For the first time in its history the Environmental Car List of the VCS Traffic Club of Switzerland (2011) has two overall winners including, for the first time, a natural gas vehicle. The winners are the Lexus 200h hybrid CT (80.3 points) and the Fiat 500 natural gas-turbo MTA (80.2 points). Because of the different evaluation criteria used to assess the two vehicles VCS considered both to be winners despite the 0.1 score difference. The result is even better when compared with 2010 results where the winner recorded just 75.3 points.
The Fiat 500 CNG Turbo was recently presented at the Geneva Motor Show.
Among the top ten of the Car Environment List 2010, four more cars are natural gas powered:
- Ford Ka 1.2 Greenpower (73.8 points)
- VW Passat 1.4 TSI DSG EcoFuel (70.2 points)
- Fiat Punto EVO 1.4 NP (69.8 points)
- VW Touran 1.4 TSI DSG EcoFuel (69.8 points)
VCS notes the combustion of natural gas produces less CO2 emissions than petrol or diesel. Adding biogas (biomethane) to the natural gas grid for vehicle refuelling — Swiss gas contains approximately 20% biomethane from waste treatment facilities — further reduces CO2.
Juergen Resch, CEO of the German Environmental Aid Association, at the presentation called for greater provision of financial incentives such as bonus-malus systems, to encourage greener car take-up.
Resch also went on to comment on electric vehicles: “Electric cars are not a magic bullet to make road transport more environmentally friendly,” he said. VCS found that at present pure electric cars do not contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution because too much power is still generated from coal or nuclear power. Electric cars are therefore not the panacea in the fight against global warming, as advertised in some places.
Resch also said it makes no sense to subsidize electric vehicles as the goal must always be the goal of reducing emissions from transport.
The 4th edition of the list, entitled Auto-Umweltliste 2010, is available on the Verkehrs-Club de Schweiz website. Top-ten results are also available at www.topten.ch.
This article primarily compiled using information from a VCS press release and the VCS publication.