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Top ten green cars of the Geneva Motor Show

Tuesday, 5 March 2013. The Green Piece Column. The 83rd Geneva Motor Show opens today for two days of press previews (March 5 and 6, 2013) before opening to the rest of the auto industry and the general public for two weeks (March 7-17, 2013). As the doors open for the first big European motor show of the year, the Geneva Motor Show is expected to show an exciting display of low emission technology vehicles; from battery-powered cars, to efficient diesel and petrol models and even fuel cell vehicles. Much respected by trade and the public for being on ‘neutral ground’ (in a strictly car making sense, where the Paris and Frankfurt shows are respectively dominated by their domestic brands), the Geneva Motor Show is sure to thrill again this year. Here is our run-down of the top ten Geneva stars to keep your eyes unzipped for.

Top Ten Geneva Stars of 2013

1. Volkswagen XL1Volkswagen XL1Newly confirmed for production, the futuristic, nay, surreal-looking XL1 plug-in hybrid is easily one of the most intriguing new cars at the Geneva show. Weighing just 795kg and with an aerodynamic profile that lends it a co-ed drag efficiency of just 0.189, fuel economy is expected to be around 313mpg and emissions at just 27g/km CO2. (Read more) 2. Citroen C3 Hybrid Air and Peugeot 2008 Hybrid Air Citroen showcases the PSA Peugeot Citroen group’s Hybrid Air breakthrough technology attached to a C3 supermini. Using compressed air to store energy rather than a battery, the new system promises to near half fuel consumption in urban driving, delivery combined fuel economy of around 97mpg and emissions of just 69g/km CO2.Citroen Hybrid Air That’s right, the new Hybrid Air technology, developed in association with Bosch, will also appear, fitted to Peugeot model. This time the brand’s new 2008 crossover (more details here).3. Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE Developed in association with Total, the new 208 Hybrid FE concept will use a petrol/electric hybrid powertrain and feature specially formulated advanced engine fluids. Despite having emissions two times lower that the efficient 208 1.0 litre VTi at 49g/km CO2, the new HYbrid FE will boast strong performance with a 0-62 mph time of just 8 seconds-almost as quick as the 208 GTi (more info here).4. Lexus IS 300hLexus IS 300h frontA luxury sports saloon with emissions from just 99g/km CO2, is not an everyday occurrence. Set to go on sale in Europe later this year, the new IS range will include the choice of the 300 h hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain and a IS 250 petrol engine. Prices start from £26,495 for the petrol engine and start from £29,495 for the hybrid (more info).5. New Nissan LEAF The long-awaited update for the European model LEAF is at last revealed at the Geneva Motor Show as it goes on sale this spring. In line with updates to US and Japanese models, the new, refreshed LEAF boasts a longer driving range, more choice thanks to a range of trims and an optional 6.6kW charger to half recharging time. All-in-all there are over 100 improvements to the new electric supermini, as production of the model moves to the Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland (more here).6. Renault ZOE Renault ZOE on the road The fourth and final model planned from Renault’s Z.E programme, the Zoe makes quite the finale. Set to become the most affordable full-electric supermini around, with prices starting from £13,650 after the Plug-in Car Grant (worth £5,000), the Zoe will boast a pleasing 131 mile range per charge, 220Nm of torque and a top speed of 85mph. Definitely one of the most exciting new cars of the year. (see story).7. Hyundai ix35 FCEVHyundai ix35 production fuel cellAs Hyundai becomes the first carmaker to begin mass production of fuel cell vehicles, the carmaker will display the very first model off the assembly line. The first of around 1,000 models to be made by 2015, this first ix35 fuel cell car will appear at the show before being delivered to its final destination in Belgium. Many of these first vehicles will be leased to fleets in Europe ahead of a step-up in production in two years time, which will market the start of deliveries to private customers too. Europe may not be home to the production of these first models, but it will show how Europe is taking a lead in their uptake (more info here).8. Tesla Model S Tesla Model S Europe small With a launch imminent in Europe (we’ll have to wait until the final quarter of the year, here in the UK), we’ll get to see the final, production model of the all-electric saloon, for customers here. Already on sale in the US, the arrival of Tesla’s long-awaited follow-up to the electric Roadster, will see prices fall from the sport car’s near €100,000 price tag, to a snip at €72,600 (about £59,030) for the new electric seven-seat saloon. A bargain, if you ask me. Genuinely, it will bring a Tesla into the reach of more people and should enable the electric start-up to begin building production levels. Eventually, we hope that means a more average Joe-friendly Tesla is not far away..ahh dreams (more info here).9. BMW i3 Due to launch later this year, the i3 fully electric supermini will become the first car to launch under BMW’s new ‘i’ electric sub-brand. Fitted with a 125 kW/170 hp electric motor and a lithium ion battery pack the model should achieve peak torque of around 250 Nm. It can accelerate to 37mph in less than four seconds and to 62mph in less than eight seconds and it can reach a top speed of 93mph. Its range should be around 100 miles per charge (read more).  10. Toyota Auris Touring Sports Toyota Auris Touring Sports front The first hybrid compact estate around, the new Auris Touring Sports is expected to prove its salt with demanding families and business users alike. With emissions as low as 86g/km CO2, and 530 litres of luggage space, find out why we’re calling it the ultimate green estate (read here).

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Faye Sunderland

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