Monday, June 13, 2005

A Clean Set of Wheels?

A green SUV, yeah right.

From the Guardian

If you read the motoring press then you might believe that the RX400h, with
its part electric/part petrol "hybrid" engine, has been sent from above to
single-handedly slay climate change. According to much of the coverage, there is
no need to feel guilty - if you ever did, that is - about driving an SUV, given
that the RX400h achieves up to three times the fuel efficiency of its market
rivals and an equally impressive reduction of polluting exhaust fumes. The
message is clear: relax everyone, the panic's over. A breathless review in
Automobile magazine talks of a car that "accelerates with V-8 gusto and cradles
its occupants in leather-lined luxury". The hyperbolic review ends: "The Lexus
RX400h provides the well-to-do with a sacrifice-free ride to social

So is this car the saviour many are claiming it to be? Could the hybrid
engine be the "bridging technology" that will enable us to reach the
oft-heralded, post-carbon age? Or is it just an eco-veneer being applied to what
is still a very dirty way of getting from A to B?

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