Due to the increased emphasis on a greener and healthier future, we are seeing the introduction of low emission zones (ULEZ) in major UK cities and a rise in the popularity of low emission cars.
Compared to their petrol or diesel only counterparts, low emission cars feature either hybrid engines or fully electric motors. As a result, the amount of emissions they release is significantly lower and the amount of air pollution is therefore reduced.
There can be confusion around what ULEZ is, and which cars are greener in terms of emission levels, so we’re going to explain everything in this blog post so you’re fully clued up.
What is ULEZ?
ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone. London was the first UK city to introduce this zone in April 2019, but now cities including Birmingham and Leeds are also planning to launch the same concept.
The ULEZ is a set area that is in operation 24/7 every day of the year, excluding Christmas Day. Any vehicles that do not meet the emissions standard have to pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. The aim is to improve air quality by discouraging these heavily polluting vehicles to enter the zones, and instead encourage drivers to acquire compliant, and therefore greener, vehicles.
At Inchcape, we offer a range of used cars that comply with ULEZ emissions standards. Click the link below to take a look.View all exempt used cars
Petrol Hybrid cars have a normal petrol engine as well as an electric motor. They are either available as plug-in or self-charging vehicles. With a plug-in hybrid, you charge the electric motor via your standard mains or at a charging station, whereas a self-charging hybrid charges the electric motor as you drive using the petrol engine. Generally, plug-in hybrids offer a longer electric-only range, but self-charging hybrids offer greater convenience as you can drive them as you would a vehicle with a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE).
Here are a few examples of petrol hybrid cars currently on the market:
The Audi Q5 is a luxury SUV that offers cutting-edge technological features, impressive power and a maximum seat-down capacity of 1,550 litres. This is versatile and efficient vehicle is perfect for space seekers.
CO2 Emissions = 49g/km
CO2 Emissions = 46g/km
Offering an unparalleled off-road experience and a refined interior that you would expect of a Range Rover, the only difference is that this hybrid variant simply offers higher levels of efficiency.
CO2 Emissions = 72-75g/km
As Mercedes-Benz’s flagship model, the S-Class Saloon epitomises the luxury and excellence of this iconic brand. Combine this with epic technology, engineering and sustainability and you have a superb vehicle.
CO2 Emissions = 57g/km
The MINI Countryman is a car that excels in the city and off-road. ALL4 four-wheel drive technology is available on selected models, and a large boot provides practical storage solutions.
CO2 Emissions = 43g/km
With a dynamic design and efficient turbocharged engines, the Porsche Cayenne also provides outstanding digital connectivity and cutting-edge assistance systems. The Porsche Panamera is also available as a hybrid model.
CO2 Emissions = 75g/km
The Toyota Prius allows you to drive 15.5 miles using electric power alone and features intuitive controls and a high quality interior. This car is designed with drivers in mind.
CO2 Emissions = 75g/km
The hybrid Passat is available as a saloon and an estate. The engine is mounted lower, which facilitates a lower bonnet, and the angled windscreen gives it a sportier look.
CO2 Emissions = 34-36g/km
Diesel Hybrid cars work in exactly the same way as petrol hybrid cars; they just have a diesel engine. Although they are much less common that petrol hybrids and cater for more of a niche in the automotive market, they are definitely worth considering. Diesel engines offer more miles to the gallon than petrol ones, meaning you’ll be able to travel further. This makes them ideal if you often drive longer distances, use the motorway frequently, or generally just favour diesel engines.
Here are a few examples of diesel/hybrid cars currently on the market:
With a choice of five different model lines, the C-Class Saloon offers you a selection of different levels of styling and technology to make the most out of your driving experience.
CO2 Emissions = 41g/km
The E-Class is available as a saloon and an estate and is expertly poised to be able to deliver a balanced performance that is full of agility and power.
CO2 Emissions = 39-47g/km
Electric Only Cars
Electric cars are powered purely by electric motors and must be charged up via a plug or at a charging station. As they run solely on electricity, you can expect a very quiet drive and zero emissions, making them greener than hybrids. Generally, they are a pricier to buy, but running costs are lower in the long term. If you’re driving an electric vehicle on a long journey, you do need to have a considered approach when thinking about recharging; however, many electric cars offer impressive ranges, and going forward, this will likely improve even further.
Here are a few examples of electric cars currently on the market:
If its efficiency, economy, power and sustainability you’re looking for, the BMW i3 is ideal. Reaching 0-100kph in 7.2 seconds, this is definitely an ultimate driving machine.
Instant torque gives I‑PACE the acceleration of a sports car and allows it to reach 60mph in 4.5 seconds. It also has one of the best ranges, managing up to 298 miles.
The EQC marks Mercedes-Benz’s entrance into the electric market. With this innovative, new SUV comes advanced safety systems, unrivalled comfort and the sporty feel you’d expect.
Boasting 184hp and reaching 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, the MINI Electric offers great performance. On a full charge, you can travel up to 144 miles before needing to charge up.
The smart EQ range consists of the fortwo coupé, fortwo cabrio and the forfour. Each model offers a range of up to 99 miles and all the convenience and enjoyment of a traditional smart.