London Motor Show Goes Green, Green, Green

Europeans are far ahead of North Americans in eco-awareness, and it’s most evident at auto shows. This year’s British International Motor Show, July 23 to August 3, is a perfect example. Despite the UK’s traditional abundance of small supercar-makers and its luxury brands, the popular market seems now to be all about green cars—specifically those with low carbon emissions, or electric cars with no emissions at all.

Lots of marketing and prominence is assigned to the “EV Village” containing 10 brands of electric vehicles—although once visitors pass the relatively well-known Tesla, Smart, and Th!nk brands, they quickly encounter a scattering of little-known vendors selling low-speed fiberglass electric cars of highly variable quality and design.

Exiled to Birmingham on alternate years, the British International Motor Show has struggled to attract globally significant car launches. Much was made in the local press of the decisions by some German manufacturers to forgo an exhibit in London altogether. And the cars throughout two halls of East London’s ExCeL Center are laid out either spaciously or sparsely, depending on your view.

CO2 Matters

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the show, very early on the morning of press day. He reportedly stopped at the “Act on CO2” standard for tips on greener driving, although the present leader of Britain’s government does not drive. Brown had previously said all cars sold in the UK should be electric or hybrid by 2010, a suggestion mocked by some of the auto press as deeply out of touch with technical and economic realities.


  • Bryce

    Some interesting concepts. The Insignia is gorgeous and that Morgan Roadster looks fine as well. I wonder when the Fiesta is coming stateside???

  • Shines

    – potential buyers may want to keep their chequebooks closed until more is known –
    Yep it seems most buyers are on hold with high gas prices, and the anticipation of upcoming models like Volt, the new Honda Insight (looks exactly like a Prius) the 2009 Prius, whatever other new Hybrids Chevy/Chrysler/Ford/Honda/Hyundai/Kia/Nissan/Toyota etc will have. Clean diesels – where are they? I can’t see putting money down for a new vehicle that does not have new technology – except maybe for one of the relatively efficient compact or sub-compacts.

  • Harry Boswell

    Every potential car buyer should choose only electric or hybrid power despite the wait.

    Present ‘standard’ cars are already obsolete and should be refused.

    Very happy Prius owner.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, what country isn’t ‘far ahead” of north americans when it comes to eco-awareness?

  • Bryce

    China

  • Diddy

    WAIT FOR PLUG INS!!!! Then I will settle for not needing the newest of the new.This Bio Diesel & etc. blah blah is just about making a new market for the existing big oil companies and other market cornering types to get a hold on. Well the corn/soy eating public ain’t buying it and niether are the EURO’s. Once you can plug it in and drive powered off a/the grid, the true jump has been made.

    -used fully paid Corolla owner

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  • Noz

    It’s just amazing just how far ahead the rest of the world really is relative to the US. We are so behind in so many ways it’s really sad.

    That’s what happens when you live a society where war and weapons are the major source of pride.

  • Bryce

    Other countries sure are happy to buy those weapons too. lol. India just signed something to get nuclear fuel for reactors and bombs. We just sold billions to a handful of middle eastern nations. Britain will be purchasing a bunch of F-35s when thos are released shortly along with Australia, the Netherlands, Turkey, and a bunch of others. (watered down versions of course, except for the British version) It sure seems that the rest the world is itching to get its hands on those toys.

    By the way, the US is the largest exporter of semi-conductors, computer chips, and industrial goods, ranging from farm and construcion tractors to industrial chemicals. Not to mention the biggest automakers in the markets of China, Brazil, and handful of other booming regions are GM and Ford. (VW is doing really well in China as well, right behind GM)

  • dangerous

    This one should be shared to other countries and continents. But the car models should be a quality too. This new manufactured cars are great for matching the hybrids one. Save gas and save the environment. Auto Fanatics should have these kind of cars, review them and share what they have to say and experience about those kind of cars.

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  • josh schild

    yo this car is so pimpin and eco friendly

  • EcoFriendlyTom

    Green cars are really coming in to the public eye right now – this is the perfect time for something like this. sounds great. South West London Locksmiths

  • altonalvin

    Commuters and visitors in London will have a new way to travel across the Thames thanks to a brand new cable car system that opens today. Sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the UK’s first urban cable car system has the capacity to transport 2,500 passengers per hour in each direction, which is equivalent to 50 buses in the same time frame. bike games

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