Tomorrow sees the UK's No.1 green car website, Next Green Car, revealing which cars have been awarded some of the most prestigious titles that a low-emission car can get in the UK as the winners of the Next Green Car Awards 2015 will be announced. But for now we only have the shortlist to talk about - and what a shortlist!
Recognising the UK's best green cars for 2015 and 2016 from the shortlist that you can see below that features 44 different models competing across 10 categories, the number of high-quality low-emission new cars on that list that have been launched in 2015 is an indication of the importance to both manufacturer and consumer of the importance of these types of vehicles.
And this is reflected in the number of so-called "Green Cars" available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts - many of which find themselves on the list below. From hybrid to electric motors, almost every car manufacturer now has a 'green' option available on their roster, from the best-selling Nissan Leaf to the newcomers like the increasingly popular Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.Statistics revealed by Next Green Car show that the last three years have seen a remarkable surge in demand for electric vehicles in the UK with monthly figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealing that electric car sales in the UK have risen dramatically during the past 12 months.
As Ben Lane, Managing Editor at Next Green Car, commented at the launch of the shortlist: "The 2015 Awards shortlist demonstrates the broad range of low emission models on the UK market. Particularly encouraging is the growing number of plug-in vehicles across no less than seven of the 10 categories; a sure sign than the EV revolution is continuing apace."
Even though Green Cars may not be for everyone, the importance of these awards - and the shortlist below - cannot be underestimated.
The list below details the make of car in each category along with its emissions details.
This year, more than half of the models on the Next Green Car Awards 2015 shortlist emit less than 100 g/km tailpipe CO2 (official combined). Of those, seven are plug-in hybrids, reflecting not only the recent increase in models available but also their increasing popularity with customers, and three are pure-electric with zero emissions. Taken together, the average CO2 figure of the Awards 2015 shortlist is just 78 g/km.
The lists also include the vehicles NGC rating - a Next Green Car specific rating, the details of which can be read below the shortlisting along with more details about how each model has made it onto the list.
*NGC Rating estimated ** NGC Rating to be confirmed
With the 10 winners of the Next Green Car Awards 2015 being announced tomorrow (Tuesday 24th November 2015), let's take a look at the criteria for vehicles to make their way onto the shortlisting.
Firstly, as the award is presented each year - and relates to that year - all models must be commercially available to purchase or order during the year (with the exception of the 'Next Gen' Award which is designed to highlight up and coming innovative models planned for launch in 2016.)
And then there are other factors such as capability, suitability for purpose, impact on its sector and value for money before the real crux of the matter is taken into consideration: Next Green Car's unique NGC Rating.
This is unique to the website and takes a detailed and investigative look at the environmental impact of each model. This includes CO2 emissions, MPG, NOx and particulate emissions throughout the whole of a car's life cycle – including vehicle use, fuel production (including primary production, extraction, transportation, refining, and vehicle operation) and vehicle manufacture, assembly and disposal.
Designed to use by customers and consumers rather than experts in the field of emissions and the like, the Rating is designed to be easy-to-use and is expressed as a score out of 100 ranging from 0 for the greenest vehicles to 100+ for the most polluting.
But nonetheless, the whole process is very very thorough, investigating all types of emissions from the more obvious carbon dioxide (CO2) to non-regulated gases such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4), as well as the impact of these emissions.
The emissions impact assessment uses an environmental rating tool first developed by the European Cleaner Drive Programme and uses 'external costs' expressed in monetary terms that reflect the overall damage to the environment and to human health - and this is just one of the investigative processes that Next Green Car uses to calculate its NGC Rating. More information on it is available here.
Melanie Shufflebotham, Sales and Marketing Director at Next Green Car comments: "Understanding real-world vehicle emissions and the impact on air quality and climate change is becoming increasingly important to car buyers. The Next Green Car Awards offer an independent assessment of the best new cars on the market, and, coupled with the NGC Rating and the suite of Next Green Car tools, help car buyers make good choices when looking for a more economical and lower emission car."