Next Green Car looks ahead to the greenest and most innovative cars due for launch in 2012

    In 2012, purchase incentives for plug-in electric vehicles continue to be available, including the Plug-in Car Grant, which is worth up to £5,000 on selected models.

    The coming year also promises a second electric revolution with the launch of the first two plug-in hybrids, which join the pure electric models launched in 2011.

    BMW 5 Series ActiveHybrid

    However, not all the focus will be on electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as new ‘conventional’ hybrid models will also make their way to the showrooms. While petrol hybrids have been available for over a decade (including the iconic Toyota Prius), 2012 will see the first diesel hybrids come to market offering even better fuel economy than existing petrol hybrid models.

    Renault Fluence Z.E.

    As noted by Dr Ben Lane, Managing Editor of Next Green Car: “Not only are high quality fully electric models now available in the UK, more drivers will find their motoring needs met by a hybrid, or by a plug-in hybrid which offers the ultimate combination of conventional and electric drive-trains. The good news is that all these options offer a new and improved driving experience, and can reduce running costs as well as emissions.”

    Vauxhall Ampera RE-EV

    To mark a year which will bring many technologically ground breaking models to the showrooms, the following ‘Top 10’ list highlights some of the most important models across all vehicle classes due for launch in 2012.

    Volkswagen Up! BlueMotion

    While we usually provide a Green Car Rating for all models listed, as most of the cars listed have yet to be launched, only published CO2 emissions are available. Models are therefore rated using tailpipe CO2 and are listed in order of increasing (official) CO2 emissions.

    Smart fortwo ed (electric drive) – CO2: 0 g/km, Green Car Rating: 24

    Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

    A 55 kW electric motor, powered by a 17.6 kWh battery will enable the 3rd generation fortwo ed to return a top speed in excess of 80 mph and provide acceleration of 0 to 60 in 13 seconds – making the new model more suitable to motorway driving as well as urban trips. The battery will be capable of providing a range up to 85 miles of city driving – well within the average daily trip distance of most motorists. Using a standard domestic 13A supply, the fortwo ED takes 6-8 hours to receive a full charge – although a fast charging option will allow the battery to be fully charged in under an hour. With zero tailpipe emissions, the fortwo ed will be zero tax rated (VED) and receives the full Greener Vehicle Discount from the London Congestion Charge.