If you can't wait for the commercial arrival of Trev, the renewal energy vehicle, then roadsters in places like the UK and Australia may wish to consider the Hyundai i30, which picked up both the 2007 Car of the Year and 2007 Green Car of the Year in Australia.
Although claimed to have a fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100km, the i30 1.6-litre turbo-diesel managed to complete the 2007 World Solar Challenge conventional vehicle class (PDF) on a smell-of-an-oily-rag 3.2litres/100km (73.5 mpg!), while producing 97g/km of emissions. For comparision a Prius petrol hybrid averaged 5.6litres/100km with emissions of 146g/km.So for Australians this means travelling from Melbourne to Brisbane on less than a tank of petrol, (Britons could do London-Paris return!) and with the cost of fuel on the rise this fuel economy should appeal to many.
The Hyundai i30 won the 2007 Green Car of the Year not only because of its spectacular fuel efficiency but because it matched this with pretty efficient pricing too. In Australia the i30 CRDi costs $21,490, while the Prius goes for about $37,400. (In the UK it looks like £12,995 on-road for the Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi Manual.)
Apparently the judges arguments against hybrids like the Prius and Honda Accord were "the initial cost premium, the lesser benefits in long, open-road runs and the issue of battery life and disposal." In the final analysis the Hyundai i30 won on real-world benefits. "The car is big enough and practical enough for a family, it provides the strength of diesel performance and strong torque that keeps gear changes and accelerator mashing to a minimum, and it offers its responsible carbon footprint on every drive."
As one reviewer put it, "the well sorted Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3 and Ford Focus are said to have served as the benchmark vehicles for the i30, but as far as I'm concerned, they threw in an A-Class and a 1 Series for good measure."
Yet another report noted that Australians aren't yet convinced about hybrids and are favouring diesels over them. Private hybrid sales grew by 16.3%, with the equivalent diesel up almost 63%. "It seems only government departments and corporations who wish to be seen to be green are buying hybrids," observing that in the non-private passenger car hybrids sales increased nearly 61%.
The 'i' in the model name, according to Hyundai, signifies innovation, inspiration and intelligence, but it hasn't been lost on most observers that the car also comes with equipped with iPod, MP3 and USB connectivity. Hyundai i30 Australia and UK.
And a quick note for a ultra green Hyundai i30 owners, when we last looked the Biodiesel Service Station in Sydney was offering B100 biodiesel for 130.9 cents AUD per litre. In the UK it appears to be going for about 98p per litre.