As car sales worldwide increase so too does the pressure to go green and cut pollution levels. Car makers are showing off their latest efforts to reduce pollution at Frankfurt’s Autoshow. They’re unveiling models with improvements rather than substitutes to the standard internal combustion engine. Toyota’s Prius hybrid car has been on the road for ten years. Michel Koch of Toyota Europe said ten years ago the press came to them and told them they are probably crazy… what can a person do with electric motors in a car? And today, Koch says, they have one million hybrids on the road and apparently one million content clients.
European car makers lag far behind their Japanese counterparts in the manufacture of hybrid engines that run on a mixture of petrol and electricity. One of the regions where car manufacturers have felt the most pressure to reduce CO2 emissions is Europe. The European Commission plans to introduce legislation next year to have them cut emissions from new cars.
One car industry expert says there’s not going to be a revolution this year, just a tweaking of existing technology. And a Brussels-based environmental lobby group “Transport and Environment” insists car makers have to change their entire fleet and not come out with a few token green cars at every auto show.