If you thought the motor industry was in the dark ages on sustainability issues, then you need to think again and come to this year’s motor show. Vehicle makers have invested millions to improve the green credentials of their products, as well as their manufacturing sites. In 1999, the UK industry was the first to document sector-wide progress through an annual sustainability report, tracking things like the following:
Average CO2 from all new cars down by 11 per cent in six years 85 per cent of a car recycled at the end of its life Soot emissions from new diesel cars have been cut by 93 per cent in 15 years Energy needed to produce each vehicle halved between 2001 and 2004
Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive commented, ‘The motor industry is investing millions each year to improve its green credentials. Now the public will have the opportunity to see how far we have come. Next week’s motor show will see some of the latest advances in electric, hybrid, bio-fuel and diesel technologies, as well as some pointers to the future of sustainable motoring.’
Examples of greener cars and technologies on show at ExCeL London from 20 – 30 July include the following:
This year’s motor show will feature the launch of two all-new electric city cars. The zero emissions smart EV (electric vehicle) will be unveiled on press day, alongside the debut of the Mega City NICE (No Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.
The latest generation diesel cars typically deliver around 20-30 per cent better fuel consumption than petrol equivalents. Citroën will feature what it claims are three of the most economical models on the road; the C1, C2 and C3 diesels. All are capable of more than 65 mpg. Plus, show-goers can experience Citroën’s stop-start in action, a technology that automatically cuts and re-starts the engine in traffic.
Three new cars from Ford show the industry’s commitment to developing flex-fuel vehicles, capable of running on either conventional fuel or that produced from bio-mass. They include the Ford Focus C-Max FFV, an exciting concept, and the new Ford Focus FFV. Over on the Saab stand, visitors will see a world first – the 210 bhp 2.3t BioPower engine in the new-look Saab 9-5.
Hybrid models / electric motors
Many hybrid cars, which use electric motors to supplement conventional petrol or diesel engines, are already on the road. Trailblazers include the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h hybrids; all models will feature on respective stands at this year’s motor show.
Then there’s Mitsubishi’s ‘I’ Car, a Japanese mini-car being shown at motor show to test public reaction, possibly with a view to import. Its CO2 emissions are just 120 g/km; it will also be the first in the Mitsubishi range to feature in-wheel electric motors, coming in 2010.
Newer = greener
Car makers constantly improve the efficiency of new models. Take the new Land Rover Freelander, set for its world debut in London; the petrol model is 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the car it replaces.
The future – concepts for tomorrow
Saab’s fossil-fuel free hybrid, the Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept, is the first ever car to combine the use of pure bioethanol fuel – which is produced from sustainable crops – and electric power.
Lewis Booth to give keynote address at International Business Day
And it’s not just the cars that will be under the public spotlight. Ford’s most senior executive in Europe, Lewis Booth, will be giving the keynote speech on Wednesday 19 July as part of the FT International Business Day in association with International Business Wales. His speech will feature the greatest challenge facing society and the motor industry: climate change.
International Business day is targeted at qualified professionals and press, so proof of status is required for registration. Delegates can register online at http://www.britishmotorshow.co.uk/ with tickets priced at £20 in advance.
Green label on display
Show-goers will also see the new colour-coded label displayed on stands throughout ExCeL. Now a familiar sight across new car showrooms, the label provides clear CO2 emissions data in a colour-coded format, similar to that used for white goods like fridges and washing machines. This voluntary industry initiative is helping car buyers make easy comparisons between cars on environmental performance, as well as giving clear model by model details on annual running costs.
The motor industry will also be using the motor show to distribute free copies of its Drive Green, Drive Safely booklet, a guide to eco and safer driving. Packed full of tips and hints for driving, copies can be downloaded below.