Nearly all owners of electric and hybrid hypercars have something in common. At one point or another, they’ve been asked the question:
‘So, how fast can that thing go?’
It’s a common misconception that green car technology lacks the muscle and power to achieve speed. This follows years of bad press and the occasional bad design – but the truth is that eco-friendly innovation has come a long way in recent years.
Many green cars, from electric to hybrid, can now fiercely compete with their petrol and diesel counterparts. And as this technology continues to become more widespread, there’s every reason to believe things will only improve.
Here are the world’s fastest green cars – divided into electric and hybrid hypercars, so you can judge for yourself.
Electric cars continue to take the car industry by storm – with the world’s top manufacturers producing their own take on the eco-friendly innovation.
1. BMW i3
Top speed: 100mph
Performance: 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds
Engine: 130kW electric motor
C02 Emissions: Zero
The first on our list, the BMW i3 is a masterful example of an electric city car. Unlike other green vehicles on this list, which fall into the sports car category, BMW have made a systematic attempt to develop green energy efficient automobiles which are largely accessible for everyday driving.
But not only that, the BMW i3 proves that electric cars can also be extremely fast. This urban mascot of green driving is robust, easy to drive, and surprisingly affordable compared to its competitors.
The only downside, however, is that the BMW i3 takes anywhere between 3-4 hours to charge. This will undoubtedly put off some potential buyers, but the overall performance and design of BMW’s attractive i3 should be enough to compensate.
2. Tesla S Performance
Top speed: 130mph
Performance: 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds
Engine: 310kW electric motor
C02 Emissions: Zero
Perhaps the most pioneering car manufacturer in the world, Tesla have paved the way for future generations in terms of electric motor technology.
The Tesla S Performance is certainly no exception – and is one of the fastest green cars on the planet, with an impressive 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds under its belt. This is due, in part, to the Mercedes-Benz auto-engineering, which promises an unbeatable drive, with eco-awareness built into its very heart.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Tesla have succeeded in selling over 50,000 of these models. They continue to be in extremely high-demand, and the Tesla S Performance is likely to be the first of many electric vehicles from this brand.
3. Detroit Electric SP:01
Top speed: 155 mph (17km/h)
Performance: 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds
Engine: 210kW electric motor
C02 Emissions: Zero
Titled the fastest electric car on the planet, the Detroit Electric SP:01 is arguably the most impressive vehicle on this list – purely because it is powered entirely by hydroelectricity.
Available in two options, Pure and Performance, both of these models can deliver an unparalleled drive combined with excellent in-car technology. Narrowly beating the Tesla S Performance for speed, the SP:01 is certainly one of the most in-demand vehicles in the world. And with a relaunch due sometime in 2015, there’s every reason to believe Detroit will rule the waves once again.
And now for something completely different.
The last three cars included in this blog have all featured electric motors – making each model the pinnacle of zero-emissions driving.
But how do hybrid cars – specifically hybrid hypercars – compare with their electric counterparts?
Here are the three fastest part-petrol, part-electric motor vehicles on the market.
4. Porsche 918 Spyder
Top speed: 210 mph
Performance: 0-60 in 2.5 seconds
Engine: Turbocharged V8 + 2 electric motors
C02 Emissions: 70-72g/km
If you’re a fan of Top Gear, then you’ve probably seen this beauty at least once before.
This phenomenal vehicle is a testament that hybrid technology doesn’t need to compromise on performance – boasting an incredible 210 mph. This is thanks to Porsche’s unique combination of Turbocharged auto-engineering and innovative electric motoring. But moreover, what really makes the 918 Spyder stand out is its speed.
The 918 Spyder can achieve 0-60 in just 2.5 seconds – making it an insanely powerful vehicle, even beyond the world of hybrid hypercars.
And what’s more, Porsche have succeeded where others have failed – by creating a hybrid hypercar that not only performs well, but looks stunning too.
Top speed: 217mph
Performance: 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds
Engine: Turbocharged V8
C02 Emissions: 149g/km
The cream of the crop, the McLaren P1 is an undisputed triumph in green car technology.
