Electric car or hybrid car

If you are thinking of buying a car in the future you might consider either and electric car, or a hybrid car. A lot of people like to help the environment in any way shape and form that they can an electrical and hybrid car are great ways of doing that. They have gone down in price over the years so a lot of people can actually afford this type of vehicles these days.

Electric vehicles can be enjoyable to drive

To help you reduce your carbon footprint and also save plenty of money on gas for your car, consider investigating the benefits of the electric car. Electric vehicles can be enjoyable to drive and are typically environmentally friendly. Most are quite expensive right now, but are becoming more affordable as technology improves.

Honing the Hybrids and Diesels

BMW, long a proponent of diesel engines, has come to see the plug-in hybrid as a smart solution to meeting fuel-economy mandates. Coming soon is the X5 eDrive.

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Car review: Vauxhall Ampera | Sam Wollaston

'It's nice to avoid that 21st-century ailment known as range anxiety'

Some of my neighbours take an interest in my wheels. "Another electric car?" one asks. Well, yes, mostly, I tell him, but it also has a 1.4-litre petrol engine. "Hybrid then?" he says, knowingly (bit of a smartarse, this one. I can say that I don't think he reads the Guardian). Actually, no, not really, and Vauxhall gets a bit cross if you call it a hybrid. It is an electric car; it runs permanently on its electric motor with a battery that will take you 25-30 miles emitting diddly-squat. The petrol engine is like a back-up generator for when the battery gets low. An EV with a range-extending petrol motor/generator then.

That's a little problem with the Ampera, the fact that it isn't easily classifiable by a simple one- or two-word term that everyone and their neighbours can understand.

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Key to Tougher Teslas: Titanium

The automaker's “triple underbody shield” includes a titanium plate, but it does not turn the vehicle into an all-terrain tank.

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VW e-up!: car review | Sam Wollaston

'Electric cars are enormously entertaining to drive not many people realise that and this one especially so'

Ah, yes, the up! Not my exclamation mark, Volkswagen's. Which, along with the lower-case u, added to the extreme wrongness of the last up! they sent me: a black up! Where was I supposed to go in it!? The 1970s? The Black And White Minstrel Show? One of those unreconstructed places in the West Country where the morris dancers still obstinately paint their faces black?

This time they've sent a white up! I'm not sure that's much better, is it? A car for Michael Jackson, perhaps? A bit late, no? RIP.

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Electric cars aren’t seen as aspirational; new ‘Formula E’ could help

Company collapses, Tesla fires and Aston Martins's withdrawal of its electric car made 2013 a bad year for EVs. But the rise of 'Formula E' could help make electric cars cool

For electric cars, 2013 was not a good year. Three electric-vehicle (EV) companies Better Place, Coda and Fisker bit the dust, Tesla fires hit the headlines and Aston Martin, renowned for its beautiful cars, ditched the aptly named Cygnet EV. Things were not looking good.

It seems unlikely that 2014 will be the year that the market really takes off, but there are elements falling into place that could stimulate appetite quicker than 2013 may have indicated.

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A New-Era Renault in the Remaking

The French engine manufacturer has had a troubled transition to hybrids, but few in Formula One are underestimating the company's ability to rebound.

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Tesla Fights for a Place to Park

New Jersey is the latest state to bar Tesla's stores for its electric vehicles under laws that favor independent dealerships.

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Tycoon Vincent Bolloré to back London electric car hire scheme

Scheme planned for 2015 will allow drivers to book electric cars for short journeys between parking points in the city

A point-to-point electric car-sharing scheme has been promised for London by the billionaire tycoon behind the Paris prototype, with thousands of new vehicle-charging points to be added in London this year.

The scheme, planned to start in March 2015, would allow drivers to book electric cars using smartcards and phones for short journeys between parking points in the city, based on the French Autolib' model.

Vincent Bolloré, whose Bolloré group has won the contract from Transport for London (TfL) to upgrade and extend the electric charging network, said: "We believe it could be equally successful in London, offering people a convenient and low-cost form of environmentally friendly transport."

About 100 Bluecars built by Bolloré will be in service at launch, with a view to 3,000 cars given public takeup and the agreement of London boroughs to provide parking space.

But Bolloré said: "Until now, the electric car is a toy of the happy few: it's very expensive and does not have the autonomie [range] of a normal car. We have designed a car that is cheap: a beautiful, real car, with four seats, but cheap."

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, said they were ambitious and exciting plans that would help to reduce air pollution.

Leon Daniels, head of surface transport at TfL, said it was "one more big step" in improving air quality in the capital, one of the most polluted in Europe.

He said: "London is in very serious danger of getting a €300m (£250m) fine from the EU for its breaches of air quality. We think electric vehicles are very much the right answer for London, and in particular when shared, reducing the total number of vehicles on our streets and drastically reducing emissions."

Bolloré will be running Source London, the charging network, for TfL, but the car-sharing scheme will be a commercial proposition of which TfL is "supportive".

Electric car-charging points to date have been largely underutilised in the capital, but transport authorities believe that the problem is one of scale, with potential electric-vehicle drivers unable to rely on a full recharging network. Bolloré intends to extend the current 1,400 charging points to 6,000 by 2018, as well as bringing in more vehicles to use them.

While TfL does not plan to endorse a potential London Autolib' – other car clubs already exist – there are hopes that a large-scale scheme would provide the critical mass to encourage widespread electric-car use. The scheme would differ from existing car clubs in its combination of electric technology and running point-to-point – ie not having to return vehicles to where they were collected. Bolloré is targeting 60,000 members and regular users, who would pay £10 a month subscription and £5 per half-hour hire, to break even in London.

In Paris, the silver stubby Autolib' cars have become a familiar part of the landscape since 2011, a natural progression from the highly successful Vélib' free bicycle scheme – the precursor of "Boris bikes".

There are around 2,000 Bluecars – 3,000 were originally promised – and 862 unmanned hire stations, with around 43,000 subscribers and around 10,000 daily rentals on average.

Subscribers receive an electronic badge card, which unlocks the vehicle. A GPS in the car helps to navigate and find spots to park the Autolib', though availability of spaces in some areas has been a problem. Parisians can sign up for one day for free with higher hire charges, or pay a €120 annual fee, with car hire down to €5.50 for 30 minutes.

While the Bluecar causes no air or noise pollution and is quite nippy around the city, critics say the scheme has failed to reduce the number of cars on Paris's streets overall, with no concrete evidence that the number of private and company cars has dropped. Taxi-drivers and car-hire companies also complained to the courts about unfair competition and some town halls complained about the cost of the scheme.

  • Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars
  • London
  • Carbon emissions
  • Travel and transport
  • Ethical and green living
  • Motoring
  • Paris
  • France
Gwyn TophamKim Willsher

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Wheelies: The Governator’s Tank Edition

Arnold Schwarzenegger uses his M47 Patton battle tank to raise money for charity; companies express interest in buying Cars.com.

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Automakers Talk Optimistically About Electric Cars in Geneva

Although automakers are no longer overtly bullish about electric car sales, new models like the BMW i3 show potential for success in the segment.

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