Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Rose's aren't green
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Rose's aren't green

Date: 13 June 2007

The Insider is a fleet manager with years of invaluable experience

Ringmasters BMW and M&S through its chief exec Stuart Rose are staging a stunt, not saving the world

So I see Britain's Greenest Company Boss (TM) is finally about to take delivery of Britain's Greenest Company Car (TM also), which follows from my jottings a couple of weeks ago, when news broke that eco-focused M&S boss Stuart Rose had two Bentleys. His excuse was that he was waiting for his hydrogen-powered BMW 7-series to arrive.

Well, it now has, but I'm not sure his eco-fleet award is in the bag just yet. Rose apparently did get rid of his Bentley Silver Spur, keeping his Continental GT for playtime. But the saloon was replaced by a regular BMW 7-series, which in ecological terms is like swapping your Uzi for an AK-47.

But that's just the drum roll for the main event: taking delivery of the hydrogen-powered 7-series. It's a regular V12 fed with hydrogen instead of petrol, meaning that Stuart Rose's commute will be less harmful than if he'd picked a Ford Ka.

It's also, as every fleet manager working in the 21st century will know, a load of old hooey. For a start Rose is only getting his car for "two weeks to a month", as reported by BusinessCar in the previous issue. I know BMW is just trialling these, but that's like saving the planet by hiring a wind turbine for the weekend. Especially as the car has to be filled up at the country's only working hydrogen station in Wembley (now there's a restrictive fuel policy).

“Rose's Continental GT was replaced by a regular BMW 7-series, which in ecological terms is like swapping your Uzi for an AK-47.”

The Insider

Secondly, you only need to attend one green-themed fleet conference to know BMW's system is Betamax to fuel-cells' VHS. While everyone else's prototypes are using hydrogen in a gas form, BMW has gone with liquid; chilled to bone-freezing levels and dispensed via horrendously expensive robotic filling stations.

Ah but, I can hear our marketing department exclaim, both BMW and to M&S will be linked in the minds of the general public with greenness and can-do environmentalism. I agree, and no doubt Grouty (my boss) would love to see his fat frame immortalised in press shots behind the wheel of one, but since I'm anonymous here I might as well point out the hypocrisy.

There's a driver here who gets ribbed mercilessly for his Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 SRi, a nice, slow family runabout posing as a touring car. Nobody's fooled. No fleet manager with the time to follow this shenanigan will be fooled either, but there's a danger that a lunch-break skim of the headlines will have people thinking Rose and M&S are behaving terrifically green. They're not. The eco-fleet award is still wide open.