So, what is an eco car?
It’s one that has lower or no emissions or uses sustainable fuel. Regular petrol and diesel cars emit a combination of gases from their exhausts every time they’re in use. You can sometimes see those emissions – it’s that cloud of air from your car’s exhaust if you’ve left it outside and started it on a cold day.
Eco technology is advancing all the time but some eco-friendly cars you may have heard of include:
- Hybrid cars: cars that use a regular (combustion) engine and a battery powered motor. They have lower emissions because they use both energy sources to run. Such as the Honda Prius
- Electric cars: these use an electric battery to run, they make almost no noise and you’ll need to plug it in to recharge. Such as the Nissan Leaf.
- Biofuel cars: these use fuel made from plants and even old cooking oil, they do use a little bit of regular fuel like petrol or diesel but only emit the amount of carbon emissions used to run them, as a result they’re considered ‘carbon neutral’. (Not yet available in the UK for passenger cars, but available for some commercial and agricultural vehicles such as buses and tractors.
- Hydrogen cars: hydrogen is used and converted into power, the only waste product these cars emit is water. Such as the Honda Clarity FCV (not yet available).
- LPG cars: Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) burns cleaner than traditional petrol and diesel. You can convert your regular petrol car to LPG meaning you can run it off both fuels.
More than 50,000 ‘alternative fuel cars’ or AFVs, were registered in the UK in 2014 – that’s a 58% increase from the year before. But if you can’t see yourself plugging your car in at bedtime or converting your existing car to LPG, then how can you drive with more consideration for the environment?