Demonstrating true innovation and a passion for sustainability that's unfortunately not mirrored by their American counterparts, European car makers Pininfarina and Bollore have created a hybrid vehicle that truly embodies environmental friendliness, from wipers to its non-existent tailpipe.
The brain child of Italian and French engineers, the B0 (B Zero) or Bluecar, is built around its LMP battery, which in turn is based on Lithium Metal Polymer technology.
Produced at BatScap, a subsidiary that was set up specifically for that purpose, the LMP battery provides a number of advantages: it can store five times more energy than a traditional battery weight for weight and can be recharged in a matter of hours. Its “solid-state” technology makes it safer too and its lifespan should outlast that of the car that it powers.
The creators also suggest that because it is powered by electricity, and therefore produces less C02 pollution, the LMP battery is a more ethical choice (and more readily available than the elusive lithium or hydrogen-powered alternatives). And, as renewable energy sources, like solar and wind become more incorporated into major grid structures, the carbon footprint usually associated with the production of electricity it needs will be reduced as well.
Although the battery is impressive, one must look up (and in) for the features that make this car truly green-ique.
The designers left no detail of the Bluecar un-sustainable, including leather-like seat covers produced from vegetable sources and actual solar panels on the hood and roof. These panels contribute towards powering the car’s electrical equipment as well as its heating and air-conditioning system.
Critics of the car point out that while the solar panels are a cool addition to the car, they also mean it will be more expensive, and the last thing we need is to put truly sustainable transportation technology out of the reach of more people. It is also mentioned that solar panels on a car will be subject to many limitations, parking in garages, cloudy weather, etc. that are less applicable for traditional fixed panels.