The Environ-mental Options
Every month we get more and more requests for 'Green' cars...
no, not the paint colour, but the environmentally friendly type.
Without wanting to sound too Clarkson-esque: Environmentally friendly cars are either rubbish*,
too expensive** or actually not that environmentally friendly after all***.
But not for much longer.
*Example: The G-Wiz is awful
in every respect.
**The Tesla all-electric sports car is
brilliant, but costs £87k!
*** It takes a colossal amount
of energy to build a Toyota Prius hybrid.
LOTS MORE HYBRIDS
Within 12 months every manufacturer and their Gran will have at least one hybrid car
in their range... even Ferrari are planning one!
And Toyota have adapted the system used in the Prius so that it will fit in any model,
which will mean a hybrid version of every car in their range.
ELECTRIC CARS THAT WORK
The UK's first mainstream electric-only car will be launched next February (I say 'first'
because the 2003 G-Wiz doesn't count as a 'car' in my book... just a travesty). The Nissan Leaf
will cost £22,000 (after the government's proposed £5k contribution) but just think of how little
it will cost to run.
Boris Johnson has promised 7,500 new electric car charging points in London too, which will
go a long way to supporting this.
USED PRIUS PRICES TO PLUMMET
And if, despite my personal opinions, you still want a used Toyota Prius, hold off for a few more months
as I suspect used prices are going to crash, especially in London.
Why? It is quite probable that the rules for free entry into the Congestion Charge Zone will soon
change. The current rules say that any hybrid can enter for free. The new rules will say that
only cars that emit less than 100 g/km of CO2 will gain free entry. Up to late 2009, the Prius
produced 104 g/km of CO2...
This will mean that all those Hybrids bought because they allow free entry into London will be
quickly sold, and replaced with newer versions, or more likely, sub-100 g/km CO2
eco-diesels (such as the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion and Ford Focus ecoNETIC). The flood of used
Priuses (the 1.5-litre version) coupled with a hugely reduced demand should send prices crashing.
And what about the future beyond the next 12 months? Petrol is running out and only cars that
completely remove the need for petrol can be considered to be the future.
Hydrogen fuel cells may be the next step, but there is always something new and exciting around
the next roundabout.
Say "Hi!-brid" to everyone from me...
(Founder & Owner)
OF THE WEEK
"I need a cheap small car, but one that is fairly comfortable."
How much it should have cost:
Glass's Guide = £6,348
We bought it for = £4,920!
WHY I LOVE THE...
Honda FCX Clarity
An electric vehicle that does not need charging, thanks to the onboard
electricity generator which runs on compressed hydrogen. It may sound sci-fi, but you can actually buy
these in California. However, I wouldn't want one - they look dull and are boring to drive. So why do I love
them? Because when the whole world drives hydrogen-fuel-cell cars, they won't be using up Earth's
petrol resources anymore... which means that there will be more petrol left for me!
We have a space for one person to join our small group, going to
Germany's Nurburgring race track this July in
our Westfield FW400. If you know of anybody
with a little race track experience (even if it is only a very little) who is happy to split travel,
fuel, hotel and lap costs (use of the car is free!), please let them know - it really is the ultimate