Driving towards a sustainable future: exploring greener cars in the UK

Heard about greener cars but not sure what they are? Here we explain what greener cars are and their benefits, to help you make the switch and live a little greener.

In a world increasingly focused on environmental sustainability, it's no surprise that the automobile industry is shifting gears to accommodate the rising demand for greener, eco-friendly vehicles. As we become more conscious of the impact of our choices on the environment, the demand for cleaner and more efficient cars in the UK is on the rise. But what are greener cars and what are their benefits?

What are greener cars?

Greener cars, also referred to as eco-friendly or sustainable cars, are vehicles designed with a primary focus on reducing their environmental impact. These vehicles employ a range of technologies and strategies to minimise emissions, enhance fuel efficiency, and reduce overall energy consumption. Key features of greener cars include:

1. Battery Electric Vehicles (EVs): As green as you can get. Electric cars run solely on electricity, producing zero tailpipe emissions. Not only are they better for the environment, but running costs, including maintenance and road fund licence costs, are typically cheaper than petrol or diesel cars.

2. Hybrid Vehicles: Hybrids combine an internal combustion engine with an electric motor to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. They can be charged through regenerative braking and feature the ability to operate on electric power alone for short distances.

3. Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs): PHEVs offer a compromise between traditional internal combustion engines and full electric vehicles. They can be charged via an electrical outlet and provide all-electric driving for a limited range.

4. Lower Emission Vehicles: If you’re not yet ready to make the switch to a fully or semi electric vehicle, switching to a newer used car or van, notably one rated as ‘Euro 6’ for its emissions can still improve your carbon footprint.

The environmental benefits

Greener cars offer a host of environmental advantages.

1. Reduced Emissions: In 2022, transport accounted for 34.0% of all UK carbon dioxide emissions, with the large majority being made up of road transport1. Greener cars, especially EVs, significantly reduce these emissions, helping the UK move closer to its Net Zero target.

2. Air Quality Improvement: Air pollution is a significant concern in the UK, with poor air quality linked to various health issues. Greener cars produce fewer harmful pollutants, contributing to cleaner air and better public health.

The financial benefits

Eco-friendly cars aren't just kind to the environment; they're also gentle on your wallet. Here's how:

1. Lower Fuel Costs: Electric vehicles can save drivers a substantial amount of money on fuel. Charging an EV is often cheaper than filling up a traditional car with petrol or diesel.

2. Tax Benefits: The UK government offers various financial incentives for greener car owners, such as reduced vehicle tax rates, grants for purchasing EVs, and exemptions from the London Congestion Charge.

UK insights

Let's delve into some UK-specific statistics that shed light on the adoption and impact of greener cars:

1. Electric Vehicle Surge: The UK experienced a remarkable increase in electric vehicle adoption. In 2020, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, electric vehicle sales rose by 185.9% compared to the previous year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)2.

2. Charging Infrastructure Growth: The UK has rapidly expanded its EV charging infrastructure. As of 2021, there were around 25,000 public charging connectors across the country3, making it easier for EV owners to charge their vehicles conveniently.

3. Government Support: The UK government has allocated substantial funds to support the development and adoption of greener cars. This includes a commitment to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 20354, with a focus on electric and hydrogen vehicles.

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Greener cars are no longer a distant dream; they're a tangible reality, transforming the way we drive in the UK. These vehicles not only offer environmental benefits, such as reduced emissions and cleaner air, but also financial advantages, making them an attractive choice for consumers.

As the UK continues to embrace the transition to greener cars, it's essential to stay informed about the latest developments, incentives, and the evolving charging infrastructure. If you’d like to find out more about making the transition to a greener vehicle, visit Tandem Motor Finance.

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