RAC Cars News


People Are Finally Going Ultra-Low

By raccars Published

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GoUltraLow, the government agency set up to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles (ULEVs), claims that recent data suggests ULEVs have outgrown their novelty value to become a genuine contender in the UK's auto market. Previously bought as a second family car and used occasionally, they are now gaining level pegging with the main household car. 20% of ULEV buyers do not own another car.

The way in which people use their ULEVs has also been changing, with the average journey distance increasing from the short trips for which they used to be reserved. The average ULEV annual mileage has gone up to 8,850. The limited range was a major sticking point for buyers who were otherwise interested in choosing a clean and green vehicle; however, this obstacle has largely been overcome. According to manufacturers' official figures, the following ULEVs offer the greatest range ? bearing in mind that the testing process used returns some very theoretical figures.

Volvo V60 D6 AWD

This big estate is powered by an equally big diesel unit under the bonnet, which is assisted by an electric motor and is apparently capable of returning 155.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 48g/km. With a 45-litre tank, you can travel 1,554 miles between trips to the filling station.

Audi A3 e-tron

Audi's hybrid can equal the V60's 1,554 miles on a smaller 40-litre tank, thanks to fuel consumption of 176.6mpg. CO2 emissions are about 35g/km, sharing a powertrain with the VW Passat and Golf GTE models.

Mercedes-Benz S500e

The S500e plug-in hybrid version of Mercedes' big saloon is not astonishingly economical, with fuel consumption recorded at 101mpg; however, its large 70-litre tank means it can go a long way between fill ups ? 1,555 miles. It is rammed with modern fuel-saving technology and the most luxurious comfort and convenience features.

Porsche Panamera S e-hybrid

The Panamera is another relatively thirsty ULEV, with fuel consumption of 91.1mpg. Nonetheless, with a huge 80-litre fuel tank, it can boast a 1,602 mile range between fill-ups. It is the cleanest car in in the Porsche line-up, but is still capable of almost 167mph.

Vauxhall Ampera

An odd one out in such distinguished company, the Ampera can boast the greatest range of any ULEV, according to the very theoretical figures provided by the manufacturer. On a tank of just 30 litres it can apparently travel 1,812 miles, thanks to fuel consumption of 235.4mpg. It would be interesting to know how many real life Ampera owners have ever achieved this kind of performance.

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