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Can you own a car and care about the environment?

You don't have to travel by horse to have green credentials according to one car manufacturer

Published on July 29th 2009.


Can you own a car and care about the environment?

Car-ownership and eco-friendliness aren't known for their compatibility. Jeremy Clarkson, the UK's messiah of all things motoring, is well known for his stance against what he calls “eco-mentalists”. He once said, “I do have a disregard for the environment. I think the world can look after itself and we should enjoy it as best as we can”.

The SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive recently managed to do 970 miles on a single tank of diesel with eco-drive Gerhard Plattner at the wheel. Normal drivers can expect to do a still impressive 74 miles a gallon.

Others aren't so uncompromising. At car manufacturers SEAT and Skoda, they think they can find common ground between petrol-heads and eco-heads. They're very concious of what they call their 'carbon tyreprint' and have introduced green working methods, as well as a range of environmentally-friendly vehicles.

David Hobin of the SEAT and Skoda dealership on Bury New Road, says, “We have in place an Environmental Management System, which looks at ways our people and our parts can be more eco-friendly. We ensure that our workforce participate fully in environmental care, whatever their position, and we apply the principle of ‘prevention before reduction, reduction before re-use and re-use before re-cycling’ to all our parts.”

The environmental concern goes beyond this to influence the design of the cars themselves. SEAT and Skoda are becoming known as the industry leader in greens cars that match performance with low emissions.

“Cutting CO2 emissions is vitally important to us and the manufacturer,” says David. “But we also believe that when it comes to cars, reducing emissions should not be at the cost of the driving experience. You should not have to offset emissions by accepting a reduction in quality or performance. And that is exactly the principle SEAT and Skoda have applied to their Ecomotive and Greenline range of cars.”

The SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive recently managed to do 970 miles on a single tank of diesel with eco-drive Gerhard Plattner at the wheel. Normal drivers can expect to do a still impressive 74 miles a gallon – your fuel bills are going to drop massively if you get one of these. You'll also save on road tax – this car is green enough to be exempt.

And it's still a fine-looking, sporty model. If you want to find out more about it, and Skoda's range of eco-friendly cars, go to www.hobingroup.co.uk and www.hobinskoda.co.uk

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