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Frankfurt Motor Show combines conservation and innovation

The Local · 16 Sep 2011, 11:47

Published: 16 Sep 2011 11:47 GMT+02:00

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Not only are many of the concept cars on display smaller fuel-efficient cars, but some models on display at the world’s biggest motor show also reflect the auto-makers’ commitment to using renewable energy sources.

"There'd be little sense in cutting the CO2 emissions of our cars to zero if we're pumping out tonnes more of the gas to build them," said Christian Mohrdieck, director for fuel cell and battery drive development at Daimler.

"We have to take a look at the entire production chain."

Germany has opted to pull out of nuclear power and it seems to be its car makers who are spearheading the drive into renewable sources of energy.

Click here for a photo gallery of the exhibition
From 2013, BMW has decided to install wind turbines at its plant in Leipzig in eastern Germany to provide the power for the assembly of its electric and hybrid models, the i3 and the i8, being unveiled at this year's IAA motor show.

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest car maker, recently announced a partnership with Austrian power company Verbund to cover 10 percent of the electricity needs of its 12 German plants via hydro-electric power from 2013.

And according to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland last month, VW has earmarked billions of euros for investment in renewables over the next two years and is set to announce the acquisition of a stake in a giant wind park in the North Sea soon.

French giant Renault boasts that has opened a "zero-carbon" factory in Tangiers, Morocco, powered by wind turbines while biomass generators provide steam and heating and manufacturing waste is recycled.

And in an investment that could prove attractive not only in image terms, but in financial terms too, the auto giant is planning to equip its French sites with solar panels by 2012.

Story continues below…

Of course, alongside the smaller eco-cars, sleek luxury models are also on hand at the IAA, such as Italy’s Ferrari 458 Spider.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday opened the 64th international car show, which will run through September 25. Over 500 exhibitors are presenting at the convention, according to IAA material.

AFP/The Local/emh

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