Car Buyers’ Guide takes a look at eco motoring options for the New Year and finds out why hybrid and electric cars aren’t the only path to a greener motoring future in Ireland…
Online PR News – 11-December-2009 – Ireland – With 2010 just around the corner, many Irish motorists who held out on upgrading their cars in 2009 will be looking to change their car in the New Year, whether it’s upgrading to a shiny new ‘2010’ plate model, or simply to avail of the great value that can be had on the used car forecourt at present. What’s more, new car sales should receive at least a modest boost from the scrappage scheme announced in the recent Budget. For most buyers, however, it will be the first time that they will have bought a new car under the revised VRT and road tax regime introduced in July 2008 and therefore the first time they’ve had to consider environmental factors when making such a purchase. Recently released statistics by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show the majority of new cars being registered fall under the Band C emissions tax bracket, which is a significant improvement in terms of efficiency and reduced emissions over previous years.
Hybrid cars have certainly grown in popularity in recent times, as well as receiving a lot of column inches, but they are not the only option for motorists seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. While hybrids are among the most efficient vehicles on our roads at present, there is a range of petrol and diesel cars currently on sale that not only offer better fuel economy than hybrid vehicles, but also emit similar emissions. For example, take the BMW 118d EfficientDynamics, a car which doesn’t exactly scream ‘I’m green’ when you look at it. The 118d emits just 118g/km of emissions and shares a similar economy rating to the Toyota Prius (http://www.cbg.ie/searchresults.aspx?MakeID=953&ModID=705). The trade-off is that you’re not getting exactly like-for-like – the Prius trumps the BMW when it comes to practicality and value, but the Beemer is worth considering due to its better fuel economy and increased brand cachet. Although large-engined petrol vehicles are the worst offenders when it comes to efficiency, small-engined petrol cars such as the latest 1.3-litre Mazda 2 and Opel Corsa 1.2 Ecoflex (http://www.cbg.ie/searchresults.aspx?MakeID=678&ModID=193)are capable of impressive economy figures. The 2, for example, returns a solid 5.2l/100km and boasts a band B emissions rating of 125g/km.
While significant improvements have been made in recent years in lowering the carbon footprint of Irish motorists, the best may yet be still to come. Up until now, electric cars haven’t played a huge role in reducing emissions in Ireland, but over the next 18 months, a number of new electric models are set to go on sale on these shores, including the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi iMiEV and Chevrolet Volt (which will be sold in Europe as the Opel Ampera). Until they are available, however, we’ll have to make do with the current range of hybrids and eco-friendly petrols and diesels. Here are some examples of diesel and petrol models that can match their hybrid rivals when it comes to efficiency.
Mazda 2 1.2-litre petrol
Opel Corsa 1.2 Ecoflex
Mini Cooper 1.6D
Fiat 500 1.3 Diesel
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