The world's greenest automaker

The race to be the world's greenest automaker is on. In general, marketing poetry knows no bounds here. If you step on the accelerator, the manufacturers promise enjoyment without regrets. As long as a large battery provides the required energy. This is nonsense. Every car has a CO2 account, regardless of which type of drive you have selected. There is even a new term for the phenomenon of alleged environmental friendliness.

Saab 9-3x Concept

This is called greenwashing.

A global trend and all the big players are there. Regardless of whether it is an American fast food chain or a car manufacturer from Lower Saxony. They all want a green paint job. State subsidies for the purchase of a new electric car are particularly popular. German mobility is going green, the country is the front runner in the EU when it comes to electromobility.

But Germany and its auto industry are on the subsidy drip. Scrapping premium 1.0 and 2.0, support in buying electric cars. In a mature, saturated market, the drug of habit creeps in. The differences to China, where a similar path has been followed for years, are becoming increasingly blurred. Right now, demand is weakening slightly in some Chinese regions. As a preventive measure, the Beijing administration pulled further support measures up its sleeve to stimulate demand this week.

But what do modern cars really do for the environment? Are we role models or are the subsidies just helping industry and are we really wasting scarce resources?

Scrapped and exported.

A disturbing picture emerges if one dares to look beyond national borders. Pushing cars into a healthy market through subsidies is causing problems elsewhere. In some regions of Africa, for example. Where European scrap is scrapped under unbelievable conditions. The raw materials are recycled, which is good in theory. But the price that people and nature pay locally is cruel.

Old cars from Germany that are not that old are also flooding Eastern European markets. The Germans are not considered to be particularly smart locally. You should drive their cars longer, one hears in a post by Bavarian televisionwho wrote an impressive documentary on the subject. With surprisingly critical tones that you hardly expect from the Munich station. And that don't fit into the mainstream of the German media landscape at all. Around 45 minutes it is about reality and how we can use resources more intelligently.

Worth seeing.

Solving some problems would be shockingly easy. Because in the end, there may be the insight that the best car is the one that is not even produced. And that, as a matter of principle, you should consume less and use things longer in order to conserve resources. Driving the old car longer doesn’t impress neighbors or relatives, but it saves money and the environment.

Which brings us back to the key question. Who is the world's greenest automaker?

Probably the one who builds next to no cars. Which brings us back to the home of Saab and Trollhättan. NEVS has been working in the former Saab halls for 9 years. An automaker that has seen almost no new cars on the road since.

In the year 2021 there were 2 so far, like the statistics of Bilsweden shows. Purely electric, of course.

12 thoughts on "The world's greenest automaker"

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    Yesterday, Sunday, visit to the Swedish Days in Untersseen / Switzerland. Big run out for the Saab 9-5 V6 built in 1999, around 340km on Swiss roads, relaxed, fluid driving, no hustle and bustle, should you drive in your X5,6, in your Q anyway and in other tank-like, slit-armed, dark black vehicles. The V6 purrs happily to itself, the SE version seats are a dream, the car in its simple, Swedish design anyway.
    Driven to the gas station shortly before home. 29.7 lt filled on 344km. One calculates. This gives an average of 8,6 liters per 100km and that with a 22 year old car with a 3.0 liter engine and automatic. Can today's car do better? Admittedly, in Switzerland there is no such thing as fast driving, a lot of traffic and rigorous speed controls. You slide there and enjoy this wonderful, sky-blue feeling of driving the perfect car for me, it's a Saab!
    The occasion was great, by the way. I think there will be another report on the blog for sure.

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      "Can today's car do better?"

      That's crazy. Politics and the media mostly say yes. And probably the majority of citizens too.
      You are guaranteed to know someone who would answer this question with a clear yes and rub under your nose that he would have used an average of 7 liters with his SUV on this route and that this SUV already meets Euro 0815 or even Euro 4711.

      If the SUV is a diesel, someone likes to forget that the calorific value of diesel is higher and that more CO2 is emitted per liter, that its 7 liters also correspond to 8 liters of gasoline. Above all, this someone, the media and politics like to forget the overall balance sheet ...

      5% CO2 savings in the company are obviously already the big hit. That today's new car with its 2 tons and more, with its backpack full of resources and CO2, will never hold a candle to your 9-5,
      exceeds understanding and overwhelms the intellect ...

      Unfortunately (almost) nobody believes you that. There are also hardly any overall balances. And there are hardly any statistics on it.

      Conversely, there is at least a thousand and one calculation of how much fuel, electricity, CO2, methane or nitrogen oxides we would save if we had all new cars, all old buildings were packed 30 cm thick in Styrofoam and only owned dishwashers, the latest generation of washing machines and no more milk from farting and burping ruminants in espresso.

