Blue Motion Goes Green

Proving yet again that green is becoming ever more glamorous, some high-end auto companies are pledging to make more fuel-efficient cars. Just in time for the Thursday start of the Geneva auto show, executives from the German-owned Volkswagon and Porsche said that their companies will make more environmentally friendly cars by 2010.

Currently, neither company produces a hybrid model, according to a Reuters article:

Automakers in Germany -- where drivers are known for their love of powerful cars -- do not offer a single full such hybrid, which combine electric motors and batteries with standard combustion engines to cut fuel consumption.

This could be, however, because previous efforts to sell hybrids failed. Volkswagon had a hybrid Audi model in the 1990s, but had trouble selling the cars. "At that time the market was obviously not yet ripe. We only sold a few hundred of them," CEO Martin Winterkorn told Reuters. 

Volkswagon plans to develop eco-versions of all of its car models—a plan they call Blue Motion. So far, the company has already created green versions of its Passat and Polo. Porsche also plans to hybridize its Cayenne model by 2010.

Although neither proposal will make the companies’ cars as fuel-efficient as the Honda Civic Hybrid, which uses just 1.2 gallons of gasoline for every 62 miles, it does show that the auto industry from Detroit to Germany is starting to make some changes that benefit the environment. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll even see an eco-friendly Hummer. They could call it the green giant.  


if the Honda Civic Hybrid does 62 miles to 1.2 gallons the consumption is just under 51 miles per gallon, way above the consumption of any of these VW models. That is the reason why hybrid cars are a gimmik that German car companies try to avoid through better diesel technology.

I agree with Helmut Winkler. The Honda Civic doesn't REMOTELY get near what the claims are. You'd be lucky to get 45 MPG in the Honda Civic Hybrid. 40MPG is more likely!

I know people who drive TDI's that get better economy than the prius under most conditions... and if they want to race, the TDI will blow away the hybrid as well.

Diesel = Way to go.

I'm very interested in ANY REALLY more environmentally sensitive car technology.

I'm still driving an '96 Volvo 850 with 188k miles (alone, unfortunately)and get >30mi/gal! My daily commute is 160 miles RT. Having considered all current and near future options, I'm holding out for a Passat or Golf TDI.

I love "Technology", thus the Prius is intriguing. However, I don't think that it would give me the fuel economy of a new Diesel when driving mostly on the freeway.

when considering replacing an old car with a new (hybrid), people seem to skip a couple of environmental cost factors, such as (a) The cost of another junk car rusting away somewhere, (b) the cost of creating and disposing of the highly toxic batteries in a hybrid, (c) the transportation of a new car from Japan to my home, etc.

At the end of the day, the greatest environmental benefits are a product of one's lifestyle: Ride bike, walk, reduce HVAC use, reuse (coffe mugs, instead of cups), and lastly -- STOP EATING MEAT!