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Top 10 emerging technologies

As the march towards a carbon-neutral motoring industry progresses, the diversity of low carbon vehicles available is becoming more and more apparent.

Here Parkers takes a look at some of the technology that is either available or soon to hit our roads. We've explored the positives and the negatives, allowing you to make your own conclusions on the technology available.

So why is this relevant to company car drivers?

The company car driver will already know that it's far cheaper to run an environmentally friendly vehicle. Keeping tax low is a great way to keep costs down, and economical cars receive subsidies from the government, so it seems sensible to assume that ‘green' technology will continue to be rewarded in the future too.

Here we showcase some of the possible future methods of transportation with a focus on low emissions or low tax.

Peugeot iOn

What is it?

A city car running on electricity. Very close to production

What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries

What are the positives?
Good build quality, decent space inside, smooth and easy to drive

What are the negatives?
Very expensive to lease (£415 per month with no option to buy), needs more range (only 80 miles between charges)

 

 

Think EV Cup

What is it?
An electric city car based on Think EV but with lowered suspension, stripped-out interior, racing seat and harness.

What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries

What are the positives?
Batteries live under the seat so great handling, lots of pulling power, 100-mile range

What are the negatives?
Noisy and hot, power steering is optional making driving hard work

 

  

 

Revolve Ford Transit

What is it?
A Ford Transit with a 2.3-litre petrol engine converted by Revolve to run on hydrogen

What does it run on?
Hydrogen sourced from water, converted by ITM-power using 'filling points'

What are the positives?
Lower road and fuel taxes, sustainable energy

What are the negatives?
Engine is short of power and refinement, large hydrogen tanks required, huge shipping container-sized hydrogen filling points are necessary to fuel vehicle

 

 
Mahindra Reva G-Wiz I Lithium-ion

What is it?
Four-seat city car already on sale in London and other major cities

What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries

What are the positives?
Small and cheap to run

What are the negatives?
Noisy, slow, lots of body roll, cramped and short range, hasn't been Euro NCAP crashed tested because of quadricycle status

 

 
Toyota Auris HSD

What is it?

A Toyota Auris converted to a 'hybrid' for low emissions and good fuel economy.

What does it run on?
Petrol and electricity hybrid

What are the positives?
Economical (74.3mpg and 89g/km CO2), well built and stylish interior, cheap to buy (starts at £18,950)

What are the negatives?
Transmission can be noisy in eco and power modes

 

 

Smart EV

What is it?
A Smart fortwo with 100% electric running gear
What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries
What are the positives?
Well built, stylish interior, easy to operate, smooth power delivery
What are the negatives?
Very slow acceleration, short range

 

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter NGT

What is it?
A van converted to run on natural gas and/or diesel at the same time.
What does it run on?
Compressed natural gas and diesel
What are the positives?
Reduced CO2 emissions, three year manufacturer's warranty, long range (up to 640 miles per tank)
What are the negatives?
Compressor required for gas (costs £7000), engine is noisier than conventional units.

 

 

Nicholson McLaren converted Citroen Nemo Van

What is it?
A Citroen van converted to run on electrical power
What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries
What are the positives?
Easy to drive - typical driving requires one pedal as energy recovery system decelerates van for you
What are the negatives?
Low range (80 miles unloaded, 63 miles loaded), high charging time (6-8 hours)

 

 

Raptor

What is it?
Three-wheel personal electric vehicle
What does it run on?
Electricity - Lithium-ion batteries
What are the positives?
Fun to operate, road legal personal transport solution
What are the negatives?
No crash protection

 

 

 Jaguar Limo Green concept

What is it?
A Jaguar XJ limo running on a three cylinder petrol engine and electrical power.
What does it run on?
Petrol and electricity hybrid
What are the positives?
Very quiet, comfortable experience with typical Jaguar refinement
What are the negatives?
Short on performance thanks to small engine, loses boot space to battery packs