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CARS AND MOTORBIKES ARE WEARING GREEN
In response to the crisis, the Italian automobile industry is playing the green card, turning out high performance, dynamic vehicles that are fun to drive, but most importantly, that respect the environment. This trend appeared in May, at the “MoTechEco 2009” motor show, held in Rome. The most interesting novelties are seen in the Piaggio and Fiat Group brands. The historical Pontedera firm, which is ready to launch the Eco-scooter, recently introduced the electric powered Porter , a goods transport vehicle fitted with a zero emissions engine. While Fiat have put their “Natural power” range on the market and, and for the Lancia brand, there is the “Ecochic” range.
Piaggio Porter Electric. To transport goods around the city with zero impact. This is the wager that Piaggio have won, thanks to the new Porter Electric, the ideal van for working in protected areas or for public utility services in pedestrian zones.
It completely recharges in eight hours from a normal electrical socket (but if there is an available three-phase power supply, then two hours are sufficient). It is available in different versions – you can choose between a flatbed tipper, an oversized load deck, and a panel or multi-purpose van – that can all be fitted with an electric engine. The load capacity, at 550 kg, is lower than that of models with traditional engines. For the sake of the environment, the owners of these vans will also have to renounce high speeds, since the Porter Electric-power does not do more than 55 km/h. Fully-charged, it has a range of 120 kilometres. To get one, you’ll have to consider a price of 220 thousand Euros. An alternative is the bi-fuel “petrol + LPG” version; it costs around half the price of the electric model and features a low CO2 emission level.
Piaggio Mp3 Hybrid. Piaggio has also launched the pre-series production of the “MP3 Hybrid” three-wheel scooter, which is able to cover 60 km on one litre, while emitting only 40 gr/km of carbon dioxide from its exhaust. It has a petrol-electric hybrid type engine – which for the first time in the world is fitted on a scooter – and it recharges from the domestic grid. In “electric only” mode you can enter limited traffic areas where “zero emissions” are enforced. Part of the first batch of models produced is destined for the US market.
Fiat Natural Power. Consolidated by ten years of experience in the field of alternative motoring, the Fiat Group present the “Natural Power” range with natural gas/petrol dual fuel supply, including the Panda, Punto, Doblò and Multipla. The pollutant emissions from natural gas are less than 90% than that of traditional fuels. Consumption? Just 4.3 kg of natural gas are needed to travel 100 kilometres in the Punto and the Panda, while the Doblò and the Multipla require 5.9 kg. Translated into money terms, that’s less than 5 Euros.
Lancia Ecochic. For those want to stand out in terms of elegance, as well as respecting the environment, Lancia has introduced their Ecochic range, which includes the Musa and Ypsilon models, with LPG engines. These vehicles travel 400 km on a full tank of LPG (20 Euros), allowing savings of up to 50% compared to models with traditional engines.