The Road Ahead : December January 2009
eco-motoring WITH JON DEE Green funds found I think he nailed it pretty well. If the Australian car industry handles this opportunity correctly, it will be better placed to participate in the transition to a low-carbon-pollution economy that has more need of fuel- efficient cars. The day of the big-engine sedan is likely to wane as we start to pay a price for the carbon pollution that such large cars emit. Even now, big sedans have approximately 11 percent of the market, compared with the 23 percent occupied by small cars. In the market ahead, fuel-effi cient cars are likely to have better resale potential for fl eet buyers. As such, the Federal decision to promote the development of ‘green’ cars within this scheme makes economic as well as environmental sense. In return for this ‘green’ investment, I believe that the A midst the fi nancial turmoil troubling the world’s economies, there was welcome environmental news with the announcement of the Federal Government’s decision to double its ‘Green Car Innovation Fund’ to $1.3 billion over 10 years. Within the scheme, the Government has pledged that it will give car-makers $1 for every $3 that they spend on developing vehicles with a reduced environmental impact. Earlier this year, the Government’s decision to prime the greening of the Australian car sector got under way with their $35 million investment in Toyota’s new Hybrid Camry sedan. To be manufactured in Melbourne, the Federal investment was matched dollar for dollar by the Victorian Government. When recently outlining his reasons for the revamped fund, the Prime Minister said it was about helping the industry to meet the challenge of the future. What impressed me about the PM’s speech was how he spoke of climate change and rising fuel prices as representing a “challenge as well as an opportunity.” News in Brief KLUGER SHINES One of Australia’s top selling four wheel drives, the Toyota Kluger, has received a fi ve-star safety rating under the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) – Australia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate. The Citroen C5, Renault Koleos and Mercedes M Class (with driver’s knee airbag) also earned fi ve stars. Four stars went to the VW Caddy Van (with side airbags), Holden Epica and Hyundai Getz 1.6 SX fi ve-door (with Protectz safety pack). Without the safety pack, the Getz was afforded three stars, along with the Holden Colorado two and four-wheel- drive models. RALLY RIDERS Fifty guests from the Endeavour Foundation recently travelled from the Darling Downs and Sunshine Coast to Willowbank, near Ipswich, to experience high-speed gravel rallying. The group rode in 13 cars provided free of charge by rally teams. The teams also presented a $2000 cheque to the Endeavour Foundation. The day was organised by Toowoomba rally driver Jamie Lawson. MOTOR MUSEUMS A website which will provide a directory and tour guide of Australasia’s motor museums is the fi rst job of the Australasian Motor Museum Association. The association knows of 95 such museums, but suspects there are more and would like to hear from all concerned. Phone (08) 8568 4006. DEC 08/JAN 09 23 Federal Government should demand better fuel effi ciency across the whole range of cars currently manufactured in Australia. Such a move would also guarantee to increase fuel savings for Australian drivers. In return for such a change, the Government should tighten its purchasing policies to maximise its purchase of Australian-made green vehicles. By becoming a major purchaser of these cars, the Government can act as a role model, as well as a guaranteed market for more fuel-effi cient cars. With 65,000 Australians employed within the car manufacturing sector, the Prime Minister’s move to ‘green’ the industry is a welcome one. Underpinning that part of our economy, while helping our environment, highlights the true meaning of sustainability. Jon Dee is the founder of Planet Ark and chairman of Do Something! Photo by Palto, Shutterstock.com.
October November 2008
February March 2009