If you are planning on driving a new vehicle under a car lease or contract hire agreement in 2014 the chances are it could be greener than ever. Next Green Car says that ‘the year 2014 will undoubtedly see the continuation of the on-going electric and plug-in hybrid revolution’ with more manufacturers bringing their electric and hybrid cars to the UK.
With dozens of new green cars set to arrive in this country we look at what 2014 holds for green cars. We also list five of the eco friendly cars most eagerly anticipated by car leasing customers.
New low emission petrol and diesel models heading to the UK
The Nissan Leaf has established itself as the most popular electric car in the UK, representing around half of all electric vehicle sales since 2011. Available on cheap car leasing deals, the Leaf is increasingly popular with drivers and now most manufacturers offer an electric model.
However, new low emission petrol and diesel models will also make their way to the showrooms in 2014, driven by strong demand for cars which offer improved fuel economy. Ford began this trend with their EcoBoost 1.0 litre petrol engines and now other manufacturers are adding two and three cylinder turbo power units to their range.
Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car said: “While the optimism of a few committed manufacturers fuelled the initial investments in electric power-trains, 2014 will see a more sustained roll out of battery electric and plug-in hybrid models as the industry and consumers gain confidence in these new technologies.
“However, if electric isn’t yet to your liking, or you need a car with a conventional driving range, there’s an ever increasing choice in the sub-100 gCO2/km petrol and diesel models with zero car tax and high MPG.”
Next, we look at five of the most important models due for launch and delivery in 2014.
1: Vauxhall Adam
Vauxhall will be adding a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine to the Adam city car range in 2014. As well as offering low cost contract hire prices, the new Adam will feature an engine which is expected to improve fuel economy by up to a fifth when compared to the current 1.6 litre unit.
2: Volkswagen Golf e-motion
2014 will see the launch of a fully electric Volkswagen Golf. The e-motion will reportedly have a top speed of 86 mph and a range of around 100 miles.
As with the smaller e-Up! which was launched in 2013, the e-Motion is equipped with regenerative braking which reclaims energy when the accelerator is released and during the initial travel of the brake pedal.
3: BMW i8
Following the launch of the electric i3, 2014 will see BMW launch the i8 plug-in hybrid sports model. A new 3-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbo engine delivers performance of 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and, on the test cycle, the i8 achieves an official combined fuel consumption of over 100 mpg.
The i8 isn’t the cheapest model – the on the road price is £99,125 – but it is reportedly already sold out for 2014.
4: Audi A3 e-tron
The A3 e-tron is Audi’s first plug-in hybrid model, with a four-cylinder turbo 1.4 petrol engine in parallel with a 75 kW electric motor.
This combination enables the e-tron to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 138 mph. The e-tron can travel up to 30 miles in electric-only mode at speeds of up to 80 mph, and the official combined fuel economy is 188 mpg.
5: Tesla Model S
Tesla’s new Model S has been hugely successful in other countries and arrives in the UK in 2014. It has the longest official range of any electric production car: 310 miles for the 85 kWh model. The performance model does just that, accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds.