What is a ‘Green Car’?

The latest technology in cars can be very difficult to keep up with – especially all the terminology involved. With fuel prices being at an all time high, we are searching for more ways to save money and get the most out of our vehicles. New improved models are coming onto the market all the time and understanding what `green’ technology is can be a little confusing – What is a green car?

Green cars are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. They can arise from manufacturers making small changes and adjustments to vehicles, to more intricate technology. The main improvement is that they are becoming cheaper to produce and run.


Without the noisy engines, electric cars are very quiet to run and with stop/start features used when in traffic, they are also energy saving. Whilst building cars that have the power to pull off from `stand still’ is of no concern these days to makers, re-fuelling them is still a problem.

Hybrid cars

Hybrid cars come in two types, the first one being the parallel. With an engine and an electric motor, the parallel hybrid uses both of them to power the wheels.

Assisting the engine, the electric motor takes on some of the work such as working as an alternator and a starter – therefore making the engine more economical. The motor is powered by batteries that are charged whenever the car slows down or the brakes are applied.

The parallel hybrid car cannot be used as an electric version by itself and needs the engine to operate.

The second car is the series hybrid. The engine can always function at optimum fuel consumption due to the fact that the engine is not this time directly connected to the wheels. The engine drives the generator, creating electricity to drive an additional motor. It is this motor that drives the wheels.

Some cars are built as a parallel/series motor such as the Toyota Prius using its engine for distance driving and its electric motor about town.

An advantage of owning an electric car is that it does not require you to pay for road tax. Unfortunately there are still not many places to recharge the car and therefore they are not as practical as a hybrid. Due to their lower emissions, hybrid cars can come under a lower tax bracket and an insurance broker will be able to offer you the policy required for this type of vehicle. What is a green car? is briefly covered above and deciding if a green car is for you will depend on your purchase budget and how you need to use the car/where it will mostly be driven.

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