It's Not Easy Being Green? These Vehicle Makers Disagree
Last week I blogged about the high cost of petrol for my gas-guzzling, CO2-spluttering car, so this week I'm looking at the cost of green transport
alternatives to see if it's any cheaper.
Back in the day, Kermit the Frog lamented, "It's not easy being green". Despite it not being a moan about environmental ignorance on Sesame Street
(though Oscar the Grouch was terrible for putting recyclables in his trash-can home), the song has since become something of a green anthem. Both
Ford and EDF have used it to promote green products with the idea that, these days, it's not actually all that expensive or difficult to be green. So, just
how cheap and simple is it to become a green motorist?
Environmentally friendly motors are popping up all over the shop in various forms - hybrid, electric, LPG etc. The Toyota Prius is the UK's leading
hybrid, though it's not particularly cheap. However, for just under Â£20k for the basic model, you do get 70mpg, road tax exemption, London
congestion charge exemption, and strong resale. Honda's Insight hybrid is cheaper (from Â£16,338), Lexus' three hybrids start at around Â£43k, and
pretty soon you'll be able to buy one from most of the big manufacturers.
Cleaner still are electric cars, which emit zero CO2 (though the power stations that feed them aren't exactly carbon neutral). Despite being around
since the 19th century, electric cars are surprisingly under developed and still suffer from limited range. However, things are improving rapidly, with US
firm Tesla a particularly exciting developer in this field. The most popular UK model is the tiny G-Wiz, which starts at just over Â£8k, has a 75 mile
range, top speed of 51mph, and a six hour recharge time - however people will laugh when you and three passengers climb out.
On top of the money you'll save on fuel and road tax, you may be able to save even more as electric cars have been exempted by the government
from paying company car tax. The governme