Instead of overly expensive H2 buses and 4,000 diesel powered BMWs, maybe the Olympic Committee should have considered a few thousand Prius PHEVs instead?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 26, 2012
2012 Prius PHEV – $32,000 to start, 11 miles AER and a 50 mpgUS combined rating when on the gas.
Just 5 years ago the organizers of London 2012 Olympic Games were promising that the “One Planet Olympic Games
” would be the lowest carbon-emission releasing, lowest landfill waste generation and the greenest in terms of VIP green transportation games in history.
After winning the Olympic bid, London began the daunting task of designing the 500 acre Olympic Park complex with the stated goal of reducing total carbon emissions by at least 50 percent. With the opening ceremonies just hours away, the question remains. Is the 2012 Olympics be the London Olympics really the Green Olympics?
The Green Methods
Where the “Green Olympics” falls apart
- Approximately 20 percent of the energy to power Olympic Park is being derived from renewable energy sources.
- The buildings in Olympic Park were designed to be at least 25 percent more energy efficient by installing energy reduction systems including solar panels and high efficiency A/C equipment. Unfortunately on the first sweltering hot days when athletes from around the world were just arriving, the A/C was not working so there was a savings after all. Not the kind we would have hoped for however.
- Water usage is expected to be reduced by at least 20 percent compared to past Olympics by using rainwater collection, storage and reuse.
- The Olympic committee is encouraging spectators to use the greenest transportation available to them. That would include walking, riding a bike and using London’s recently “beefed up” and extensive public transportation system.
- The Olympic venues are fitted with a number of recycling bins and at least 20 percent of the parks building materials have been derived from recycled materials.
At least 250 VIP’s attending the Olympic Games are being supplied with personal vehicles and in some cases chauffeurs to shuttle from venue to venue.
Several thousand other officials, sponsors, dignitaries and athletes will share the remaining pool of vehicles while the public is urged to walk or commute via the crowded public buses and trains.
And those cars are? BMW 3 and 5-Series. The sheer number of vehicles shipped in for the 2012 London Olympics was a staggering 4,000!
A story online mentioned a statement by Jenny Jones, a member of the London Assembly for the Green Party.
‘Most of the athletes will be staying in the Olympic Village and won’t need to travel to events, so the BMWs are really for the politicians and dignitaries.
Unfortunately HEV/PHEV/BEVs were not really a consideration.
Toyota’s Prius PHEV-11 – Minimal Expense and Minimal Emissions
Toyota’s Prius Plug-in delivers advantages in terms of its extended all-electric driving range, exceptionally low CO2 emissions and, when running in full hybrid mode, excellent fuel economy both within and outside any city center.
Not only do these attributes contribute to strong environmental profile, they also provide a low day-to-day running cost for its owners. After all, a Prius PHEV in extended range EV mode is almost silent and far more efficient by comparison to the BMW turbo-diesels that will be emitting an inordinate amount of NOx, PM, HCs and CO2 (especially when driving the crowded city streets of London over the next 17-days) by comparison to the PZEV based Prius PHEV.
Toyota Prius PHEV-11
OTR price (including $7,863 USD OLEV grant): $43,868 USD
Driving range: 769 miles
Battery charging time: 90 minutes
Cost to charge: < $1.00 USD
Cost per mile electricity: $0.06 USD/mile
Number of seats: 5
Whole life costs over 3 years/60,000 miles: $57,041
For company car drivers, the Prius PHEV adds a five percent benefit-in-kind tax rating for the first three years, rising to 13 percent in year four. For fleet operators it benefits from a 100 percent write-down allowance in the first year. And for all owners, the 49g/km CO2 figure means there is no annual road tax (VED) bill to pay, plus exemption from the London congestion charge.
So while BMWs truly green future i series vehicles are not yet ready, are the thousands of $50,000 turbo-diesels truly green by comparison to what is currently available from Toyota in the form of the brand new 2012 Toyota Prius PHEV-11?