Jargon Buster

If you’re in the market for a green car then it’s extremely useful to know what some of the most common terms mean. Below is a useful glossary of green car terms explained.

Auto stop-start

This is a common feature on green cars where the engine turns off when the car is at a standstill.


Diesel that has oil derived from plants.


Petrol that contains oil derived from plants


A technology that provides a way of cleaning emission from diesel engines that was developed by VW and Mercedes.

CO2 air conditioning

A form of air condition that reduces air pollution

Direct injection

Fuel that is injected into the cylinder for more efficiency

Displacement on demand

Cylinders are shut down when the car is cruising


Smaller engine sizes without a compromise on power


A form of biofuel

Electric vehicles (EVs)

A car that runs solely on an electric motor with zero tailpipe emissions.

Electronic power steering (EPS)

A form of power steering where the hydraulic pump is removed, cutting fuel consumption.

Fuel cells

Cells that have no emissions at all.

Gas-to-liquid (GTL)

Gas that is converted to liquid and then mixed with diesel.

Homogenous charge

A form of petrol engine that works like a very clean diesel engine.

Hybrid car

A car that has a battery-powered electric motor in addition to a petrol or diesel engine.

Hydrogen fuels

Hydrogen fuel has zero emissions making it an ideal power source in theory.

Lithium-ion Battery

A type of battery that’s expected to be widely used in green cars in the near future.


Liquid Petroleum Gas and Compressed Natural Gas. Both used as alternatives to standard petrol.

Mild Hybrid

A type of electric motor that provides assistance to the engine but cannot power the car alone.


The black soot that’s emitted from diesel engines.

Plug-in hybrid

The same as a hybrid car except it can also be charged at the mains

Regenerative braking

Where the brakes charge the battery that powers the electric motor of a hybrid car

Super caps

Capacitors that provide a boost to the engine over short periods.


Boosts engine power with the added benefit of cutting fuel consumption.


A way to measure the complete environmental impact of any given type of fuel.