|Green NCAP has announced the environmental performance ratings of 25 new cars including, for the first time, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The results of three – the Kia Niro, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota Prius – show that not all plug-in hybrids offer the same environmental benefits. The Hyundai NEXO – a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle – demonstrates the promise of this developing technology. The list of tested cars also includes the full electric VW ID.3 and 19 combustion engine cars, of which two – the Škoda Octavia Combi 2.0 TDI and VW Golf 1.5 TSI – stand out from the rest.
When it comes to environmental cleanliness, pure electric vehicles outshine the competition and, with rising consumer interest, more and more traditional carmakers are getting serious about electric vehicles. Volkswagen’s first standalone electric car, the ID.3, reinforces this message, joining the BEVs previously tested by Green NCAP with a maximum 5-star rating. The Hyundai NEXO, a hydrogen fuel-cell car, also achieved 5 stars, as it proved to be just as clean as a battery electric vehicle and very nearly as energy efficient. Using a fuel-cell to convert hydrogen into electricity, the NEXO emits only water at the tailpipe and offers a driving range unmatched by any available pure electric vehicle, together with re-filling that is as quick and easy as a conventional car. The NEXO result clearly shows the huge potential of the technology, but fuel-cell cars are an obvious choice to most consumers only if sufficient hydrogen fuelling stations were available.