I’m a lover of all things to do with design. Whether that’s the architraves on our new timber window system or the engine within a Mercedes-Benz. I enjoy looking at not only the beauty of the model but understanding how and why it was created in such a way. There’s something about the sleek and highly tuned body of a car that I greatly admire, and which I have been known to fork over a fair bit of cash to own myself. In the last few years, I have seen this love affair of mine coupled with another of my passions – energy efficiency.
Large automotive companies have had to develop cars that release less CO2 into the atmosphere, and have come up with some really inventive ways of manufacturing vehicles which are still as powerful as their gas-guzzling counterparts, but with a view on sustainability and a reduction in carbon emissions.
Perhaps the first of its ilk, the Smart Car has been much maligned for years, with people referring to it as a dodgem and dismissing it as a flimsy toy car. However, I see it in a totally different light. In my opinion, it’s a well thought out design bred on the functionality of running a car in the city. Capable of fitting into small spaces, it requires far less petrol than conventional cars and turns sharply down the narrow lanes of city back streets. Now with an electric range on the market the Smart for two electric drive, which produces no CO2 emissions whatsoever, it’s, for me, one of the best solutions on the market for those who need a run around in the city.
The Smart Car and the Prius aren’t the only ones on the market to do this of course, with innovative measures such as BlueEFFICIENCY from Mercedes Benz having revolutionised the fuel injection system to cut emissions.
Of course, the car companies wouldn’t be doing this off of their own back – or I don’t imagine they would at least. This change in attitudes has come down to the European Emissions Standards, which deems that only cars with a certain standard of fuel efficiency, and with low exhaust emissions, can be traded within Europe. One of the largest markets in the world for automobiles, this has caused a huge knock-on effect in the global market, forcing companies across the planet to change the way that they approach ecological car design.
Much like the European Windows Energy Rating system (WER), which grades a window’s energy efficiency depending upon how much heat it retains, it’s good to see that Europe are once again on the cutting edge of green energy production and carbon emission reduction!
Image by Mariordo