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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.


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.


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.


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 thatcompletely 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…

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!