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Carmakers emitting green

New models may help with lower emission rules proposed for Europe.

Associated Press
Published March 7, 2008


GENEVA - Automakers showed off their leanest, greenest mass-market models Thursday in anticipation of stricter European emissions controls as the Geneva International Motor Show opened its doors to the public.

A host of small cars are celebrating their debut in Geneva, including production versions of Ford Motor Co.'s new, fuel-stingy Fiesta, Toyota Motor Corp.'s three-seater iQ and a concept version of Fiat's 500 Aria. All three boast carbon dioxide emissions of less than 100 grams per kilometer, which will help those manufacturers beat an EU proposal for a fleet average of 130 grams by 2012.

Environment ministers from the 27-nation bloc - the world's biggest consumer market with 490-million people - met in Brussels earlier this week to discuss the plan, which has ruffled feathers among Europe's large car-producing nations such as Germany.

The environmental group Greenpeace says even tighter emissions targets than those in the EU proposal are needed.

About 20 activists protested at the show on Thursday morning, calling for average fleet emissions to be limited to 120 grams per kilometer by 2012, and 80 grams by 2020.

The Geneva show is traditionally regarded as the most level playing field for car makers because Switzerland lacks its own industry.

Almost every major manufacturer in Geneva is showing off hybrid versions that use electricity or hydrogen in addition to conventional fuels. Lighter materials, electricity-generating brakes and even solar panels will be on show by the 260 exhibitors.


[Last modified March 6, 2008, 23:47:02]

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