Make Cars Green: Too Little Too Late?

The global Make Cars Green campaign is an ambitious 10-point plan to steer drivers towards more environmentally-friendly habits, including checking tyre pressure regularly and reduce loads. The campaign builds on the principles by the FIA Make Cars Green declaration, together with Bridgestone, and outlines how policy makers, industry and consumers can all play a constructive role in the future. But with the current economic downturn, isn't it too little too late? Many of the concepts are obvious to anyone reading Treehugger, but hopefully, they will use clever PR strategies to quickly get everyone else onboard as well. In that case, it would echo the call in Iian Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran's book Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, that drives home the point that "oil is the problem, cars are the solution."ZOOM is about the global race to build the car of the future, with pioneers in Japan, India, China, Europe and America all trying to tackle global warming, peak oil fears and the major transformation from carbon-based energy sources to new fuels and technologies. Are cars the solution? Well, Carson and Vaitheeswaran make a strong case for how that could be possible, with an all-out push for fuel cells and hydrogen from renewable sources.

Toyota gets rave reviews throughout ZOOM - but I'm sure not everyone agrees that they are the greenest company in the world, in spite of their sucess with the introduction of Prius, and the innovative technology that they have licensed to other hybrid car makers, including Ford. With insights into the car business, including the stupid stunts (such as Chrysler's president driving a Jeep through a plate-glass window) aimed at grabbing headlines at the Detroit Car Shows, the book is a great read.

Meanwhile, if you still drive, do take a look at FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign. It aims to help reduce the impact of cars on the environment. The campaign’s 10 points for greener motoring encourage motorists to "think green before they drive":

Buy Green
Plan your journey
Check tyre pressures frequently
Reduce loads and avoid the need for roof racks
Don’t warm up your engine before starting off
Use air conditioning only when necessary
Accelerate gently and keep your speed constant
Use engine braking
Don’t idle your engine
Offset your CO 2 emissions

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