What is the best

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What is the best Green Car? To answer this question we first have to define the word Green in this context of economical cars. In basic terms the measure of how Green a car is to look at how much CO2 the car releases into the atmosphere per km and how economical the car is on fuel. As you can see cars with less than 100g/km of CO2 are in the A group which is the least polluting and is therefore excluded from road tax these bands are known as the VED bands, or Vehicle Excise Duty. The annual rates range from £0 for cars with less than 100g/km all the way to £405 for new cars with high CO2 emissions (255g/km), this is shown in figure 1 below. Furthermore the mpg of a car also shows how Green it is, Using data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the average fuel economy of new petrol cars in the UK is approximately 42 mpg and for new diesel cars is 48. These averages hide the large variations in fuel economy across vehicle classes that range from 86 mpg (3.3 litres/100km) for the most fuel-efficient small diesel citycar, to 18 mpg (16.0 litres/100km) for one of the most polluting petrol Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Obviously in our hunt for the best Green Car we will have to be aiming for one with very low CO2 levels and one that has a higher than average mpg. To start looking for our Green car we have to think about the needs of our user, so a profile of the driver was made. They are Male and a First year physics student, who lives a suitable distance away from university and his workplace to need a car; he does 150miles per week, and plans to keep the car for the next 5years. He has been driving since he was 17 and has 2years no claims. He lives in private accommodation with a secure car park for the car. Money isn t an issue. Below are 5 cars which are a mixture of petrol, diesel, hybrids and fully electric cars. Each compared together for CO2 levels, mpg, insurance cost, road tax price, price per mile, servicing bill and car performance.
Car Fuel Type

Price (£)

CO2 Level and Road Tax
103g/km Band B - £20 annually

MPG and Price Per Mile
64.2mpg @ 9.1p per mile 15.6kWh/100km @ 2.6p/mile 85.6mpg 7.1p/mile @

Total Fuel Price

0-60 (s) 13.5

Insurance 5yrs (£)

Servicing Cost (£)

Total Price (£)

Suzuki Alto 1ltr 5door Manual 5speed Gearbox
SMART 30kW fortwo EV


Electric Diesel

6,500 9,590

0g/km Band A - Free
86g/km A - Free Band

1010 2769

6.5 16.8

4,266 14,095


15,276 27,954

Smart Fortwo Coupe 0.8 cdi Pulse 2dr


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