Sustainable Motoring and Green Cars

By Emma Williams
Sustainable Motoring and Green Cars

Sustainable Motoring

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles are proving more popular than ever and if we are going to preserve our planet they are definitely the way forward. Sales are increasing dramatically and more than 500,000 vehicles have now been sold in the UK alone. The technology has been around for a while but impressive developments now make electric and hybrid vehicles a viable alternative to conventional diesel or petrol-fuelled cars.

Here at MW, we are embracing the changes and we will soon have a dedicated Green Car page on our website. There you will find details of the models we have on special offer as well as further links to more choices of vehicles.

Understanding and acceptance of Green technology is not for everyone but if you’re not sure how it could benefit you and you want to know the basics we have included, below, a brief explanation of Hybrid and Electric technology.

Electric Vehicles

Due to greater choice, a shift in attitude and a rapidly growing charging network the number of electric vehicles on the road is greatly on the up. Electric vehicles run solely on electricity and therefore produce no exhaust emissions. Instead of a petrol or diesel engine, they have an electric motor, powered by a battery which you charge by plugging it into a socket, at home and at charging points throughout the road network.

If your priority is to lower your running costs then an electric car or van might be an option. Regular, routine commutes suit the electric car down to the ground. In fact, if you do less than 10,000 miles a year then switching from a petrol or diesel to an electric car could save you as much as £800 a year on fuel costs alone. You will also qualify for zero-rated car tax; zero-rated fuel tax and you will effectively be exempt from the London Congestion Charge and any future low emission zones.

As electric vehicles generally have a slightly higher purchase price but lower running costs then leasing your vehicle makes perfect sense as this reduces the uncertainty of resale value after 3-4 years.

Hybrid Vehicles

A Hybrid vehicle combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor thereby having two modes of propulsion. The advantages of this are thatthey consume less fuel and should give off lower CO2 emissions. As the electric vehicle, there are tax benefits from owning a hybrid vehicle and some vehicles can potentially avoid congestion charges as well.

There are three different types of hybrid, the most popular being the Self Charging Hybrid. These either work by engine alone, the motor alone or by both together and as the name suggests the batteries are charged by regenerative energy from the braking system. Similar to that of a Formula One Car.

The second type is Range Extender Hybrid. These never use the engine to drive the car it purely produces energy for the electric motor.

The third type is Plug-in Hybrids: These can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries as well as the charge on the move. They sit halfway between electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles and use the technology of each of these combined. They have a conventional engine as well as larger batteries than the other hybrids and can travel further on battery power alone.

A hybrid vehicle might suit you if you do a lot of your motoring in and around town. You can also choose from eco to full power mode depending on your journey and whether you need maximum efficiency or optimum power. Unlike electric vehicles, hybrids are self-charging so there is no anxiety around finding charging points while you are out and about.

The benefit of the Plug-in hybrid is it can be plugged in and charged like an electric vehicle, as well as having the added bonus of an engine that can be used when the battery is depleted.

So it seems that Green Motoring is not a phase that is going to go away, the technology is here to stay and can only get better. Although a little bit more to buy or lease, the difference is made up for by the considerably lower running costs of electric and hybrid vehicles. We accept that Green Motoring might not be the first choice for everyone yet, but the shift in technology and the drive for sustainability needs to be taken seriously.

If you would like to discuss whether a Green Car might be suitable for your driving needs with one of our Account Managers then give us a ring on 0116 2599548 or use our contact us page.