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Saving the planet as the Geneva Motor Show goes eco

By raccars Published

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Arguably the biggest trend emerging from the Geneva Motor Show was eco motoring.

You might think that exotic hypercars and family SUVs have very little in common, but there was one thing uniting a number of the vehicles on display at last week's Geneva Motor Show, and that was a focus on clean and green motoring. Eco cars are no longer a niche segment, they are the inevitable future of motoring. Here are the models that car manufacturers think will be able to convince us to leave petrol and diesel behind.

The best eco cars of the Geneva Motor Show

Morgan EV3

It's radical, interesting and extremely desirable. Morgan's first production electric vehicle sees the venerable British sports car maker take its famous 3 Wheeler and stick an electric motor in it. The EV3 can travel 150 miles on one charge, looks great and weighs in under 500kg. Its manufacturer claims that the EV3 can reach 90mph and takes 9.0 seconds to get to 62mph, with the use of protective headgear and goggles highly recommended. Orders are being taken now for production later this year.

Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai hopes that the Ioniq will gain the mainstream popularity for which the Toyota Prius has strived but achieved with varying degrees of success. It was shown in Geneva in hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid formats. The hybrid and plug-in units are assisted by a super-efficient 1.6 litre Kappa petrol engine and offer emissions of 79g/km and 32g/km, while the EV can manage 155 miles on one charge. Prices and ownership details have yet to be revealed but the Ioniq is set to reach the market later in 2016.

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

Using a 2.0 litre petrol engine in tandem with an electric motor producing 50kW, the Optima Plug-In Hybrid is designed to deliver CO2 emissions of 37g/km and a 33 mile range on pure electric power. It's the first plug-in hybrid from the budget brand and will be available from about £30,000 upon release later in the year.

Kia Niro

Designed from scratch as a hybrid crossover, the Niro offers 89g/km in CO2 emissions thanks to a 1.6 litre petrol engine combined with a 32kW electric motor. It's a very practical, comfortable and user friendly car even by the standards of its class, with 421 litres of cargo space and towing potential. It arrives on the UK market in autumn. Prices are unknown as yet but, together with the Optima Plug-In Hybrid, the Niro could help Kia to take a significant slice of the growing eco car market in the UK and drive the brand towards its ambition of leaving its budget status behind and joining the mainstream.

Lexus LC 500H

One of those rare beasts, a desirable hybrid sports car, the LC 500H is a 2+2 coupe which uses a Multi Stage Hybrid System. This gives it 395bhp from a 3.6 litre V6 teamed with both a lithium ion battery and an electric motor, with a sub-five second 0-62mph time.

Toyota C-HR

Toyota is using its significant hybrid experience in a new crossover. The C-HR has a 1.8 litre engine and an electric motor, with CO2 emissions of 90g/km and seriously stylish looks. It will also be available in conventional form with a turbocharged 1.2 litre engine in the UK.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Flying the hydrogen flag, the Clarity puts its drivetrain and complete fuel cell stack under the bonnet, a first for a production fuel cell saloon. Honda has achieved this by shaving about a third off the size of the fuel cell stack used in the FCX Clarity model without losing power output or capacity. The Clarity Fuel Cell claims to offer the power delivery of a V6 and a range of 435 miles from only three minutes of refuelling.

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