Friday, March 07, 2008

Oxymoron of the month?

Eco-Bentley. Now there's a term I'll bet you never expected to see! But, according to this from ThisIsCheshire, Bentley are indeed trying to implement a "far-reaching environmental strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel economy."

"A new powertrain will be introduced by 2012, delivering a 40% reduction in fuel consumption, while maintaining current levels of performance. And all engines across the range will become compatible with the use of renewable fuels by 2012, with the initial rollout beginning by next year."

OK, maybe I've been a little sarcastic, and perhaps I even owe them an apology; but I do find it quite hard to equate luxury, extremely expensive vehicles, that only the top 1 or 2 percent of the wealthiest amongst us can even contemplate buying, with the word Eco.

Green stretched limo anyone?

Bentley maybe going to do Eco-Cars, but Rolls-Royce do it up in the stratosphere with their updated Trent 'Eco-Engine'! No, I'm being unfair, I made that up, but how long before we see RR marketing claiming the updated engine actually is eco-friendly because it consumes 30% less fuel? I'll give it three months tops.

The pending food crisis.....

..... is much more of an immediate problem than climate change, according to the government's new chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, as reported in The Guardian.

"price rises in staples such as rice, maize and wheat would continue because of increased demand caused by population growth and increasing wealth in developing nations. He also said that climate change would lead to pressure on food supplies because of decreased rainfall in many areas and crop failures related to climate."

"Some of the biofuels are hopeless. The idea that you cut down rainforest to actually grow biofuels seems profoundly stupid." Quite!

"Global grain stores are currently at the lowest levels ever, just 40 days from running out."

Rapidly rising prices, all those extra mouths to feed and insufficient land and water. Things aren't looking too promising. Maybe it really is time to start tackling the issue that dare not speak its name?

NEWS/Commercial PR - Michelin Energy Saver Tyres

This is passed on as per PR supplied, so I cannot vouch for the claims, but as a major brand one has to assume they are sincere and sound (mind you, the ASA site is a weekly jaw-dropper).

I just find things like this so much more significant in the great scheme of things, not just for major e-benefits, but also possible (there is a pay-back period to consider, which has been suggested) pocket-related ones, too.

But what's the betting they don't make a low-profile set for my Volvo!

New Michelin Energy Saver tyres

The new Michelin Energy Saver is the Company’s fourth generation of “green” car tyres that replaces the existing Energy range.

The technology deployed in the Michelin Energy Saver range improves rolling resistance by nearly 20%* thereby reducing the amount of energy needed to propel the vehicle. By generating fuel savings of nearly 0.2 litres per 100 km* it reduces CO2 emissions by 4g per km and the cost of a full tank of fuel by almost €2. As a result, if you fit four Energy Saver tyres to your car the fuel savings will be enough to pay for one of the tyres after just 45,000km**.

In wet-road tests conducted by TÜV SÜD Automotive, a car equipped with the Michelin Energy Saver has a braking distance three metres shorter than the same vehicle fitted with the previous-generation tyres. The same study showed that, in identical wet-road conditions, the Michelin Energy Saver also has a shorter braking distance than the average of the major competitor tyre brands***.

In addition to enhanced fuel efficiency and exceptional safety performance the Energy Saver also offers very long tread life. According to a study by TÜV SÜD, the Michelin Energy Saver delivers on average 40% more mileage than other leading brand-name tyres in the three most widely used sizes*. Where a competitor’s tyre may reach its limit, for example, at 30,000 km, the Michelin Energy Saver – in identical conditions of use – could cover more than 40,000 km. Based on average annual driving distances in Europe, this means nearly an additional year of driving.

By combining lower fuel consumption, shorter braking distances and greater longevity the Michelin Energy Saver provides users with a host of benefits. The tyres really do enable motorists to drive further, safely, while spending less.

The Michelin Energy Saver has been designed to equip as many cars in the market as possible – including small city cars, saloons, coupes and MPVs. The tyre will initially be available in 29 sizes and that will increase to 42 by mid-2008. By the end of the year, the range will cover 90% of existing sizes with a T-speed rating, 82% with an H-rating, and 80% with a V-rating.

*ISO test conducted by TÜV SÜD Automotive in 2007 on store-bought 175/65 R14, 195/65 R15 and 205/55 R16 tyres produced by five major-brand manufacturers.

**Based on a diesel-powered vehicle that consumes around 6 litres per 100 km with fuel priced at an average of €1.20 a litre.

IDEA - Jacob's Twiglet's game

A timely reminder to me to get my act together and add more ideas to the main site.

I am grateful to Junkketeer Valerie of Wyenet, our super ISP provider (happy to reccomend and link to them... see how easy this 'share the idea, share the love' can be?), who just handed this to me.

It's frankly more an 'A' for effort on the part of maker Jacob's, but I am simply encouraged that they are thinking not only in reuse terms, but also helping customers with the process by suggesting ideas.

It's true that many items, such as this, are hard to really get too inspired by, but you never know who may coem up with what that is simply awesomely neat... which is all part of the fun.

QUOTE OF THE DAY - A little bit of honest pragmatism

From Glastonbury's Michael Eavis:

'...if you switched off everything that created carbon, we'd be bored to tears.'

Enough, indeed, for me to add the label below of 'The Two E's'.

But something I wish a few who would impose their rather utopian, and indeed often selective, view on matters green would pause to consider.

The tricky part, of course, is at what point we switch from acceptably not being bored and unacceptably consuming to excess. And who sets, or thinks they should set that tipping point, and to what degree of consistency and fairness.