Low emission cars aren’t as boring as you may think and as cool and relevant as electric cars are right now, they are an expensive choice for almost anyone looking to lower their carbon footprint and play their part in viable sustainability and reducing global warming for the planet. Electric vehicles cost around 50% more of their engine-based equivalent’s price. For example, a Jaguar F-Pace will set you back approximately £40k while the electric version E-Pace currently sits at around £60k.
This is a huge difference in price but it is currently justified since electric cars just cost more to produce because of the expensive materials used in their Li-Ion batteries such as cobalt, manganese and graphite, all of which are used in very large quantities to power an induction motor.
However, you can set aside any guilt brought on by purchasing a new car with a super low emission vehicle such as:
- Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i Active Auto
- Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate
- Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX
The Prius was among the first hybrid vehicles and has been a best-seller for Toyota while the Volkswagen Passat Estate actually has low emissions despite the manufacturer’s earlier “claims” and the popular Astra comes in an ultra-low emission variant.
Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i Active Auto
A common sight around ultra-aware California when it was first released, the Toyota Prius wasn’t very nice to look at but it did come with the first well-functioning hybrid system. Since then, the model has undergone a transformation and can now be proudly driven around as a car of substance and style rather than being the wallflower as Tesla’s Model S’s ugly cousin, while its excellent efficiency means that it is a rare sight in the car garage.
The latest model comes in many variants depending on the options but the lowest emission rates come with the 1.8 VVT-i Active Auto which outputs an average of just 94g/km of carbon dioxide at 67mpg. Of course, it’s going to take you around 10 seconds to get to 60mph with a top speed of 112, but saving the planet is more important than going fast, right?
Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate
Volkswagen was the subject of a widely known scandal just a few years back when they were accused and found guilty of blatantly lying about their diesel emission rates when compared to other vehicle manufacturers. The whole thing has now blown over and Volkswagen has been quick to regain public confidence by actually making low emission cars and the upcoming ID6 full EV is just stunning to look at.
The Volkswagen Passat GTE is its lowest emission vehicle yet with just 29g/km of CO2 from its extremely refined and efficient 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a range of 36 miles in full-electric mode, more than enough for inner-city shopping trips.
Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX
The Vauxhall Astra hatchback at one time reached an astonishing 111,000 first-time registrations in the UK. Having always been known as an economy car, the Astra hatchback now comes in a super low emission model with the 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX model and boasts 88g/km of carbon emissions which makes it road-tax-exempt in the UK just like the other two models.
Efficiency isn’t lost on its 109bhp diesel (ecoFLEX) engine either as the quite large hatchback will get you around with a whopping 86mpg so a full tank should last you quite some time during lockdown with the manufacturer’s much-touted whisper-quiet engine performance.