How manufacturers are making petrol engines more efficient

Electric vehicles aren’t for everyone, but worry not, new petrol cars are increasingly becoming more environmentally-friendly. Read this article to find out how manufacturers are working to make petrol engines more efficient.


One day petrol and diesel cars will be a thing of the past. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, that day isn’t far off. The UK government has already moved the date it wants to prohibit the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars forward from 2040 to 2035. It has even been suggested that 2032 might be the year the ban happens.

Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Why the rush? Well, the UK is on a mission to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. So, while electric transport is set to be the norm in the future, that doesn’t mean we all have to start plugging in our cars just yet. Don’t worry if you’re not quite ready for an electric vehicle as newer petrol cars are now more environmentally friendly than they were previously.

Manufacturers have managed to make traditionally fuelled cars less harmful by reducing their carbon dioxide emissions and the quantities of poisonous nitrogen oxides (NOx) they emit. Indeed, the recent ushering in of more demanding emissions tests means the newest vehicles are now assessed on the road as well as in the research lab. This helps to make sure they stay as unpolluting as possible in real-life conditions.

Furthermore, a “greener” type of petrol, known as E10, could be sold at the pumps soon. This fuel, which is compatible with newer vehicles, has more ethanol and less carbon than fuels presently on sale. The Department for Transport says E10 may well slash CO2 emissions from cars by 750,000 tonnes each year.

Cars available on the Motability Scheme

If you want to take advantage of reduced emissions today before electric cars take over, the Motability Scheme offers several low emission petrol car models. Here are three examples for you: 

Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 1.0 VTi is a small hatchback that does over 68mpg, and it emits just 85g/km of CO2. It also happens to have fun styling and comes with three or five doors.

Room is good in the front, but space is limited in the rear, and the C1 has a less than generous 196-litre boot. Mind you, that’s enough for a few bags of shopping.

The compact Citroen is best used for getting around town. In this environment, its 1.0-litre powerplant is thrifty, and the car’s light steering makes driving and parking effortless.

Toyota Aygo

Then there’s the Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i. Emitting as little as 93g/km of CO2, this supermini isn’t just “green” – it comes with great looks and returns over 68mpg. It also houses a 1.0-litre engine, which is more than enough to make the Aygo a peppy companion around town.

The Toyota offers a satisfactory amount of headroom, thanks to its elevated roofline. Legroom is decent in the front, but, like the Citroen C1 and many other small cars, the rear can be tight for adults.

The Aygo’s boot only has a 168-litre capacity, but the Toyota is still accomplished and is a pleasant car to drive. Its light controls and comfy ride are especially agreeable.

Peugeot 108

Another example of a parsimonious petrol car is the Peugeot 108 1.0i. It may be petite, but it’s big on efficiency – again returning more than 68mpg while releasing only 85g/km of CO2.

While room is fine upfront, it’s a little more cramped in the rear. However, you can still get four people in the car. Then there’s the 196-litre boot, which isn’t vast, but there’s enough space for, say, a tot’s buggy and a bag of shopping.

The French hatchback has a comfy ride and its manageable steering and easy-to-use switchgear make any journey unproblematic.

Choose your vehicle

That is just a sample of some of the eco-friendly petrol cars available from the Motability Scheme – and you can search our full range using the Scheme’s car search tool.

If you’re an existing customer, you can find out more about the process of getting your next car and see a breakdown of the process leading up to the day of collection.

The Motability Scheme enables you to swap all or part of your mobility allowance for leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair.

For more info about joining the Motability Scheme and possibly leasing one of the vehicles in this article, please use our eligibility checker and request a free information pack.

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