I must confess, I actually thought that not driving a car at all was the best alternative for the environment. And that driving as little as possible in a very fuel-efficient car would be the obvious choice if I really had to use a car.
But now the latest Volvo campaign here in Sweden has put me straight. They have conviced me that a brand new Volvo V70 is the answer to my environmental call. You see, according to Volvo there are no trade-offs between size, comfort and enviro-friendliness. I can have it all. And what’s really neat is that all I have to do is switch to ethanol (E85 – meaning 85% Ethanol and 15% fossil petrol stuff) as fuel. And they also promise to "neutralize" whatever CO2 actually is produced from the petrol share of the fluid – and the CO2 generated from the production of the ethanol itself.
This is is a substantial financial effort for Volvo. I should know because I "neutralized" a 100% of my emissions based on 3000 kms for 2007 for a whopping €70 (by buying away CO2 certificates from the market). What generosity! Now, in all honesty, they say they might not do it the way I did. Instead they’re keen on building wind power generators in places like India and China. Which is great because we know how polluted those places are. And here in Sweden no one wants wind power plants. They are so ugly and noisy. Good move!
The fact that Volvo’s engine uses 30% more ethanol fuel than if it ran on petrol seems to be an added benefit. They don’t really say why, but my guess is that this gives a faster stimulation of demand for ethanol – thus speeding up the use of biomass to produce ethanol.
At present the campaign only runs in Sweden, but as a global company I hope they use their power to put all dis-believers straight in the rest of the world also. God forbid people (and car makers) start buying (and making) smaller cars. Or cars that run on stuff that is sustainable. I’m so happy in my comfy Volvo.