June 25, 2009

Traditionally seen as unlucky and accident prone, green cars are suddenly in vogue – though not necessarily green coloured ones.

Cars of that hue are the equal-second-most-likely to have accidents‚ tied with black, just behind brown – according to research carried out by the University of Auckland in New Zealand in the early Noughties, which also found silver and white the least likely to crash‚ but we digress!

No indeed, the green cars in question are the environmentally friendly ones currently being promoted by politicians, transport activists and municipal authorities up and down the land‚ and specifically the electric and hybrid ones.

Monkeysupermarket.com, that reliable stand-by source when trumped-up car insurance stories are hard to find elsewhere, has proven beyond all statistical doubt that 39% of motorists would buy a hybrid or electric vehicle, if buying one they were.

More startling still is the accompanying revelation that the motor insurance premium for a green car is typically “similar to a standard car” or, to put it more precisely, similar to the insurance premium for a standard car. Can it really be only October last year when the same moneysupermarket.com were telling us “eco-friendly car insurance can cost over 105% more than standard cover”?

Thirty-three of the 39% green-leaners cited above would opt for the hybrid, and just 6% for a full-on plug-in. Meanwhile 36% of UK motorists would not even consider purchasing either, with the remaining 21% not knowing, not caring, or both.

Insurance for an eco-friendly vehicle is similar in price to a standard petrol car, moneysupermeerkat.com claims, but “eco-friendly Brits can make savings elsewhere as hybrid and electric cars qualify for reduced or even zero road tax.”

Sweeney Steve, their head of motor insurance says: ” Aside from the obvious environmental benefits, [green cars] are also incredibly cost effective for the owner. Those driving a car such as the Honda Insight Hybrid would only pay £35 in road tax per year due to its low emissions [compared with] around £120 for standard petrol cars. The G-Wizz would not even qualify for road tax as it does not emit any harmful CO2 pollutants.”

The survey found Londoners and South Westerners most receptive to verdure, with 48 and 49 per cent respectively saying they’d opt for a hybrid or electric car.

This may not be altogether unrelated to green cars’ exemption from the congestion charging scheme in force in London, where Major Bozzer Jozzer recently outlined plans to set up thousands of vehicle charging points across the city and‚ perhaps revealing wider political ambitions‚ to make Britain the “electric car capital of Europe”.

London currently has 100 electric vehicle charging points in roads and car parks‚ a figure expected to rise to 250 by the end of 2010.

Bo Jo now plans to have 25,000 charging points by 2015, serving 100,000 vehicles. There will be both “slow charging points” allowing cars to be refuelled overnight and industrial-strength “rapid charging points” at petrol stations.

Moneysuppermarket.com also found younger people far more eco-car-inclined that older ones ‚ with almost half of 20-somethings saying they would go green. Young uns are more evangelistic on the subject too, suggesting that running your car on petrol could soon be about as socially acceptable as drink driving.

For previous coverage on electric vehicles in Bankstone News – and a lovely picture of a crouching BJ – we dare you to click here.



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