…of course that’s not green as in colour. I accept that you can have a green-coloured car and indeed it can be quite a nice colour for a car. Fresh Lime looks very appealing, for example.
But that’s beside the point, I’m talking about Green as in ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘sustainable’, ‘efficient use of natural resources’, etc. Marketeers and media folk are now very fond of talking about Green cars in that sense. It has become a glib short-hand for hybrid or electric cars.
Glib but deeply misleading. So here are 5 really obvious and undeniable reasons why private cars will never be Green:
1. Each car uses up around 2 tons of highly processed stuff. Extracting all that stuff from the earth and turning it into the car in the showroom is a vast and energy intensive undertaking that, in turn, requires a whole load of other stuff, as well as a great deal of land.
2. A lot of the stuff is mined and a lot of it is poisonous. Even more so when large batteries are involved.
3. Cars need land. They need land to be covered in asphalt. They need huge tracts of land to be covered in asphalt, not greenery.
4. Cars need energy. Moving 2 tons of stuff around requires a lot of energy. Generating that energy and moving it to the car will always require a whole load more stuff, much of it poisonous, and a whole load more land.
5. Just as well then that, for the vast majority of its existence, the 2 tons of highly processed stuff sits on an asphalt-covered piece of land, immobile. Most cars, most of the time, are a stationary statement of their own wastefulness.
Of course they may look a bit smarter, sitting there, if they have a few layers of Fresh Lime metallic paint. I wonder what goes into that? I bet it doesn’t come from Fresh Lime trees.