Monday, 29 January 2007

This BMW's for real and available in March 2007

In this post, we have a new 1 series BMW. This is a production car and rated as BMW's most economical yet. Three-door and five door versions will be available in March. Fuel consumption is at a parsimonious 60.1 mpg!

Advanced technological benefits include :

  • Brake Energy Regeneration (iGR)
  • Automatic Start-Stop
  • Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC)
  • Electric Power Steering
  • High-Precvision Direct Injection engines
Confused? Well,don't be. Details of this remarkable new technology producing amazing fuel efficiency, and much reduced CO2 emissions, are explained at the Green-Car-Guide .
This lower emission car could be a real money saver on fuel , and also vehicle excise duty for the company car driver.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Cars Are Cleaner But Not Clean Enough, that's Motoring Monitor SMMT's Verdict

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders('SMMT') reveals that in 2006 the average new car CO2 emissions are down from 169.4 g/km in 2005 to 167.2 g/km.

SMMT believes that while clearly progress is being made to market cleaner cars ,many barriers still have to be overcome. These it says include the following:

  • Too few filling stations across the country that sell biofuels e.g. E85 bioethanol
  • Such fuels when available are no cheaper for drivers to buy
  • The three per cent company car tax for new diesel cars
  • Also lack of government incentives to encourage the market for new LPG cars
SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan, says that further change is about encouraging consumers to think carefully about their choice of vehicle. It was also about providing incentives where needed and ensuring alternative fuels are widely available and competitively priced. This called for an integrated approach, with government, fuel companies and customers working together in partnership. More...

But things are improving!

If you are looking for your next new car, and wish to benefit the environment by buying a low emission car, you should look to the Green-Car-Guide for information, including details about the improving availability of alternative fuels.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

First In Class Award Goes To Mercedes-Benz

DaimlerChrysler has announced that Mercedes-Benz has become the first automotive worldwide brand to hold an Environmental Certificate meeting ISO standard 14062:'Design for Environment.'

The first in class is the Mercedes-Benz C-class. It has been monitored stringently by an independent accredited German technical inspection authority during the whole production process.This testing also included looking at environmental balance ,while in use as a vehicle, dismantling and recycle planning.

The four-cylinder engines in the new C-class yield fuel savings of upto six per cent as compared with the previous model. Emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 are reduced over the entire life cycle of the car by nine tonnes per vehicle.Over the same period energy requirements correspond to about 3800 litres of petrol less than that required by a car built in 2000. Harmful emissions of nitrogen oxide are reported to be down by as much as 90 per cent below the current valid Euro 4 limits.

The new C-class uses mostly materials which consume the minimum of resources, and already complies with the EU recycling rules ,effective in 2015, which call for a recycling rate of 95 per cent.Many of this lower emission car's components are manufactured from recycled plastics.

Chief Environmental Officer of DaimlerChrysler,Professor Dr Herbert Kohler says"The
Environment Certificate confirms our longstanding commitment to environmentally compatible product development."

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Is your car green enough?

The Green-Car-Guide says:

"We are viewing a green car as one that is more energy-efficient than average, and/or the manufacturer has made a special effort to develop innovative new technology. An energy-efficient car will save you money on fuel, and save the world’s limited energy resources, and a car with new technology often needs all the support it can get in terms of sales in order to achieve greater mass production, drive the cost of the technology down, and generate revenue to re-invest to make the technology better.Therefore we look at cars that are conventional petrol or diesel, as well as hybrids that use an electric motor in conjunction with a petrol engine, as well as any other vehicles that may be electric or use biofuels for example. "

For low emission cars that works for me, too.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Will this electric vehicle be in EVeryday use in the UK soon?

With all the excitement of the Detroit Motor Show ,and the fabulous concept cars on show that made us gasp and hope , perhaps it is a good time to reflect on an environmentally-friendly EV which could soon actually become in everyday use here in the UK.

Suburu's R1e EV has won a top environmental award from Japan's Minister of the Environment. This light, efficient electric car has a 50 mile range and a fast-charge lithium-ion battery. On fuel efficiency, the R1e costs half that of a typical hybrid, but if night tariff electricity is used the comparative costs plummet to a mere one-fifth of a hybrid. For more

Thursday, 11 January 2007

BlueTec Project to Combat ObNOxious Greenhouse Gas

BlueTec is a joint project between Volkswagen,Audi, and Daimler-Chrysler, and is designed to establish the diesel engine further as the clean,low-consumption alternative in the American car market. And Volkswagen have demonstrated that a normal diesel fitted with a nitrogen oxide reservoir catalytic converter can substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is not often mentioned as an unwanted gas emission . Whereas, carbon dioxide is scarcely out of the news. It may seem strong to label NOx ,a colourless trace gas with a pleasantly sweetish odour and taste (as defined in the Britannia Concise Encyclopaedia), an unpleasant greenhouse gas.But when mixed in a cocktail with other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it may aggravate conditions tending to intensify the phenomenon of global warming leading to climate change. Not so good,then!

The catalytic converter being used in the Jetta with a 2.0 litre common rail diesel engine absorbs the NOx like a sponge. The engine runs more efficiently,too. The system is also regularly cleaned during normal motoring without the driver being aware.

