Low-Carbon Cars: Everything You Need to Know

Posted on 29 August 2013 by Tony Santos

Toyora Prius Plug-in Hybrid

The need for environmentally friendly cars is growing. The price of petrol is continuing to increase due to inflation, and the rising international price of oil. There is also the pressing need to reduce carbon emissions. The UK Government passed the Climate Change Act in 2008 in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% by 2020, and 80% by 2050.

This has become such a prominent concern for government that they have planned to invest £1bm, along with 27 auto industry companies, in a new advanced propulsion centre. This facility will focus on researching and developing low-carbon engines that produce less pollution.

There are four types of environmentally friendly cars at present:

Hybrid Cars

A hybrid car uses two power sources including the traditional internal combustion engine, and one or more electric motors. These vehicles use less fuel by storing energy in a battery. They use the electric motor rather than engine in slow traffic. Hybrid cars are already available in the UK. Diesel hybrids are also becoming available.

Plug-in Hybrid Cars

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is a car that combines an energy storage device, such as rechargeable batteries. The plug-in hybrid does exactly what it says on the tin, you can pug them into external electric power sources. You may have seen these in the car parks of new supermarket builds. There are only a few plug-in hybrids available in the UK, but numbers should increase in the future.

Electric Cars

Electric cars utilize one electric motor that uses energy from storage devices, such as rechargeable batteries. This is the perfect alternative to current cars as they do not rely on oil and do not emit pollutants. Electric cars are available in the UK with more due to be released.

Fuel Cell Cars

A fuel cell vehicle is a type of car that has an electric motor powered by an electricity producing fuel cell. The fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. There are currently no fuel cell cars available in the UK, there have however been demonstrations of fuel cell capabilities in black cabs and busses in London. The hydrogen-powered Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell is currently under development and should be built by 2015.

There are many reasons why we should look to switching to environmentally friendly transportation. These vehicles can help us save the environment by reducing carbon. We will be consuming less fossil fuel
which will eventually help reduce our dependency on oil.

About the author: Danny Moon blogs for Contract Hire a Car – the UK’s business car leasing specialists. Danny mainly writes about eco-driving and new motoring technology.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.