Drive a BMW, Save the Environment

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
drive a bmw save the environment

Which carmaker has cleaned-up their act the most? Toyota with its Synergy Drive? Honda with its industry-high average fuel economy? GM with their fuel-cell Equinoxes? Nope. According to a study by Environmental Defense (reported by CARSguide), BMW wins the "most improved" award for its average fuel efficiency and CO2 emission rate. From 1995 to 2005, The Boyz from Bavaria increased their fleet's average fuel economy by 14 percent and carbon emissions by 12.3 percent. Toyota only managed a three percent drop in carbon emissions during the same period. Kia was the worst offender; their vehicle's carbon emissions jumped by 30 percent. Oxymoronically, GM placed at the top of one category with a 6.5 percent reduction in "overall carbon burden" (derived from factors based on vehicle emissions and the total sold), yet increased their overall carbon emissions by three percent. As Miss Piggy's paramour said, it ain't easy being green.

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  • Wannabewannabe Wannabewannabe on Sep 18, 2007

    barnum349: While clearly the new 335i is a nicer car, my now-departed 1990 Corvette with an automatic could basically do that. 28.2 mpg from a 3L six just doesn't sound that impressive to me, turbocharged or not. For a point of reference, my Corvette (5.7L V8, 250hp/350lb-ft) would get consistently around 27 mpg at a steady 70-75 mph, and once--albeit while driving along back roads at high altitude (which improves mileage) maintaining about 60 mph--I acheived 30.4 mpg over a 400 mile stretch from Santa Fe, NM to Steamboat Springs, CO. The basic point is that we all could do better with gas mileage, but improving performance while simultaneously increasing weight means that any improvements in consumption are negligible and often negative. This "improvement" from BMW basically means nothing.

  • Qusus Qusus on Sep 18, 2007

    I really hope the headline and the corresponding blurb are tongue in cheek. As a few people have already pointed out, BMW's "improvement" is only because they've had so much room to improve. You don't have room to improve when you're already making high 30mpg economy cars in 1995. I love Bimmers as much as the next enthusiast but really, everyone waxes way too much poetic on BMW as a whole.

  • Adamatari Adamatari on Sep 18, 2007

    wannabewannabe: So how was your Corvette's usual mileage? I seem to remember the problem with those V8's is that they make great highway mileage but much lower city mileage. BMW sells lots of diesels and 1 series in Europe. If I remember correctly, the 1 series is a mild hybrid as well. Combine this with the MINI and I'm not terribly suprised BMW is doing better. Good from them, in any case. Let's see other carmakers improve their green footprint. Keep in mind that not everyone does or will drive a Prius. Even in the sportscar segment there is something to be said for greener cars, especially considering that a improvement of a few miles per gallon on a gas guzzler does more good that a bigger improvement on a already efficient car. I for one would like to have both a better environment and fast cars. It's possible, as long as neither side insists on being absolutist. Maybe BMW is noticing the trend and trying to make the greener sportscar?

  • Wannabewannabe Wannabewannabe on Sep 19, 2007

    Adamatari: In the city, the Corvette would do around 17-18 mpg. Although that did vary a good bit. When I lived in Seattle (way too many stoplights), I rarely bettered 15 mpg in town. In Dallas, it would occassinally hit 20 mpg in town.

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