Mini-me green fight

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THERE was a sur­pris­ing and rude in­ter­rup­tion to the press preview of the new Toy­ota Prius this week. Just as Toy­ota hon­cho Dave But­tner was get­ting to the best bit, the $39,900 start­ing price, the press desks started to vi­brate.

My com­puter pinged to an­nounce the ar­rival of an ur­gent email at the same time as Black­Ber­ries on ei­ther side did their thing for the same in­com­ing mail.

Jour­nal­ists can­not re­sist this sort of temp­ta­tion so I switched fo­cus to find an ur­gent up­date on green motoring — from BMW!

It could be a co­in­ci­dence that BMW Group chose 2.07pm on Mon­day to re­veal its dieselpow­ered 118, the 2007 Green Car of the Year, was com­ing Down Un­der. But prob­a­bly not.

BMW Group has been run­ning a tough anti-hy­brid cam­paign this year and is work­ing hard to po­si­tion diesel as the best choice for eco-friendly motoring. It says newage tur­bod­iesels are the econ­omy leader and also de­liver emis­sion ad­van­tages over reg­u­lar un­leaded.

Toy­ota dis­agrees. Some T-brand ex­ec­u­tives in Aus­tralia talk openly about ‘‘evil diesel’’, based on the fuel’s heavy emis­sion of both car­bon diox­ide and ni­tro­gen ox­ides.

Min­utes af­ter the BMW email, Toy­ota Aus­tralia’s prod­uct plan­ning chief Ashley Ed­wards went on the of­fen­sive, at­tack­ing the BMW Group’s Mini diesel, which was Aus­tralia’s first mem­ber of the sub-four-litre econ­omy club.

‘‘None of the diesel ve­hi­cles avail­able in Aus­tralia pro­duces fewer emis­sions than new Prius,’’ Ed­wards says.

‘‘The green­house gas and air­pol­lu­tion emis­sions of diesel ve­hi­cles are much higher than Prius. With only 89g a kilo­me­tre, Prius is Aus­tralia’s green­est car.’’

Ed­wards even goes head-on with the Mini diesel, ac­knowl­edg- ing its 3.9 litres for 100km econ­omy be­fore slam­ming its pro­duc­tion of more than 56 times the ox­ides of ni­tro­gen.

‘‘Toy­ota’s view is that more hy­brid ve­hi­cles on our roads, in­stead of diesels, will be less harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment,’’ he says.

Prius de­fence: Toy­ota is on the of­fen­sive against BMW over econ­omy and emis­sions claims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.