Roddy Graham's Blog: 23 October 2008 - If it's green it's good news
23 October 2008
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
Green seems to be the colour of the day with various new announcements made.
In many ways, with my Edinburgh City Car Club background (the first commercial car club to be launched in the UK), the Daimler car2go trial in Ulm in southern Germany interests me the most.
Basically, once enrolled, customers can rent Smart Fortwo cars by the minute and are then billed monthly. They don't even have to book but can spontaneously jump in and drive off if the desire so takes them. It seems to be taking the Paris 'Vélib' two-wheel rental initiative to four wheels, but at a cost.
I will watch its progress with much interest. As an urban alternative to car ownership, it has huge potential, especially given the ease of parking the cars involved.
Still keeping to my north of the border reference comes news that Lothian and Borders Police have replaced a petrol patrol car with an electric Vectrix maxi scooter for patrolling distances of up to 30 miles within the Scottish capital. Apparently, the force, which already operates 48 LPG cars, opted for a scooter as they did not reckon an electric car would cope with Edinburgh's hills!
Down south, London has seen the official opening of its first biogas fuelling station. It heralds the start of a six-month trial by Camden council of an Iveco street-cleaning vehicle powered by liquid bio-methane. The van covers a 60-mile route each day and, if the trial proves successful, other council vehicles will be run on bio-methane, which is claimed to be one of the greenest fuels around.
And completing a good week for green news, used green vehicles are outperforming the rest of the used car market when it comes to residuals. Alternative-fuelled vehicles are averaging up to 122% of guide prices according to BCA. Although small, the demand for hybrid electric/petrol vehicles has overtaken those of petrol/LPG ones.
Against the gloomy economic backdrop, it's good to read some good news stories, especially if they are green ones. Let's hope the fears that economic woes will take the focus off the environment are in fact wide of the mark and that governments, organisations and individuals will continue to champion the green cause.