Sleek, dynamic, and exceedingly fast, this exceptional vehicle has outperformed every other competitor in its class. It can reach seriously impressive speeds of 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds – making it one of the most exciting cars of the past decade.
However, this speed and performance does come at a price – both on your wallet and the environment. Producing 149g/km of C02, the McLaren P1 generates double the volume of carbon emissions compared to the Porsche 918 Spyder. Furthermore, this vehicle can come with a pricetag of anywhere between £800,0000 – £900,000.
But hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream.
The Fastest Green Cars
For champions of green car technology, the battle against fossil fuel dependency was never going to be easy. And there’s still a long way to go yet.
However, the car industry is taking small but significant steps to ensure this change.
One of the biggest misconceptions, however, is that the electric motor comes at the expense of speed and performance. Lucky for us, every year the industry pushes electric innovation one step further – with brands like BMW and Tesla leading the way.
And following the release of Tesla’s electric car patent in June 2014, there is no reason why electric motors won’t become more widely available in the coming generation.
This blog was written by Chris Taylor on behalf of The Tilsun Group, the vehicle leasing specialists.
There has never been a better time to buy a green car as they are becoming cheaper and can have a range of up to 265 miles. Even if you don't have a green car though, there are some helpful tips about how you can still help the environment. Infographic by Crossline.
Electric cars have been frequently touted as being more environmentally friendly than standard petrol vehicles. This point, as many of you know is a key differentiator that most of the electric car companies use heavily in their marketing, both on and offline.
However, this view of electric cars being less environmentally damaging, although the most popularly held, is not the only one being bought to public attention. There is a small but vocal group that argue that electric cars may actually be more harmful to the environment than the gas guzzling beasts most commonly seen on our roads today.
So, are electric cars more harmful to the environment? The people at Carbuyertom.com did some research, the answer is not clear cut and is dependent on a number of factors which we will be discussing below.
Groups that assert that electric cars are more harmful to the environment than petrol cars centre their arguments around two major points, some of which are mentioned in a key study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The main arguments are;
- The production process of the electric car is more damaging to the environment than that of the non-electric cars, as “EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely emanating from the vehicle supply chain”.
- The generation of the electricity needed to produce and later run the electric cars still often requires the burning of fossil fuels that are damaging to the environment. In some cases the burning of fossil fuels for car production is greater for electric cars which need more electricity to produce compared to non-electric cars.
With regards to the first point, a number of leading electric car manufacturers are increasingly doing more to make sure they are producing their vehicles in the least environmentally damaging way possible.
On the second point, even the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s, Guillaume Majeau-Bettez who has criticised electric cars has said, as mentioned by the BBC, that the electric cars success from an environmental standpoint is largely dependant on “how much we can clean up our electricity grid – both for the electricity you use when you drive your car, and for the electricity used for producing the car.” So a solution is posed. And on this note it is worth mentioning Tesla, a company who make it a priority to produce and run their cars using solar energy. But, harking back to Bettez’s point, the Tesla way has to become the mainstream way if the true environmental benefits of electric cars are to be realised. And there already seems to be a move in the right direction in the UK as according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change, “by 2020 it is estimated that coal will provide only 11% of electricity”, with the assumption being that most if not all of the remaining 89% of electricity production is going to be coming from renewable, clean sources.
It is also worth mentioning that the criticisms of the negative environmental impact of electric cars outlined in this article have been largely based on studies by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which itself has been criticised by some for having links with oil company Statoil. However the university stresses that no oil money was used to fund the research and that their results are published online so are free to be challenged and scrutinised by other parties.
Furthermore, other studies such as the one conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists which analysed emissions and costs for both electric cars and gasoline-powered car from a well-to-wheel perspective (including drilling, refining, burning for gas and mining coal, making electricity for electric vehicles) found greater benefits coming from electric vehicle technology than that determined by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s.
