We all know that eco-friendly cars are the way forward and what we should all be driving, but for a long time, they were ugly and impractical. However, new designs and innovative technology are ensuring vehicles that are kind to the environment are also looking and performing better than ever.
The Volkswagen Group has invested a record amount of money in developing eco-friendly vehicles.
Over last year, the car makers increased their research and development expenditure by 15 per cent to a record value of €10.2 billion (£8.2 billion). With the "lion's share" being spent on 'green' technologies, according to Professor Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.
Talking at the opening of the Geneva Motor Show, he said that the Group was reinforcing its objective to become the world's leading automaker, also in ecological terms, by 2018.
Dr Winterkorn added: "Volkswagen doesn't just talk – we also act. Last year, CO2 emissions by our EU new vehicle fleet averaged 128 grams/km. That means we are already well under the statutory threshold set for 2015."
He said that the company as a whole is taking "great strides" to being the most efficient car maker by making factories 25 per cent more eco-friendly and having plans to further reduce energy and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions, by 25 per cent by 2018.
Volkswagen now offers customers the biggest range of eco-friendly models with 54 variants available that emit under 100 grams CO2/km, while 324 model cars are below the 120 grams threshold.
Dr Winterkorn: "The Volkswagen Group offers the world's largest low-CO2 fleet to have already taken to the road."
However, there is more that the German manufacturer still has left to do. He added that the company is not satisfied with just producing eco-friendly cars at eco-friendly factories, as it wants to "conceive and shape mobility in holistic terms".
"From power generation, through development, production, sale and operation to the recycling stage. With an environmental strategy that is firmly anchored and measurable with respect to all the brands and regions of the Volkswagen Group," added Dr Winterkorn.
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