If you’re looking for the best ULEZ-compliant cars, cars that meet the emission standards of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London and do not have to pay a daily charge to drive within it, then here are the best green car options you have available.
There are many options for ULEZ-compliant cars, ranging from city cars to SUVs, and from petrol to hybrid and electric models. For example, the AA considers the Mazda 6 to be the best affordable ULEZ-compliant diesel. This car has a refined and efficient diesel engine that meets the Euro 6 standards, as well as a stylish design, a comfortable ride and a generous boot. Let’s have a look to see some of best green cars and our top picks.
Which are the best low-emission cars in 2023?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best low-emission cars in 2023, such as the price, the size, the performance, the fuel type, and the driving range. However, based on the CO2 emissions per kilometre, which is one of the main indicators of a green car and environmental impact, here are some of the top contenders in different categories:
Small cars: The Fiat 500 is an electric car that emits zero CO2 and has a range of up to 199 miles. The Toyota Yaris is a hybrid car that emits 98g/km and has a fuel economy of up to 68.9mpg, according to Parkers.
Family cars: The Volkswagen ID.3 is an electric car that emits zero CO2 and has a range of up to 336 miles. The SEAT Leon Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid car that emits 27g/km and has a fuel economy of up to 217.3mpg.
Luxury cars: The Audi Q4 e-tron is an electric car that emits zero CO2 and has a range of up to 316 miles. The Mercedes C 300 e is a plug-in hybrid car that emits 34g/km and has a fuel economy of up to 176.6mpg.
Sports cars: The Tesla Model 3 is an electric car that emits zero CO2 and has a range of up to 360 miles. The Porsche Panamera ST S E-Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid car that emits 57g/km and has a fuel economy of up to 113mpg.
These are just some examples of the very best cars for low-emission cars in 2023, but there are many more options available depending on your preferences and needs.
Best Electric Cars With Low CO2 Emissions
There are many electric cars available in the market that have low or zero CO2 emissions. According to a factcheck by Carbon Brief, electric cars have lower lifecycle emissions than conventional cars in most countries, especially those with low-carbon electricity grids. For example, in the UK, a typical electric car produces around 70g of CO2 per km over its lifetime, compared to 253g for a conventional petrol car and 192g for a hybrid car says Carbon Brief. The factcheck also shows that electric cars can reduce their emissions over time as the electricity grid becomes greener, while conventional cars will always emit the same amount of CO2 from exhaust emissions from their tailpipes.
Some of the best electric cars with low CO2 emissions that you can buy or lease in 2023 are:
Fiat 500: This stylish and affordable electric car has zero tailpipe emissions and a range of up to 199 miles on a single charge, according to Auto Express. It also has a fast-charging option that can replenish 80% of the battery in 35 minutes. The Fiat 500 has a sleek design and a spacious interior, and it comes with various features such as LED headlights, digital dashboard, wireless charging and smartphone connectivity.
Volkswagen ID.3: This is Volkswagen’s first dedicated electric car, and it aims to be as popular and versatile as the Golf. The ID.3 has zero tailpipe emissions and a range of up to 336 miles on a single charge. It also has a fast-charging option that can add 180 miles of range in 30 minutes, says Inchcape. The ID.3 has a futuristic design and a roomy cabin, and it offers various customisation options such as different battery sizes, power outputs and trim levels.
These are just a couple of examples of the best electric cars with low CO2 emissions that you can consider in 2023, with plenty more available too.
Does a hybrid car make sense?
A hybrid car is a vehicle that combines an electric motor with a petrol or diesel engine to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Whether a hybrid, low emission car makes sense for you depends on several factors, such as your driving habits, your budget, your environmental preferences, and, your personal taste.
Hybrid cars are environmentally friendly (compared to petrol and diesel cars). They produce less tailpipe emissions that contribute to the air quality, pollution and climate change. For example, the BMW 330e can achieve up to 138mpg, with 39g/km CO2, compared to 51.4mpg and 127-145g/km of CO2 for a conventional diesel car, says Car Magazine.
Hybrid cars save money on fuel and maintenance. They use less fuel than conventional cars, especially in city driving where they can run on electric power only. They also have regenerative braking systems that reduce the wear and tear on the brakes and save energy. According to EnergySage, hybrid cars can save up to thousands in fuel costs over five years compared to conventional cars.
Hybrid cars are quiet and smooth. They have electric motors that produce little noise and vibration, making them more comfortable and relaxing to drive. They also have seamless transitions between electric and fuel modes, ensuring a smooth ride, one of the many benefits to low emissions cars that are hybrid.
Which Type of Car Has the Lowest Carbon Footprint?
The type of car that has the lowest carbon footprint depends on several factors, such as the source of energy, the efficiency of the vehicle, and the distance travelled. However, in general, electric cars have the lowest carbon footprint of all types of cars, as they have zero tailpipe emissions and can run on renewable electricity. According to the US EPA, Tesla’s all-electric fleet had by far the lowest tailpipe CO2 emissions and highest fuel economy of all the large car manufacturers in 2021.
Electric cars are followed by hybrid cars, which still produce some tailpipe emissions, but they are lower than conventional petrol cars. For example, the Toyota Prius can achieve up to 138mpg, with 39g/km CO2, according to Auto Express.
Conventional cars that run on a petrol engine, or diesel have the highest carbon footprint of all types of cars, as they produce the most tailpipe emissions that contribute to air pollution and climate change. However, some conventional cars are more efficient than others, depending on their size, weight, engine and technology. For example, the Fiat 500 can achieve up to 51.4mpg and 127-145g/km of CO2.
Do you have to pay tax on a low emission vehicle?
Unfortunately, whether or not you have to pay tax on a low emission vehicle, depends on the type and age of the low emission vehicle you have. Low emission vehicles are vehicles that produce less than 75 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre driven. They include electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
According to the UK government website, low emission vehicles benefit from favourable tax treatment in a number of ways, relative to conventional vehicles. For example, fully electric vehicles attract a zero first year Vehicle Excise Duty rate (car tax) and for those under £40,000 a zero rate for supplementary years.
If you choose an ultra-low emission model you will pay no purchase tax. But if you choose conventional technology the higher the emissions the more tax you will pay to help fund the shift to zero emission cars.
However, the tax regime for low emission vehicles in the UK varies depending on when the vehicle was registered and what kind of fuel it uses. For cars registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 March 2017, the rate of vehicle tax is based on fuel type and CO2 emissions. For cars registered on or after 1 April 2017, the rate of vehicle tax is based on CO2 emissions for the first year, and then a standard rate for subsequent years.
How Many Electric Cars in the World?
According to the latest data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), there will be about 16.5 million electric cars on the world’s roads by the end of 2021, triple the amount in 2018.
Electric car sales have continued to grow strongly in 2022, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the global semiconductor shortage, the more green cars the better. In the first quarter of 2022, 2 million electric cars were sold worldwide, up by 75% from the same period a year earlier. Europe surpassed China as the largest market for electric cars in 2020, and maintained its lead in 2021 and 2022, according to the IEA.
The IEA projects that the number of electric cars on the road will reach 145 million by 2030, or 7% of road transportation, under current policies and commitments. This number could rise to 230 million, or 12% of road transportation if governments adopt more ambitious measures to accelerate the transition to electric mobility.