      What all these statistics have in common is that hardly any of them are based on an overall balance sheet. The supposed savings - of whatever - always flow reliably 100%. Conversely, one looks just as reliably in vain for a calculation of where the sweet spot is.

      It's always just black and white. The sooner you buy a new car, a new refrigerator, a new washing machine, a new heater, the sooner you wrap your house in Styrofoam and switch to soy milk, the better ...

      That can't be right. There has to be a sweet spot for everything. A certain useful life to which a product that has already been produced is entitled. If only because we cannot stack backpacks as high as we want, but have to remove them first and foremost ...

      It can't be, and it's also whisked nonsense, when there is supposedly no such sweet spot anymore, when the latest product (be it a refrigerator, a washing machine or a car) has to be bought as soon and as early as possible ...

      It would be tantamount to simply speeding up production and consumption to save our earth.

      In fact, and unfortunately, we are currently having such a race ...

      It has a positive impact on national statistics. It regularly leads to national success reports. X or Y has reduced the electricity demand of private households. X or Y has reduced the emissions of CO2 or nitrogen oxides in private transport by 1,9%. And so on.

      Without an overall balance, all of this is just whisked nonsense.

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      Hello aero50
      Thank you for visiting Unterseen. We had a brief chat on Sunday at the entrance to the exhibition. And yes ... for today a report about Heja Sverige is announced on the blog.
      Keep Saabing

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    Greenwashing ...

    is a beautiful, because apt term.
    It seems to me that the whole nation is on this trip, like it is greenwashing world champion. Once again the Germans are doing something particularly thorough.

    We have the latest refrigerators, the latest diesel vehicles, and so on. We are export world champions not only industrially, but also when it comes to used goods. In other words, we are world champions in throwing away.

    It is becoming increasingly difficult for our own 2nd hand economy. Cars, buses, trucks and airplanes are being exported more and more recently because they put a strain on the German conscience and, above all, on environmental statistics.

    If “think global, act local” is interpreted in such a way that problems can simply be exported (for example a diesel with Euro 5) and then everything is okay locally and thus serves the globe, then the meaningful saying has been perverted to the maximum.

    But it was successful greenwashing of the national conscience!

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    ... I think of an article that was recently read here:
    Quote: Like this 96 V4 from 1972.
    Its owner is said to have lived an interesting life. Obviously it was also fulfilled. The lady lived in the very south of the country, ...
    I think this lady lived frugally, sustainable one would say today. The refrigerator was filled appropriately, mobility was possible. Calm. ONLY 1 SAAB on the farm ;-).
    I think the lady lived her (possibly) "claim".
    Whether the lady would have participated in a Swedish scrapping bonus remains open ...
    However, for decades she was satisfied with her SAAB purchase. Wonderful.
    An example.
    From my (customer) point of view, the e-way in automobiles is a wrong path.
    From a retailer's perspective, I could see it “differently” ... from a global perspective, a lot of waste disposal.

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    One can only agree with that. Today I thought about what I would buy if I, let's say, won the lottery. Two or three Saabs and then maybe, if there is enough space, a small electric car.

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    Tom, what is the great design of the little Saab above Greenwashing? It was a prototype that was never built, but it would still be totally enthusiastic today!

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      This is the 93-X (or 9-3 X) Concept from Michael Maurer. The rear lights came like this on the 9-3 II SC, the rims in the Aero version. Unfortunately, the split glass roof did not make it into series production.

      Maurer was only briefly at Saab. After he left, he said he had never felt particularly comfortable there. And management is not paying the design the attention it deserves. There was something to it. Today he does a brilliant job at Porsche. I dare to doubt whether they recognized Maurer's great talent at Saab.

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        Thank you very much for the interesting feedback, Tom, what a shame, because that was a very inspiring design that you immediately want to buy and that would still be very advantageous on our streets today ... LG Ulrich.

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    The contribution in the BR is already thought-provoking. If we contaminate whole areas of Africa with our garbage, despite all green laws, then I can think of nothing more.

    One more reason to keep my / our saws and to maintain them.

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    ... oh, the neighbors are often impressed with how fashionable an old SAAB looks. If you ask new car buyers what the new car can do better than the old one, there is often not much, ... automatic tailgate or better navigation system. Well, at the moment the e-cars are not really an alternative, but if they are suitable for the day, our SAABe look old.

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      Yeah sure, time is relentless. Saab drifts into the world of youngtimers and classics and at some point becomes a hobby. The old cars then hardly play a role in everyday life.

      E-cars are acceptable if the charging infrastructure is right. Easy loading, one card instead of half a dozen, transparent prices and many loading options. Only then does it work.

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