24.12.2015Top 10 green cars to watch in 2016
Next Green Car takes a look at the year ahead, picking out the best green cars due to be launched in 2016.
With a positive year for green cars behind us, 2016 looks set to be even better. Manufacturers are bringing out more new green models than ever before, with a focus on plug-in hybrids and low emission petrol and diesel vehicles.
After gathering momentum in 2015, it isn't making too grand a statement to say that 2016 will be the year of the plug-in hybrid. Offering a blend of long range, low running costs and flexibility, there are set to be a raft of new plug-in hybrids launched in the next 12 months.
Pure-electric vehicles won't be far behind in sales though, plus there will be at least one new fuel cell vehicle launched worldwide later this year. Even those models that don't come with an ultra low emission version are seeing emissions brought down and fuel economy increased with the use of hybrid systems and efficient engines.
Considering that 2015 will be remembered in the automotive world as the year the VW emissions scandal broke, we forecast that 2016 will prove a time of optimism for the car market with the launch of so many high-quality low emission models. There will also be some surprises in 2016 with future announcements of car launches that have yet to be released.
1. BMW 330e - Plug-in Hybrid - CO2 44 g/km
There will be three other BMW PHEVs coming along in 2016 but perhaps the most important is the 3-Series version. This will see the fleet best-seller available as a plug-in model for the first time and big things are expected of it. Featuring a 2.0 litre petrol combined with an electric motor, the 330e offers a combined power output of 252hp. Official figures come in at 134.5 MPG and CO2 emissions of 44 g/km, with an electric only range expected to be around 20 miles. Combine that with the famous BMW driving experience and the 3-Series' excellent cabin and the 330e is likely to tempt some drivers from petrol or diesel alternatives.
2. Smart fortwo ev and forfour ev - Electric - CO2 0 g/km
Both of Smart's urban runabouts will get the electric treatment this time around as the German brand looks to make the most of its fun compact cars. Smart's previous entry into the plug-in market was just in the shape of the fortwo ed, but thanks to platform sharing with Renault, Smart plans to bring zero-emission powertrains to both of its models in 2016. The same electric motor as found in the Renault Zoe will be used in each model, though Mercedes will produce the batteries itself. Range has yet to be confirmed but it is expected that the Smarts will beat the larger Renault EV thanks to their lighter weight.