How New Cars Are Becoming Greener

Sam Bisby

By: Sam Bisby

According to statistics, up to 33% of a vehicles efficiency is impacted by driver’s behaviour. The need to preserve energy and economize our motor vehicles has never been so high. Many car manufacturers are taking the world-wide fear of global warming seriously and introducing groundbreaking green technology to new cars, a large focus has been on that of electric cars over the past couple of years but low emission petrol and diesel vehicles are also growing as popular as ever.

The average car emits a whopping mix of more than 1000 pollutants potentially leading to pollution, cancer and numerous respiratory illnesses. The Institute for European Environmental Policy produced findings that show drivers breathe in up to three times more toxic fumes than pedestrians, a concerning statistic that was ignorant to many people who believed it was just the environment that was being affected by car emissions.

The constant need for the evolution of vehicles has actually seen new cars take a step into its past as car makers are becoming increasingly eager to turn electric powered cars into a market leader. Electric cars were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, but the invention of cheaper gasoline vehicles saw them brought to a decline. Manufacturers have sensed there is a gap developing caused by increasing pressure from government and environmental agencies to reintroduce green technology to new cars and combine it with style as well as substance. With the financial recession of the late noughties resulting in consumers looking for ways to limit spending, a resurgence in the interest of the electric car occurred. Car makers weren’t looking at ways to just enhance performance anymore; they were looking at how to conserve energy within a vehicle.

Many manufacturers have introduced the hybrid vehicle, containing a dual mode which alternates between two different types of propulsion. It compromises between the typical diesel/petrol and electric car, lowering harmful emissions yet maintaining car performance. The hybrid vehicle can typically travel 30-50 miles running on electricity before the diesel/petrol engine kicks in and some even recharge the battery without having to find an external source. The UK has been a booming market for these new cars, the likes Honda, Toyota, Lexus and Peugeot all have a range of hybrid vehicles that are economical, stylish and affordable. The British Government is a huge advocate of green driving and since January 2011 they have offered grants of up to 25% cost value for motorists purchasing a qualifying low emissions vehicle and as of the 31st of March 2013 there have been 3,633 claims for these new cars made through this scheme.

The hybrid is just one of many innovative ideas used to tackle dangerous car emissions and efficiency. Car makers have taken steps of producing smaller and lighter engines as well as adopting advanced braking and suspension techniques from Formula One racing cars to make new cars more fuel efficient. It is forecasted that by 2025 35% of all cars will be electric and 25% will be hybrids, as of 2012 low emission vehicles that are eligible for a government grant make up only 0.1% of new cars in the UK. These statistics shouldn’t be frowned upon; it’s still a healthy increase to what was seen as a dying product less than 20 years ago.

These advances are a significant step in the right direction and as the production prices of these new cars drop we will be sure to see a rise in interest from consumers and more electric and hybrid vehicles going into production from manufacturers.