So as we mentioned at the start of this article, when asking the question are electric cars more harmful to the environment than standard vehicles, the answer is not a clear cut yes or no, it’s dependent on a number of factors and the response varies depending on who you ask and what their motives are.
As environmental damage is becoming an ever more paramount issue, many tourists are feeling the need to do their part to help our little green planet. Usually the common traveller will book a flight to an all-inclusive tourist resort built over the remains of what was a beautiful forest but now, it seems, things are changing. People are beginning to look at where we stay, how we travel, and what we do whilst we’re away in a completely different manner. Instead of huge hotels & mega resorts, local farms and teeny agritourism hotels are beginning to hold much more of an appeal. Such places allow us to still enjoy a relaxing holiday, without encouraging the downfall of our planet.
Does travelling green even matter?
The positive effects of travelling green are generally very much underrated. Air travel is the biggest culprit, so travelling by train can easily wipe hundreds of KGs of CO2 off your carbon footprint, helping the environment and not to mention saving you a buck or two. Hotels that use renewable energy and grow their own produce also help ensure that food transportation emissions are kept to a minimum.
Environmental activities are also greatly beneficial, even if only for the local economy! This can include preservation tours or even visits to conservation areas. This gives the locals a chance to spread their knowledge and bring the ever-pressing issue of climate change into the open, allowing it to becoming a more pressing issue for the masses.
Where can I be green?
It may come as a surprise to hear you don’t have to book an expensive eco-tour for your holiday to be deemed environmentally friendly. You can be green pretty much anywhere. Majorca, one of the Spanish Balearic islands, is one area up and coming under the eco-tourism spotlight.
Majorca has always been a tourist based island with many well-known resorts popular amongst package holiday fans. Hotel chains and restaurants take pride of place here, meaning consumption is rife and plastic bottles litter the otherwise beautiful sandy beaches.
But do not despair! Majorca has been looking to clean itself up and is now putting in some much needed effort to preserve what’s left of its beautiful landscape. Most areas of the wetlands and forests are strictly protected to prevent construction companies from getting the rights to destroy the land and build more money- grabbing tourist traps.
So – how to be environmentally conscious in your holiday choices exactly?
Stay somewhere local
There are many green hotel alternatives scattered throughout Majorca. Guillo Finca – a farm based hotel in Pollensa – guarantees all energy comes from renewable sources! Son Bernadinet also offers green living and what’s more, even the food is environmentally friendly; organic and grown all at the hotel!.
Majorca is home to many passionate farmers who provide local farms with fresh, home-grown produce. Buying from these markets will ensure there are no pesticides or artificial ingredients which is absolutely great for your health. It also means there is no plastic involved! You could perhaps make a salad or fruit bowl to take on you with walks or even to have a picnic.
Eco friendly cafes such as Ziva in Palma, Bon Lloc or Eco-Vegetaria offer locally sourced, organic produce in eco-friendly cartons, meaning if you haven’t booked an apartment and have no means of cooking, you still have options!
Depending on how devoted to being green you are, there is a huge range of different activities Majorca can offer you. The really devoted green fingered tourist could always head down to the local farm or market and give a helping hand in exchange for bed and board! Finca Son Barrina organic farm is one place that accepts helping hands from holidaymakers, and they grow a dazzling arrange of fruit and veggies for local restaurants and grocers.
If you want a more relaxed approach to being green that’s fine! Avoid beaches and head to one of the many conversation sites scattered throughout the island. Llevant Peninsula Nature Park in the north east of the island is a good spot that’s great for hikers, with plenty of flat and hilly terrains for you to try and tackle. Here, you will find beautiful, untouched nature that is a genuine home to birds and other wildlife, rather than discarded coke bottles.
Archipelago Maritime Terrestrial National Park (try to say that in one breath!) is another treat for those looking to seek out the more undiscovered areas of Majorca. The ban on fishing has resulted in the waters teeming with tropical fish, whales and turtles. This area is located south of the island, about 1 hour’s boat ride from San Salinas.
