Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?

green_car.jpg
Yesterday marked the opening of the Sexy Green Auto Show at the Eden Project bio theme park in Cornwall, UK. It’s a display meant to demonstrate that "green" cars (like the Ford Focus Flexi Fuel bio-ethanol number at right) don’t have to fit the clunky Birkenstock stereotype. As the Guardian notes,

[T]he main task of the world’s first exhibition of eco-conscious autos…is to convince us at least to give them a spin. This is no easy job. The range of green cars remains very limited and could never be described as sexy. …

Still, manufacturers are finally trying to make their green machines mean as well. From next year we will be able to buy the Tesla Roadster, an electric-powered sports car developed by Lotus. If consumers show more appetite for green cars, manufacturers will respond. And the imperative for us to rethink our transport system grows. As yesterday’s exhibition opened, it was announced that UK emissions of greenhouse gases actually rose last year. The biggest source of carbon emissions remains transport. If we won’t give up our cars we need to make them less harmful to the planet. Not sexy, perhaps, but true.

Of course, sex appeal is in the eye of the beholder. And in certain circles, arriving in a Prius (or, better yet, on a ten-speed) is more likely to get you a second date than pulling up in a Camaro.

But Americans are even less likely than Europeans to get out of their cars altogether, and the Guardian is right that consumer demand will have to drive innovation. Next week, the New York International Auto Show will come to the Javits Center, and Streetsblog will be there to report on the offerings — among which are a few "alternative fuel" options. We’ll let you know what we find and whether or not it turns us on.

  • mork

    Nope, not sexy. A green car takes up as much space as a non-green car. In NYC this is the worst problem with cars, the amount of space they take up.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

“Green” Techie Futurism Is Not Reality-Based

|
Today on the Streetsblog Network, we’re featuring a post from Alex Steffen at Worldchanging that takes on the ever-burgeoning fetish for "green" technologies. Everywhere you look these days, there’s talk of "going green." But Steffen, who’s been paying attention to these issues for 20 years, says the ecofads are hopelessly inadequate. His post, which is […]

Getting Young People Back Into Cars Is Auto Industry Job #1

|
While the choked parking lots at many suburban high schools might mislead you, young people today are less interested in driving and owning cars than their counterparts in previous generations. This is happy news for environmentalists and complete streets advocates, who see fewer vehicles on the road as key to a healthier, wealthier society. For […]

Final Obama Fuel-Efficiency Rule Gives Breaks to Electric, Luxury Cars

|
The Obama administration today released its final rule raising U.S. auto fuel-efficiency standards to an average of 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016, winning plaudits from environmental groups while offering extra benefits to makers of electric and luxury cars. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, at left, with EPA chief Lisa Jackson at right. (Photo: Getty […]

We Need a Complete Solution to Climate Change

|
This morning, Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire points us to a newly released measure of CO2 emissions from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (which just won a 2009 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, BTW). He says maps like these help to show why changing land-use patterns is vital in the fight […]