Leaf Environmental's acquisition of a Volkswagen e-Golf coincided with the Paris Motor Show last week. This is a good time to reflect on Leaf's innovations in motoring. The Paris show is showcasing the sector's evolution towards a low-carbon and electrified state. There is of course carbon embedded in the construction of these new cars, their batteries and infra-structure. The Circular Economy however should ensure that carbon and other materials become available for reuse, and hence the cradle-to-grave impact of personal mobility will be reduced.
Smart Car Technology
In 2003 we introduced a Smart car to our fleet which was easy on the environment. It was so good that we introduced another one to the Nipak pool in 2006. They did prove limiting however, as three of us couldn’t travel at the same time! We dabbled in hybrids with a Honda Civic c.2008 however we felt that the compromises dictated by the technology didn’t reap particularly significant environmental gain.
e-Golf & Electrified Silence
The Dublin office is currently getting to grips with our latest foray into low carbon driving in the form of an e-Golf. It is, as Emmet says – sticking to our guns, having the courage of our convictions and eschewing the safety net of an internal combustion engine. We did test a BMW i3 with a small petrol engine but that compromise felt a little lily-livered in the end so we went all in for the e-Golf. One of the most striking observations of electric vehicles is just how quiet they are. Pedestrians and cyclists aren’t yet a-tuned to the near silence that distinguishes low carbon motoring, and as drivers we need to be particularly aware of this.