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Martin Lloyd knows his cars, not because he’s a petrol-head or gear-head, but because he is an environmentalist. Lloyd works for the environmental activist group Greenpeace. And today he’s on the hunt.
LLOYD: Just around this corner is the Renault Clio F1 version. Now this is a car sold to essentially make people think that the rest of the Clio line is really, really sporty performance car.
Earlier in the day, Greenpeace did some guerrilla activism by circling cars they felt weren’t environmentally friendly enough, then chanting and heading off before security arrived.
“To accuse Renault with this is not very fair.”
Lloyd says car companies should be making fleets of green cars, not just a couple then tout themselves as doing something for the environment.
HELMICK: Of everything the auto industry has done: Hybrids—not good enough, biodiesel—not good, electric—not good, it seems like there is no pleasing you guys.
LLOYD: OK. It’s not quite that everything is not good, but what we really want to see the industry commit to is normal gasoline engines, where they make every effort they can to bring the fuel effiency right up to standard.
Lloyd points out several cars from several companies, including Renault.
STEPHANE BOURDILLION: To accuse Renault with this is not very fair.
Stéphane Bourdillon says the protest upset him. Bourdillion is a engineer at Renault. His job is to reduce CO2 emissions in the cars.
BOURDILLION: We are very conscious at Renault of the importance of CO2 emissions. This is why we are working on this classical engine. We are trying to reduce CO2, but we are also developing alternative proficiency systems, just as hybrid systems, fuel cell systems and electrical vehicles.
The Renault Clio Formula One is a specialty version of its regular car. It is designed to go fast, and it’s not one of the big sellers. In other words, there aren’t hundreds of thousands of these out on the road. Bourdillon says the best selling cars from his the company have very low CO2 emissions.
CO2 or carbon dioxide contributes to greenhouse gases, which many scientists say have a detrimental effect on the environment, including raising he earth’s temperature.
CO2 emissions average about 125 grams per kilometer for small cars. Big SUV’s are at about 306 grams per kilograms.
So will enviro-friendly cars ever be the majority instead of a minority at car shows like the one in Geneva
WILFRIED BLUM: Talk together in 20 years. Maybe it will be different.
That’s Wilfried Blum with e’mobile, a group that pushes for alternatively fueled cars.
He says auto makers have come far from where they were, but he says it would be nice if they would go a little further.
BLUM: It could be better, but it is increasing in the right direction. Perhaps the speed is not good enough, but also this is increasing. the sales increased 50-to-70 percent last year.
HELMICK: In Switzerland?
BLUM: In Switzerland, yeah.
E’mobile says there are more alternatively powered cars at this year’s show than in years past.
Alex Helmick, World Radio Switzerland at the International Motor Show in Geneva.