Last month the ‘Brighton to London Future Cars Challenge 2012’ saw low emission and electrical vehicles going head to headlight to see who would come out on top. However, daily life doesn’t involve racing from city to city in prototype green cars. So here are the best eco-friendly models, for the everyday driver, being released in the following year.

Mazda 6 ‘SkyActiv’
Jan 2013
This is one of the most eagerly awaited hybrids of 2013. A lighter, more spacious version of the outgoing model, with all the mod cons expected of a high quality saloon or estate. With combined cycle fuel economy at 67.3mpg and costing approximately £21,000, it’s a great purchase for a hybrid this size.

Ford C-MAX Energi
This plug-in hybrid will create competition for the iconic Prius in 2013. The C-Max allows the driver to manage the car’s power source, reaching 85mph in electric mode. Inbuilt ‘EcoGuide’ helps the driver manage energy consumption and the car has an impressive 620 mile range. Retailing around £14,000, Ford has created a tough, affordable challenge for their rivals.

Toyota Auris
A redesigned family hatchback, its predecessor is the 2nd best selling hybrid in Europe (Source: The new design is 40kg lighter, assisting in fuel economy. Thanks to clever battery positioning the space inside the vehicle matches non-hybrid models. At under £12,500, it’s great for the ecologically and fiscally-minded.

Renault Zoe
Early 2013
‘Future Cars Challenge 2012’ winner, Zoe could set the bar for small, pure electric models in 2013. Boasting a 100 mile range, zero CO2 emissions and zero car tax, Renault’s latest eco offering could be a bargain. But with the high insurance costs of an electric, battery rental and the rather steep price of £14,000, it’ll be a long road trip before the economic benefits of Zoe equal the ecological.

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