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HYDROTECHNIX

Petrol hybrid vehicle: An example of this is the famous Toyota Prius. These vehicles have an electric motor for low speeds and then a petrol engine that cuts in as the loads rise.

Pro's: Good for your eco image.

Con's: Expensive to buy, not much more economical or efficient as a good diesel engine. Limited range.

Future rating 2/10

diesel hybrid

Diesel hybrid vehicle: Similar to above but utilises a diesel engine instead of a petrol.

Pro's: Much more sensible to use a diesel engine. Will have motors front and rear so will be like a 4x4.

Con's: More expensive than a petrol hybrid.

Future rating 5/10

biodiesel_3

Biodiesel fuelled vehicle: Renewable fuel source heralded as the saviour of the planet. Unfortunately with rising land growing prices, rape seed oil prices and stories of engine damage it was not to be.

Pro's: Could be made at home from used cooking fat.
 
Con's: Government soon started to tax. Smell emitted from tail pipe, loss of performance, does not help emissions much.

Future rating 0/10

lpg car

LPG fuelled vehicle: Gained some popularity but never really caught on due to several downsides. As fuel prices are rising it has seen a resurgence.

Pro's: Retro-fit to most petrol vehicles. Cheap to fill up.

Con's: Expensive to convert, loss of luggage space, power loss, only works on petrol cars, fillings stations sparse.

Future rating 1/10

cng-car

Compressed natural gas:  We like CNG because it is a powerful fuel that comes from variety of biomass sources. Hopefully it will catch on.

Pro's:Mercedes are offering E & B class CNG vehicles now with a home fuelling option package.

Con's: Expensive to convert, hard to fill up, loss of luggage space. Petrol only.

Future rating: 3/10

Electric only vehicle: Touted as the way forward for the future. Still early days yet but could end up as the main type of transport for the future. Proper mainsteam cars will become available from 2012 onwards. Nissan and Mitsubishi being the front runners.

Pro's: Zero emissions, cheap to charge from home (not from street though), service free motors.

Cons: Does not help the millions of vehicles already out there, range is at present small, long time for full charge, battery replacement costs thousands of pounds, lack of top up points, expensive to buy.

Future rating 9/10

mitsubishi_i_miev
Vauxhall erev

Extended range electric vehicles: These are a new idea where the vehicle is only powered by electric motors but has a petrol generator engine to recharge the batteries when they get low. Vauxhall Ampera will be one of the first availiable.

Pro's: Have a greater range than electric only vehicles. Better than the petrol hybrids with minimal fuel consumption and emissions just from the generator.

Cons: Still needs to be filled with petrol and charged up. Will be expensive.

Future rating 5/10

honda-clarity

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles: Hydrogen is converted into electricity within the fuel cell. This then drives an electric motor. BMW has created a 7 series that has a internal combustion engine to run on Hydrogen fuel and the Honda Clarity is another example.

Pro's: Water is the only bi-product, could be the answer to huge inefficient battery packs.

Cons: No refuelling network, technology not ready yet, loss of luggage space, massively expensive at the moment.

Future rating 6/10

diesel lpg

Diesel LPG fuelled vehicle:

Pro's: Retro fit to all diesel engines.

Cons: Expensive to convert, others as cons of petrol lpg fuel section.

Future rating 4/10

HHO fuelled vehicles: Obviously we are biased towards this. Unparalleled as a retro fit to all the vehicles out there, the aim is to use less and less fossil fuel as the technology improves.

Pro's: Retro fit to petrol and diesel vehicles of any size, cheap to install, almost zero emissions, water cheap and plentiful to fill up.

Cons: Still relies on fossil fuels at the moment, government reluctant to recognise at present as they will lose so much money on vehicle tax and congestion charges.

Future rating 9/10

Green Hummer3

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