This 'clean' engine when it goes into production during 2008 in the US will meet NOx emission requirements considered to be the most stringent worldwide,with up to 90 % less emissions.

For a fuller report you can go to

Monday, 8 January 2007

Who Killed The Electric Car? Who? Who?

Whether or not last year's documentary allegations ,that GM allowed itself to be pressured by its own industry into dropping the development of an earlier electric car, the EV1,were well founded is not now the key question.Is GM back on track with its latest low emission car? That's more the issue now.The signs are good for this concept car, pictured above with GM Product Chief,Bob Lutz (who,by the way,did not kill the electric car!) About the Chevy Volt,he is reported to have said,"You might never burn a drop of gas during the lifetime of the car."

With the (Vauxhall or Chevy) Volt, GM have a sporty car with power and promise.This one won't stall on a hill.It has a one-litre, 3 cylinder, petrol engine on board ,but only to recharge the battery.For upto 40 urban miles on a fully charged battery, the electric motor will deliver the drive unaided.After that the petrol engine kicks-in with its support. GM estimate the fuel consumption at 180 mph.And you do have to plug-in overnight(for six hours) to fully charge the battery.

A 1200 mile range ,on one charge of its lithium ion battery and one fill-up of its 12 gallon tank,go to make this spacious four seater ,based on the successful Vauxhall Astra, a real contender to meet the needs for 21st century greener commuter motoring.What makes it also potentially even kinder to the environment is that its 'electric generator'could be adapted to use
biofuel,a hydrogen fuel cell or diesel. The Volt could be available in the UK in under five years time at about £16,000.

Information on current environmentally-friendly cars can found at the site.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Putting the 'Big E' into the engine the Volvo way

As promised,here is a post about the Volvo XC60 concept car.This is the one, I would really like to drive now, though I will have to wait until 2009.But it could be worth it.

Volvo say this is a glimpse into the future for brand Volvo.

A true low emission car ,the XC60 is powered by a six cylinder 3.2 litre bio-ethanol engine.

Impressive sculptured body shapes combine with interior elegance. Innovations include the tailgate which has a 'one-way' effect giving the driver greater visibilty out of the rear of the car. Another feature,is the braking system designed to prevent the motorist in slow moving urban traffic from driving into the vehicle in front.But back to low emissions,Volvo engineers claim the 265 horsepower engine emits upto 80 per cent less CO2 compared with the same engine running only on gasoline. This clearly is one to watch out for in the future.I shall be doing so.The boxy Volvo has certainly gone.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Did you say greener driving won't be much fun? Toyota think it will.

I am again back to the future with a sporty concept car from Toyota.This will be both fast andsocially responsible.Lightweight ,but not in its proposed credentials,the FT-HS hybrid sports car is sleek and has a front-engine,rear-drive, set-up ,and looks for its revolutionary acceleration(0-62mph in the four second range) and optimal performance to an advanced high-output powertrain.The design team's brief was to produce a concept car to become available as a midpriced sports car and one suitable for the 21st Century.

For those who love the technical specifications, a further report is posted by the Green Car Guide.

Tomorrow, I go to the maker of the cars I particularly like,Volvo.I do drive one.
Have done so since they were seen as merely crush resistant, square and tank-like,metal boxes on four wheels.But things do change over time.Just look out for this and ,'er yes ,it is another concept car but one I hope I will eventually get to drive.


Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Looking Towards A Greener Future with Toyota

A 2006 highlight for me was the unveiling by Toyota of its plans for
enhancing its development of environmental technologies and strengthening its efforts to introduce environmentally friendly vehicles
,as the centre piece of its corporate social responsibilty policy.

Thus ,for the next four years,Toyota management have set as priority issues the preservation of the global environment and traffic safety.By 2010,Toyota aims to double the number of hybrid models available.It hopes to include plug-in hybrids in its portfolio.Also, it plans to improve the efficiency of its conventional engines, adopting variable valve timing-intelligent (VVT-i)technology.Soon, all its petrol engines will be able to run reliably on a mixture with 10 per cent bioethanol.

Toyota aims to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of 75% of those in 2005.This will beat by a comfortable 10% margin the emission standards set for 2010 by the Japanese Government.

Excellent reports are to be found at
Green Car Congress
and at
Green Car Guide

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

New Resolutions.Old Problems.

So what's new this year? Or even what's left on the shelf?

The cost of fuel will most likely go-up, or at best stay about the same.

Oil production will continue to decline.Energy shortages will worsen.

Environmental pressures will increase.Old problems.New solutions?

Well, there is hope.

This year as last,car manufactuturers and technologists will strive to
find the solutions.But it seems that time is fast running out if we want to
protect our planet from further harm.When bits of the Polar ice shelf ,one piece
reported recently measuring 60,continue to break away from their normal anchorage at an unprecedented rate, I'm worried.Quite chilling, really.

Well there's hope. It is still worth doing our bit.However insignificant this may seem in the whole scheme of things. One thing we can do is look at the choices when we come to buy a new car.There is a bewildering array of new environmentally-friendly cars available which can save you money ,and make you feel better about the environment.You just need some information to sort it all out.
The Green Car Guide will help as a resource of much free information.
You can start with some Free Money-Saving Tips for motorists.