Top 10 green cars to watch in 2015

Next Green Car looks ahead to the greenest and most innovative cars due for launch in 2015.

The year 2015 will see the strengthening of the market for electric vehicles (EVs); both pure electric and plug-in hybrids. With over 17,000 EVs already on UK roads, Next Green Car forecasts almost 40,000 will be in use by the end of the year.

New low emission petrol and diesel models will also be launched in 2015 with a shift to petrol cars reflecting the increasing concern about air quality. While diesel vehicles can offer lower CO2 emissions, petrol units provide lower NOx and particulates which are associated with poor respiratory health in urban areas. Look out for fuel-frugal petrol two- and three-cylinder turbo engines which can now offer the driving performance of larger engines.

As noted by Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car: "2015 will see a continuing roll out of battery electric and plug-in hybrid models as UK motorists become more accustomed to electric drive-trains. This year will be the year when EVs start to considered as 'normal'.

"If an electric car isn't right for your driving requirements, an ever increasing choice of sub-100 gCO2/km petrol and diesel models will become available with zero car tax and high MPG. You will need to choose a conventional model wisely, however, as the official MPG figures of some brands are increasingly at odds with the real-world fuel economy data."

To mark a year which will bring high quality, high-tech, low emission models to UK showrooms, the following 'Top 10' list highlights some of the most important models due for launch and delivery in 2015.

1: Volkswagen twin-up! – Plug-in Hybrid – CO2: 27 g/km

Volkswagen twin up!

The twin-up!'s 55kW powertrain consists of a 0.8 litre TDI diesel engine working in conjunction with a 35kW electric motor. The energy storage system includes a lithium-ion battery (energy capacity: 8.6 kWh), a conventional 12V battery for on-board electrics, and a 33 litre capacity fuel tank. On the official test cycle, the twin-up! delivers a combined fuel economy of over 250 MPG with a CO2 emissions of just 27 g/km. In zero-emission operation the PHEV can cover a range of 31 miles and is anything but a slouch: the twin-up! accelerates up to 62 mph in 15.7 seconds and has an all-electric top speed of 80 mph. Pricing to be announced.

2: Smart fortwo 1.0 start/stop – Petrol – CO2: 93 g/km – NGC: 26

smart fortwo 2015

The new fortwo will be available with 71 hp and 90 hp turbo power units and twinned with a new five-speed manual gearbox for the first time. The 71 hp engine returns 68.9 MPG on the official combined cycle, emitting just 93 g/km of CO2 with a top speed of 94 mph. At just 2.69 metres long, the compact dimensions of the fortwo are well known and do not disappoint. With a benchmark turning circle of 6.95 metres, the new fortwo is even more suited for city driving, out-turning even a London Cab. On the inside driver and passenger alike benefit from the fact that fortwo boasts the most interior space in relation to the size of any car in the segment. Priced from £11,125.

Ben Lane

Author:Ben Lane
Date Updated:1st Jan 2015

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