What do you think? Is eco-tourism something you could be interested in? Or does it all sound like a lot of effort? Let us know!
Ranging from rugged mountains, dense forests and tranquil waterways to the stunning beaches, cliffs and coastal paths, the UK has something for everyone. Have a sneak peek at the five most eco friendly places in the UK.
If you are planning a trip with family and friends then United Kingdom is a great place to visit. England, Scotland, Wales and the Offshore Islands all together form a great vacation and holiday spot. Beside, the most incredible cause which will pull you towards UK is its eco-friendly environment. The mountains and ranges of majestic hills, exquisite lakes, the rolling farmland, wild heaths and moors, lovely valleys and streams proffers it a healthy and green atmosphere to live in.
Read on to learn more about the most eco-friendly destinations in UK:
It has been known as one of the most eco-friendly places to visit in the UK. The reason behind calling it a green city is that it was the first place to install a Green MP, Caroline Lucas, in the Parliament. So, make sure you visit this amazing place on your next trip. Being located on the East Sussex coast, Brighton features a blue flag beach and picturesque landmarks such as the Brighton Pier and the Royal Pavilion, making it certified clean.
The capital of the UK is a beautiful place to travel as well as home to a sixth of the population. Despite of being crowded, London has made progress across the green board. It is an eco friendly destination; the adoption of ‘Boris bikes’ and the construction of the Barclay’s Cycle Superhighways make it so. Secondly, it possesses excellent strategies for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, making the air more fresh and lively. The city has proved this with their success in getting people out of their cars and onto public transport and reducing pollution to a great extent.
The reason behind making it a third to this list is that the entire city centre of Scotland’s capital has been designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO. The next to add, is the Zero Waste Scotland program which is aimed toward creation of carbon-free Edinburgh. This marvelous place is fully loaded with historical buildings and monuments. You will fall in love with the healthy environment of this place.
Although, it is recognized as one of the oldest cities in the UK it holds a futuristic approach of a hale and hearty environment. Therefore, it has been added fourth rank in the list. The exponential increase in walking, cycling and usage of public transport are the few initiatives by the citizens to make it an eco-friendly place. Adding more to its greenery, the vast biodiversity of Leicester have stride out in the environmental arena. The beautiful period architecture, the Curve Theatre, National Space Centre, etc. are added attractions to it.
This place has turned itself into a green space with an astounding climate change action plan. The plan was focused towards the reduction of the city’s carbon emissions. Moreover, this city has set an example for other small cities stating that even they can build up a healthy and green place. Its higher recycling rates and the first class waste management program are inspiration for others. The city council’s ‘Green Infrastructure’ plan which makes a check on the future developments is also remarkable attempt. You will love exploring the lovely Dartmoor, the peaceful Tamar Valley and the beaches of south-east Cornwall.
Hope you enjoyed the article contributed by Green Energy Scotland. Taking a ‘green’ holiday seems to be a good idea this time! Plan a trip to United Kingdom and feel the immense pleasure visiting the most eco-friendly cities across UK, contributing a bit toward mother earth. You can get more updates by following us on Twitter.
Is it possible to live by ethically driven and environmentally considerate values, such as buying fair trade or having a low carbon footprint, while still enjoying life to it's fullest? Can we still go on holiday and have a great time? Well the answer is a resounding YES. It is certainly possible to relax and enjoy yourself whilst ensuring that your fun is not at the expense of the planet, the local community or the wider global community.
In terms of the environment, the most ethical way to travel is by not travelling very far. Sometimes you need only travel to the next county to discover a history and culture you never knew existed. Using public transport where possible, or taking advantage of car share schemes, are two ways to lessen the environmental damage of your travel. An increasing amount of self catering, b&b and hotel owners are looking into ways to make their property more environmentally friendly, for example by using sustainable energy or by employing water saving devices.
To be ethical, a holiday will often include some activities that are beneficial to the people who live in the area as well as being enjoyable for the holiday makers. An ethical holiday does not mean that you have to spend a week harvesting someone else's farm, but instead can be an opportunity to engage in exciting and interesting community or conservation projects.
