year and released this month, the electric motor delivers over 80kW drive to the wheels, and this, again, takes just 30 minutes to charge to 80 per cent of full capacity (or eight hours to 100 per cent charge), making it eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant.
Renault Clio eco-champion
Image credit to MSVG
In addition to Renault’s existing eco2 range, which all include Renault’s new EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) gearbox, 2011 will see its lowest CO2 models awarded the title of ‘eco-champions’. These include the Twingo, Clio, Megane, Laguna and the Scenic, all producing between 90- and 120g CO2/km. The Clio, which has the most impressively low emissions given its size, will qualify for the full Green Vehicle Discount, exemption from the London Congestion Charge, and will be zero-rated for road tax. With a price yet to be confirmed, it’s available summer this year.
Lexus CT 200h hybrid
Image credit to Joe Shlabotnik
While most hybrids have, in the past, tended to be larger models, the CT 200h broke the mould when it entered the prestige small-family car market in February this year, starting at just £23,485. Among the best in its class, the CT qualifies for zero-rated road tax and exemption from the London Congestion Charge. Fantastic news for business customers, the CT 200h Hybrid has a company car BIK rate of just 10%, and qualifies for a 100% write-down in its first year according to the Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme.
Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4
Image credit to Jano2106
The world’s first diesel-electric hybrid, the 3008 Hybrid comes in SUV, MPV and hatchback versions. The 2.0 HDi diesel engine produces an output of 163bhp, and is helped nicely along by a 200bhp electric motor. These two power sources can both operate autonomously, with electric power driving the rear wheels and diesel driving the front, or can be run together in four-wheel-drive mode. Like the Clio, when you consider this vehicle’s dimensions, its comparative CO2 emission of just 99g/km is remarkably low. This one, unfortunately, doesn’t qualify for the Plug-in Car Grant, but does for reduced fuel costs, zero road tax and full discount from the London Congestion Charge. Priced around £25,000, The Hybrid4 is available summer this year.
This article was a guest article written by moneysupermarket.com
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