There is most definitely a trend toward green cars, with people becoming more aware of the importance of the environment and, in these straitened times, wishing to save money. The general manager of the 2013 Toronto International Autoshow, Tom Tonks, said, “We’re looking at some serious revolutionary changes” in this respect. In the United Kingdom, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported that sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles had risen by almost 10 percent, twice the rate of petrol vehicles.
What Was Once a Trend Is Now Mainstream
The trend has, in fact, gone so far as to become mainstream. Manufacturers such as Nissan, Toyota and Chevrolet have integrated green cars to their displays, and there is no prominent “eco” badging. Green cars are just one more car in the range. There are, however, more specific trends associated with green cars, which can be seen in the car reviews for Australia by Motoring.
The Volkswagen XL1, first seen at the Qater motor show in January 2011 and four times as efficient as a Toyota Prius hybrid, was named as the greenest car of all, despite its being a hybrid, combining petrol and electric power. Details can be seen in the electric car reviews by motoring.com.au.
Green cars can be hybrid or purely electric, and electric cars are increasing in popularity. Recent examples are the Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf. Initially, electric vehicles will be considerably more expensive, but that was also true of mobile ‘phones and computers. One major car website named the electric Tesla Model S as its Car of the Year. The editor noted that articles about electric cars receive longer and more thoughtful comments, and some people showed the kind of passion generally reserved for Mustangs and Camaros.
The drawback of electric cars is that they have limited range, giving rise to range anxiety, and there are few opportunities to charge them. The range can be as little as 40 miles, although the Tesla Model S manages 265 miles on one charge. This will improve with technology. Although only 2,300 electric vehicles were sold in the United Kingdom in 2012, the government recently announced a £37 million subsidy for home and businesses that fit plug-in points, which would cover as much as three quarters of the cost of installation.
One major website of classified advertisements identified three trends in eco-friendly vehicles. The first is for smaller cars made of materials that are lighter in weight, which improves petrol consumption without recourse to a hybrid powertrain or clean diesel engine. Once upon a time, people chose turbocharged engines to achieve greater horsepower, but now they do so to increase petrol mileage by improving the performance of smaller engines, which is the second trend.
The final trend identified was for more luxurious cars, with such examples as the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, BMW ActiveHybrid X6 and Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid. In the past, expensive, new technologies have always hit the upper end of the market first before working their way down, for instance air conditioning and automatic transmissions.
Green Chauffeured Services
Chauffeured services are going green, with Olympus Worldwide Chauffeured Services one of the first companies to use only environmentally-friendly cars. The strategy has paid off: this company was named one of the top 100 logistics and transportation companies of 2012 of the Inc 5000. Olympus is very serious in its attitude to the environment, and has a completely carbon free office, with all records converted to digital format.
[Photo Via: History is Now]