Let's not forget though, holidays are a time for indulgence and maximum relaxation. Holidaymakers who tend to buy fair trade products do not need to stop doing this just because they are not at home. Thanks to the increasing availability of fair trade items throughout the UK, luxury products such as chocolate and coffee can be bought in outlets the country over. For goods that can be easily produced in the UK, it is also important to try and buy local produce.
This infographic discusses the benefits of using eco-friendly cars which emit less pollution compared to traditional cars, while also showing you how to drive traditional cars more economically.
Infographic by Southside Motor Factors.
BMW and green cars
German luxury car maker BMW has showed that it has serious electric vehicle plans with the BMW i3, which went on sale in late 2013, and the i8, which will be available for purchase in June 2014. Both cars are quite innovative and unconventional in many respects, and will undoubtedly shake up the electric vehicles market. They feature dynamic exterior design, and excellent fuel efficiency thanks to the EfficientDynamics technologies. One of the most impressive things about these cars is the fact that their passenger compartments are made of carbon fiber, making them the first mass-produced vehicles to have a carbon-fiber body.
Introducing the Carbon-fiber technology
During the development process of the i3 and the i8, BMW was testing other carbon-fiber technologies, and considered putting carbon-fiber wheels in the production models, but the EU didn't allow it, as it didn't think they met safety standards. Now, after BMW made some modifications to the wheels, it announced that they are pretty close to production, and should be offered as standard equipment in the i3 and the i8 by the end of this year. The reason why the automaker has been putting so much effort into developing carbon-fiber parts is that it's a very effective way to reduce a car's curb weight, which is particularly important for electric cars, since their large battery packs add a substantial amount of weight.
The carbon-fiber wheels will replace the existing alloy ones, which are 35% heavier. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is one of the most lightweight materials – it's 50% lighter than steel, and 30% lighter than aluminum. In addition to being light, it's also incredibly strong and durable, and can withstand heavy impacts, as it's able to absorb much more energy than steel or other materials that are traditionally used for making wheels.
Safety may be the only concern
Franz Storkenmaier, BMW's lightweight construction manager, who developed the carbon-fiber wheels, said in a statement: “We save 25 percent in weight compared to a forged alloy wheel with the hybrid wheel and another 10 percent if it’s completely carbon.” In addition too the carbon-fiber wheels, he also made hybrid carbon-aluminum ones, which feature alloy spokes and a carbon fiber rim. The main concern about these wheels is whether they are safe enough, with a lot of people wondering how the material reacts to strong impacts, since it contains plastic, which is pretty fragile. But, Storkenmaier is adamant that stress risk for these wheels is negligible, and they are highly unlikely to get shattered in the event of a crash, which is what many people fear.
BMW has large reserves of carbon fiber that was left unused in the production process of the i3 and the i8, and considering that it's a very expensive material, they wanted to make to most of it, so they decided to make other components from it. They made a carbon fiber steering wheel, that features a carbon frame and a carbon skeleton, as well as a one-piece carbon-fiber propeller shaft, which is supposed to be offered in the new BMW X5. In the future, the German car maker plans to extend the use of carbon-fiber to other brands it owns, such as Mini and Rolls Royce.
Electric Vehicles Today
Electric vehicles are making big news at the moment and this looks to be a continually growing trend. At first there were many murmurs that electric vehicles were just a gimmick, like many of the innovations we used to see highlighted on tomorrow’s world. But they are now a mainstream and genuine mode of transport used by many individuals and businesses across the globe. Looking at declining supplies of oil it’s not too hard to envisage a future where electric cars are the norm.
How Clean Are They Really?
One of the main selling points of electric vehicles is that they have “zero carbon emissions”. If you take this vehicle for example from a vehicle distributor’s website you’ll see that the carbon emissions are stated as zero for each model. Electric cars are seen as a clean and green way of traveling that reduces the amount of emissions caused by getting from A to B. But this is not strictly true when you look a little deeper into the issue. Although the direct emissions from electric cars are non-existent, there is still a lot of carbon emitted in the process of generating the electricity to power it.
