5 Of The Top Eco Cars To Look Out For Next Year

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 27 Oct 2015 10:12, Last updated: 2015-10-27

There’s no doubting the fact that eco-friendly cars are on the rise. The SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) says that sales of AFVs (Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles) in the UK have grown by 80% year on year. As a result, much of the new model development from motor manufacturers now focuses on hybrid and electric powered cars, and next year will see many more exciting offerings reach the market.

1. Hyundai

The Korean manufacturer has a hybrid hatchback along the lines of the Toyota Prius ready for the UK market, scheduled for a 2017 release. Similar to the Japanese manufacturer’s Prius, Hyundai’s car will be a five-door, five-seat hatchback.

It’s likely that a conventional hybrid, along with a plug-in type, will be available, and the conventionally fuelled engine will be 1.6 litres in size. Sister brand Kia will also be launching a similar offering in late 2017.

2. Tesla Model X

Tesla appeared on the motoring scene with its Model S all-electric sports car, and is entering the SUV market with a striking design with ‘falcon wing’ doors.

Using the same dual-electric motor configuration as the Model S, the combined power is a whopping 762bhp, with claimed performance figures of sub-four second 0-62mph and a top speed of 155mph.

The electric car specialist is also due to release a BMW 3 Series rival in 2017 with a roadster likely to follow in 2019.

Who said electric cars are slow and like driving a milk float?

3. Toyota Prius

The grandfather of hybrid cars, the Prius has a fearsome reputation and is the perfect car to upgrade to after learning the rules of the road while behind the wheel of a Yaris, a model that is popular with many driving schools.

The Prius is about to appear in its fourth generation guise with improvements to fuel economy and emissions of about 18%, which makes for the largest eco gain between generations in the model’s history.

With an updated 1.8 litre petrol engine, a quicker-charging battery pack, revised suspension to provide improved handling, a sophisticated digital instrument panel and a major overall restyle, the Prius is ready to meet the challenges of the newcomers to the eco and hybrid market.

4. Honda FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle)

This hydrogen fuel cell-powered car promises a driving range of more than 400 miles with the ability to be topped up in less than five minutes.

Honda has already opened a hydrogen filling station in the UK at its Swindon plant, and hopes its facility - capable of producing 20 tonnes of hydrogen a year - will kick-start the development of a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure.

The FCV will be available in the USA and Europe with UK sales starting late 2017 or early 2017.

5. Detroit Electric SP:01

Based on the Lotus Elise body, this £100,000 sports car will offer genuine supercar performance.

The SP:01, with carbon fibre body panels, is said to hit 62mph from rest in just under four seconds and has a driving range of around 180 miles. A raft of personalisation options are available, and a full touch screen ‘infotainment’ system is included.

Exciting times ahead

It’s a fascinating time for the UK car buyer. The rate of progress in eco cars has not only provided many new releases but has also delivered cars with the type of performance potential no one could have imagined in the early days of the hybrid and electric market.

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