How green can a vehicle be? These five vehicles show just how far modern technology can take us toward building more efficient vehicles.
5. Mitsubishi iMiev
The most efficient vehicle in the Australian market right now is the Mitsubishi iMiev. This tiny four seater uses just 135 Wh per 100 km while providing a range of 150 km.
The car exists mainly because of a failed business deal: Mitsubishi worked with Daimler Benz to concurrently develop the Colt with the Smart ForFour, but the connection between the companies was cut when Daimler sold Mitsubishi’s long time partner Chrysler. This left the company with a small citycar platform that was a perfect fit for an electric powertrain. (Image credit: motorauthority.com)
4. Jaguar XK, XF and XJ
They started over 10years ago with the development of the lightweight aluminium platform. Along with improved efficiency the CO2 emissions the XJ has achieved full environmental product certification which is based on the total life cycle emissions from its production, use of materials and its disposal. On top of that 85% of the materials and components in their latest vehicles are re-usable and, or recyclable. Viewing the Jaguar prices, you definitely get what you pay for.
3. Very Light Car No. 98
After SpaceShipOne won the original X-Prize, the foundation was bombarded with requests for a new prize for fuel efficiency. They decided on a $5 million U.S. award for a car that could get the equivalent of 100 miles per U.S. gallon, about 2.35 liters per 100 km, while retaining the same utility of a consumer vehicle. The competition was won by Edison2’s Very Light Car No. 98, a four seater that combines an aerodynamic pontoon fender design with a weight of only 360 kg, allowing it to get up to highway speeds using a 250cc single cylinder engine. That money has been used to fund further development: a production-ready prototype was completed earlier this year. (Image credit: money.cnn.com)
2. Tesla Model S
It can go from 0 to 100 kph in 4.4 seconds and its extremely low center of gravity begetting superb handling; couple that with the largest infotainment system available on any vehicle, and the Model S seems like it’s worth every bit of its $77,000 price tag. However, unlike its luxury competitors, the Tesla is battery powered, proving that electric cars can be just as fun as their fuel-burning counterparts. Demand for the car has been so strong that Tesla is at their manufacturing capacity, pushing its Australian release back to early 2014. (Image credit: mediamatters.org)
1. Volkswagen XL1
VW has teased green enthusiasts with a series of ultra-efficient concepts over the last decade before finally putting the XL1 into production. Using just 900 mL of diesel every 100 kilometers, it’s by far the most efficient car ever built. However, that efficiency comes at a price: Its 0.19 Cd requires a narrow cabin with a passenger seat slightly behind the driver, and there’s almost no storage space. The ride is also terrible thanks to the short suspension required to keep a minimum of air from flowing under the vehicle. To top it off, the high tech construction results in a sale price of €100,000 (AU $140,000.) Still, VW should have no problem selling out the 250 unit production run with what is the Bugatti Veyron of green vehicles. (Image credit: motor-talk.de)
Author Bio: Jack has been a mechanic for 10 years and is a complete rev head. He has 5 cars to his name, and his past time hobbies include redoing old cars, travelling, going to car shows and writing blogs about cars.