Feeds

UK gov offers car CO2 rankings by class

Prius gets ass whupped by supergreen Polo

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The UK government has set up a website advising consumers on which cars are the greenest.

The new "Best on CO2 Rankings" webpage uses What Car? magazine's system of classification, breaking motors down into the following groups: Supermini, Small family, Family, Estate, MPV, Compact Executive, Executive, Coupe, Open-top, Hot hatch, Compact 4x4, Large 4x4, Luxury and Performance.

The government seems to believe that people's first decision will always be what kind of car they want, regardless of how green that might be. Well-off urban professionals will continue to buy 4x4 offroad vehicles that they don't need and haven't the skills to use fully. Other families will continue to buy ever larger estate cars and MPVs, in order to move the burgeoning piles of junk they are supposed to have. Men young and old will continue to pay big money for unnecessary and often illegal performance levels.

But the Department for Transport seems to reckon that, having decided on a class of vehicle, people might then be willing to consider CO2 emissions; hence the web page. Say you're a young man who's just taken out an enormous crippling loan, or an older wealthier one who wants a virility-boosting toy. You select "performance", and new fast cars for sale in the UK are listed in worsening order of CO2 emissions.

So far, so routine. But then try "all vehicles", which should show the lowest-CO2 motors to be had. There still aren't any all-electric cars listed, offering zero carbon emissions (though one needs to use nuclear, solar, wind, or whatever to generate the 'leccy for this to be really true).

UK motorists can buy the controversial G-Wiz electric vehicle, but this is officially a quadricycle, not a car - and is frowned on by the DfT as unsafe - so its absence isn't surprising.

More promising fully electric rides such as the Lightning supercar, powered by the potentially game-changing "NanoSafe" fast-charge battery tech, aren't yet on sale.

OK, surely the lowest-carbon cars must be hybrids, which use batteries and motor-generators combined with ordinary engines to reduce emissions? That's the most advanced green-car tech in widespread use on the roads.

No, actually. There's a new class of ultra-low-emission ordinary cars coming, encouraged by the zero-road-tax band for vehicles rated at less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The first of these will be out shortly: the Volkswagen Polo Blue Motion diesel. It's basically an ordinary Polo tweaked for ultimate fuel economy. It pips the Toyota Prius hybrid into first place for minimal CO2 belch, avoiding even the £15 per annum road tax paid by Prius drivers. To add insult to injury, it's at least five grand cheaper than a Prius and achieves a slightly higher top speed, though slower 0-60. Auto Express say the Polo is "an excellent motorway car." On the other hand, the Prius is a bigger vehicle altogether and has doors for the back seats.

Still, if you really want to be greener-than-thou, as opposed to liking new technology, you should really get one of the new, teeny, and efficient ordinary cars rather than a hybrid. According to the government, anyway. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.