After reading through this piece you should have a better idea of the true carbon cost behind this sweeping trend.
Carbon Generated by Electricity Production
Carbon emissions generated by electricity production vary quite a lot depending on the source of the fuel used. The worst way (environmentally) to generate electricity is to burn coal; it is a very unrefined way to generate power and the results reflect that. Most electricity production in the UK relies on some form of fuel burning; be it coal, refined gas or wood. But there are a mix of growing alternative production methods such as wind, solar and wave contributing to the grid as well.When looking at the “World Table” in terms of CO2 emissions from electricity production we’re around mid-table. When this is converted into the grams of CO2/km emitted from the use of electric vehicles you get very surprising results.
Based on the UK’s electricity production methods an electric car currently uses up around 189g/km indirectly. These levels are far higher than the direct emissions from most comparable petrol/diesel powered vehicles. This is definitely not what a lot of people would have predicted if you walked up to them on the street and asked for their thoughts.
Is there scope for improvement?
There is definitely scope for improvement seen as how the UK is still very dependent on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Therefore we should not immediately shun electric powered cars and stick with petrol/diesel powered vehicles forevermore.
As the UK generates the capacity to create clean electricity on a much bigger scale electric vehicles will take the lead in CO2 efficiency. At which point there may be a huge surge in demand to fulfil people and business’ social desire to have a less negative impact on the planet.
When this will happen is anyone’s guess; but the government is pushing clean energy initiatives right now. With an understanding that the returns from these kinds of infrastructure investments can be decades away hopefully they’ll arrive sooner rather than later!
Green travel is not unheard of and can cover a number of different things. Anything from, responsible motoring through to staying in a hotel or facility that is eco-conscious, covers green travel but before you even pack your bags you should consider what bags you use.
Bamboo is a material that has grown in popularity substantially over the last few years and for good reason too; it’s not a damaging material to the environment. Bamboo is a very sustainable and incredibly versatile material that is now being used in a number of items, including bags.
Bamboo helps to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and has an extremely quick growing rate which is great for future use. Their growth isn’t used with any pesticides, fertilisers or chemicals either which makes bamboo naturally grown.
Bamboo bags are made from 100% natural bamboo fibre, so they are durable and can fit all of your belongings in like any other bag. The bag’s fabric is soft to the touch and makes a great alternative to the everyday cotton bag many people opt for.
A lot of families will take carrier bags with them full of the week’s food or essentials, but bamboo bags offer the perfect replacement. Instead of throwing your plastic bags away, you can re-use bamboo ones year in, year out, helping you to do your bit for the planet.
Bamboo bags can come in a number of shapes and styles too, so you can choose one that looks more fashionable than a plain plastic carrier bag. Bamboo printed eco bags are becoming increasingly popular among household throughout the UK as they can be universally used either during travel or within the home.
Versatility of Bamboo
Like we mentioned earlier, bamboo is not just limited to bags. In fact, it can be found in:
- Musical Instruments
Bamboo tableware is a brilliant, eco-friendly way to eat your food whilst everyone sits around the tent too. This imaginative alternative to plastic plates is robust enough to be rinsed and re-used, so they will last your whole trip away. Once you are home and back to reality, you can pop these plates and bowls onto your compost heap at home and they will naturally break down over a couple of months.
Musical instruments are often travelled with and it is reassuring to know that many are made from bamboo. In fact, flutes, drums and even some saxophones are used using this material, further emphasising its versatility.
Making The Change
Going ‘Green’ is on the rise, especially within travel, and with more and more people opting for travel with less overall environmental impact, small changes like bamboo bags and bamboo tableware make a huge difference.
Many people assume being ‘eco’ is just about switching a few light bulbs off and opting for an electric car, and although these will help, there are smaller changes that people can make in order to save the environment.
Bamboo will continue to be universally used for a number of objects and items and its versatility is unquestionable.