Monday, 12 July 2010

A Car for the 21st Century

Last year’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment addressed the question, ‘Is there a model for low carbon growth?’ This set the scene and started a dialogue. This year the forum took on the more specific sub theme of ‘Low Carbon Mobility: Air, Sea and Land’. A big chunk of carbon is used for mobility. Making progress in this area is vital to de-carbonizing society.

The World Forum, organised annually in Oxford by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, could grow to have the same significance within the green business community as the World Forum in Davos has amongst world leaders and economists.

The discussions, over three days, showed the strength of delegate’s concern that we must lead change. We discussed a range of issues and a variety of responses. Many delegates shared my approach that we must be bold and move fast. This was illustrated well by the launch at the forum of the T25, a new car from Surrey based Gordon Murray Design. Gordon Murray, of F1 fame, has brought the technology of race cars to the production of a small fuel efficient car. Unlike F1 cars, it is also designed to be affordable - although the price has not yet been announced and it is not yet available for sale.

The body of the T25 is made using the composite techniques of the F1 world but without the carbon fibre to keep cost down. The driving position is in the centre and the controls are in the steering wheel - just like an F1 driver. Two passengers sit back from the driver either side with their legs extending forward beside the driver. In the conservative world of car design, this a radical move. The design is green and cool; the perfect combination to make an early impact in the market. The T25 will be followed by the T27, an all electric version. This shows what forward-looking bold thinking can create.

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