I’ve never really liked American cars. They are usually over-powered and, possibly because fuel is so cheap in the US, never seem to be engineered as well as cars in Europe and Japan. It often feels like you’re driving a big spongy mattress on wheels.
Take the German manufacturer Porsche, for example. A 3.6 litre 911 GT2 will race from 0 to 60mph in 3.7 seconds (source: What Car?). Compare that to the Dodge, which is a stunning car and has an 8.4 litre v10 engine, but only does 0 to 60mph in “under 4 seconds”.
So, having got all excited about the Honda hydrogen car et al I’m not so optimistic about what the stats will be for the hydrogen fuel cell powered Cadillac Provoc. Will the company engineer the car well enough to actually get an efficient use from the vehicle?
The point is, it’s all very well saying you’ve produced a ‘zero emissions vehicle’. But if you still produce the power using non-renewably generated electricity and don’t use the principles of light weight and aerodynamics then, frankly, you may as well just not have bothered in the first place.
Quite simply, car manufacturers need to look beyond the greenwash of just using one technology to reduce carbon footprint and look at the bigger picture. Lotus did it. Seat and VW have done it. Most of the Japanese manufacturers are doing it. Others really need to play catch up.