More green cars for Mitch

May 24, 2007 at 11:18 am | Posted in 7th Grade, CO2 emissions, Global warming, Green vehicles, Pollution | Leave a comment

Last month, The Eden Project in Cornwall, England hosted a special climate responsive automotive show for a fortnight: yes, that’s two weeks of squeaky clean green cars on display. From Eden’s website, here’s an intro:

With the climate in trouble and oil expensive, cars need to get greener, fast.

From March 30th to April 15th 2007 Eden will be packed with beautiful green machines at:

The Eden Project’s Sexy Green Car Show

The transport sector is the third largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, and the only sector where emissions are expected to be higher in 2020 than in 1990. Despite the rise and rise of air travel, by 2010, 85 per cent of these emissions will still come from road transport.

Traditionally, environmental organisations have not had much to say about cars, except to try and persuade people not to use them, and more recently not to buy 4×4s. But here at Eden, in rural Cornwall, we are acutely aware of all our dependence on the private car. With reduced ticket prices for every other means of getting here, £1.2m of cycle tracks, and the best private facilities for coaches in the country, still 86 per cent of our visitors come by car. Why?

We realise that for many of us, much of the time, it is simply not practical or affordable to travel another way. This country’s transport infrastructure is currently based upon the car. So we started thinking about cars and what could make them greener… fast.

I have no photos of vehicles here. You’ll just have to visit the link above for shots of cool green cars 8-)

A few weeks ago, the question came up as to what makes a green car, and I was assured (by an autoengineer, and no, it was not St. Patrick’s Day and he had not been drinking green beer prior to his assertion) that it was the production and disposal that is the main concern in terms of coefficient of greenness. Hmmm … not so, according to the latest research:

What makes a car green anyway?

(apart from a lick of paint, yes, I know …)

So we looked up our own vehicle in Britain (imperial gallons differ from U.S. gallons, so watch out if you try a comparison), to see how it fares. We have a seven-seater Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI (140 PS) SE that uses diesel and its results according to carfueldata are:

  • CO2 emissions g/km = 161
  • Euro standard = IV*
  • Fuel consumption imperial mpg = 36.7 | 53.3 | 46.3 for urban | extra urban | combined driving respectively
  • Fuel consumption metric l/100 km = 7.7 | 5.3 | 6.1 for urban | extra urban | combined driving respectively

* Over recent years European exhaust emissions standards have become known as ‘Euro’ standards. The database contains cars approved to Euro III and IV emissions limits. Euro III is the current standard and was phased in from 1st January 2000. A further tightening of the emissions standards, known as Euro IV, begins on 1st January 2005 and will be in force for all new cars by 2007. Some cars which already meet the Euro IV emissions limits are also listed in the database although they may not comply with all requirements which will be mandatory by 2005.

We live in town centre, so do not do much urban driving: we walk to the shops and to school and work mainly from home, then take the train to London for meetings. So most of our driving would class as extra urban (i.e. motorway) driving on weekends.
For friends in California, I have to show one of my favourite photos (click):

California Yukots chant at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

There is so much to see at The Eden Project, one day just gives time for a taste of the exceptional work underway there. I definitely want to return this year. For example, you can enjoy everything from these natural wild meadows (click):

Natural wild meadow at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

to these cola plants—relics of a time before we considered the environmental impact of simply tossing cans out of car windows -(

Cola plants at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

This environmental treasure trove was voted the best rock venue (think about it for a moment … ) in the UK by the Independent, and sits in Britain’s most famous disused mine: a former china clay quarry, which continues to be renovated to help The Eden Project achieve its goal of changing the world:

China clay quarry being renovated at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK


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