For further information on alternative fuels visit www.est.org.uk
LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas)
LPG produces much lower emissions – about 10% to 15% less CO2, 75% less carbon monoxide and 85% less hydrocarbons – and is about half the price of unleaded petrol. However, the engines do use petrol in order to start.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that is produced from the oil of crops including oilseed rape, sunflowers and soybeans, as well as from waste cooking oils. These crops absorb CO2 as they grow, offsetting emissions by 60%. Standard diesel is sold as EN 590, which can contain a blend of 5% biodiesel and 95% ultra-low sulphur diesel, although biodiesel is available in blends up to 100%. Some car manufacturers approve higher blends (up to 30%), but speak with your vehicle manufacturer first. Biodiesel is available from certain petrol stations. For more information, visit www.est.org.uk or www.biodiesel.co.uk
Electric vehicles are powered by batteries and an electric motor. This keeps both noise and CO2 at the tailpipe to zero. Due to the relatively small capacity of their batteries, electric vehicles have a limited range between recharges (usually 60-150 miles), so they are best suited as city cars. Electric vehicles can be recharged simply by plugging them into an existing electrical socket. There are only a limited range of purely electric cars available on the market at present. However, there are a number of hybrid electrical cars such as the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic IMA and Citroen C3 Stop & Start mildhybrid. A new hybrid electric vehicle costs around £1,000 – £3,000 more than a conventional vehicle. However, as hybrids are more than capable of running in excess of 55 miles per gallon of petrol, fuel costs will be around two thirds of those for an equivalent petrol fuelled vehicle.