Ford Land Rover UK has introduced a wide-ranging pilot CO2 offset program—the largest and most comprehensive programme of its kind ever undertaken by an automotive manufacturer in the UK.
Announced at the British International Motor Show in London, the program has two key components: offsetting emissions generated by Land Rover vehicle assembly at its two production facilities in Britain; and providing a mechanism for customers to offset emissions from the use of their vehicle.
The scheme is to be run independently by Climate Care, a CO2 offset provider, and will be overseen by a Governance Committee. The pilot will run to the end of 2008, and it is estimated that Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Program will offset more than two million tonnes of CO2 over the pilot period.
Previous Climate Care initiatives have included wind turbines in India, installing low energy lighting in South Africa and providing renewable energy cooking stoves to schools in India.
This industry leading initiative follows hard on the heels of our Land-e technological exhibit [earlier post] which showcases innovative hybrid electric powertrains and biofuel capability—real world technology which will be seen on Land Rover production vehicles of the future. The announcement made by Ford yesterday [£1 billion investment—earlier post] will have a considerable impact in enabling us to develop that technology. It also acknowledges the challenges of climate change and recognizes our responsibility to take action now.—Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover
It will take time to incorporate the new technologies into the full model range so rather than wait, Land Rover have chosen to act immediately and, in addition, introduce a comprehensive CO2 offset programme. This will start to reduce the climate impact of Land Rovers immediately.—Mike Mason, director of Climate Care
Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Program is part of an integrated approach to reducing CO2 emissions. The ultimate goal, according to Ford, is CO2 neutrality and projects will include investment in renewable energy projects such as wind and solar, technology change and energy efficiency.
Features of the offset program include:
Land Rover will embark on a pilot program in the UK to offset CO2 emissions from its UK manufacturing operations, ensuring the amount saved balances the original emissions. Emissions from Solihull have already been cut by 30% since 1997.
From 2007 Model Year, customers of all new Land Rover vehicles sold in the UK will pay to offset the CO2 emissions produced by their vehicle, calculated on the certified CO2 emissions level for each Land Rover model and based on 45,000 miles (equivalent 15,000 miles of annual use). For the customer it represents an investment of between £85 (US$155) and £165 (US$301) depending on model.
The overall Land Rover UK fleet average fuel economy is 30 mpg Imperial (25 mpg US). In the UK, the diesel platforms are increasingly popular. Ninety-nine point six percent of Discovery 3 sales in the UK are diesels.
The diesel version of the all new Freelander 2 achieves 37.7 mpg Imperial (31 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 194 g/km—5% lower than the previous model. The gasoline versions of the Freelander 2 offer 11% less CO2 emissions than the outgoing models.
The new diesel Range Rover TDV8, launched at the Madrid Motor Show, has performance figures to match the V8 gasoline model but has 32% better fuel economy.
Land Rover recognize that climate change is a serious threat to the planet. In response, Land Rover and their parent, Ford, have committed to an extensive programme of emissions reductions from their vehicles. However the threat is not only serious but also urgent. Climate Care is pleased that Land Rover has taken this initiative to deal with emissions in the short term whilst stepping up their efforts to tackle the longer term challenges. We believe this is the first time a programme of such scope and vision has been launched, and we hope it sets a benchmark for others.—Mike Mason