Who Wants to Drive Green? Top 5 electric and hybrid cars for new drivers

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Who wants to drive green? Leo does! Oscar winner, Leonardo DiCaprio, has a garage that lives up to his climate concerned ‘thank you’ speech at the Oscars on Sunday. His collection of cars is green through and through, as he reps the finest electric and hybrid motors around. These include a Tesla Roaster, the first and finest electric sports car; a Fisker Karma, the hybrid sports car with a solar panel roof; and a Toyota Prius, one of the most efficient hybrid vehicles available. Mr DiCaprio does not take petrol for granted.

Yes, I know, speaking about celebrity rides is fantasy: as helpful for new drivers as watching most of the old Top Gear episodes. But that does not mean you cannot drive green too.

Green cars are great! For starters, you no longer need petrol. Electricity is cheaper and if you have a garage or driveway at home or work then recharging is hassle free. Road tax and congestion charge are either reduced or non-existent. Competition is young and energetic in the green vehicle market, so better models are coming out thick and fast (check out Apple’s iCar!). Plus, this growth and popularity means green cars resell for better value. They’re also quick, quiet and a smooth ride too.

So why doesn’t everyone have one? Well, they usually take 4-6 hours to recharge and have a limited range of around 80-130 miles. You’ll be surprised how rarely the average driver goes over this in one journey though. Green cars also tend to have less power and often cost more than their petrol-fuelled cousins.  

For some, this extra cost is worth paying to protect the environment, but for everyone else there’s the government. The UK government offers grants of up to 35% of the cost for electric cars. For those that emit less than 50g of carbon dioxide every 50 km, the government will pay up to £4,500.

Now, to the cars:

#1 Renault ZOE (Electric)

From £13,444 (minus a £4,500 grant = £8,944).

Exempt from road tax.

Range of 130+ miles.



#2 Citroën C-Zero (Electric)

From £11,995 (minus a £4,198 grant = £7,797).

Exempt from road tax.



#3 Toyota Yaris (Hybrid)

From £14,995 (less than £10,000 second hand).

Reduced road tax.



#4 Nissan Leaf (Electric)

From £16,290 (minus a £4,500 grant = £11,790).

Exempt from road tax.



#5 VW e-up! (Electric)

From £20, 575 (minus a £4,500 grant = £16,075).

Exempt from road tax.



Leonardo DiCaprio’s Toyota Prius comes in at £23,295 (minus a £2,500 grant). The Prius only just missed the list, so cruising in a celebrity’s green ride is not too far away after all.

Written by Matthew Taylor

Last modified: 3rd March 2016

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