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Old 31st March 2010, 01:20   #1
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Default An Eco-Friendly Hatch

As I plan to upgrade my wheezing Matiz (God bless her weary soul), I have spent an inordinately long time on TBHP comparing options. I do not have a major budget constraint, can spend upto Rs 6 lacs for a new set of wheels, but not ashamed of settling for functionality at lower price points.

After all analysis, the heart wants me to go for a Bossa nova white Grande Punto, but I find the Chevy Spark LPG as the best vfm buy!

Following head factors are important in descending order:
  • Eco friendly: At one time, I was considering the Reva as my only car at one point, and it lost out only for highway considerations. As I plan to retain this hatch for at least 5 years, I think it is very important that I leave as little footprint on Mother earth.
  • Good economy and maneuverability in daily city runabouts.
  • Reasonable comfort for weekend long drives.
  • Modernity: I would prefer to pay a premium for new technology over old. A Star and Polo rank higher than others on the list in this aspect.
  • TCO: Reasonable TCO, which is why I have preferred the dual fuel options over a diesel.

I have the following questions:
  • Is there an online resource for comparing ARAI efficiency and CO2 emissions for all cars in the market today? A-Star comes on top of the heap again, but lacks a dual fuel option at present.
  • What are the current models with dual fuel option installed by manufacturer? I know the Wagon R, Santro, Spark, and Accent offer LPG options. Notice the pattern? All are dated models, which probably wouldn't sell a piece without the LPG option.

Therefore Spark for now, but dear fellow T-BHPians I am very open to your suggestions and comments.
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Old 31st March 2010, 03:46   #2
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If eco-friendliness is your primary criteria, go for a modern Diesel hatch like the Punto MJD. Your carbon footprint would work out lesser than a petrol hatch if well maintained - more so because of the higher KM traveled per litre of fuel, and the comparative difference in refining petrol vs diesel.

For the sake of comparison, am taking the Punto Diesel and Petrol from the UK site. Note that the petrol engines are not similar to what is offered in India - there is neither the 1.2 FIRE or the 1.4 16v non-multiair in the UK version, but this comparo should give you an idea:
An Eco-Friendly Hatch-untitled.png

An interesting read: Vehicle Emissions | Air Pollution | City Diesel | LPG | CNG - this also covers CNG / LPG.
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Old 31st March 2010, 07:19   #3
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Great to know you care about the envirnoment and would not mind spending a tad more for saving it.
Both petrol and diesel are bad - thats the basic truth. Now, we are only looking at the lesser of the evils.
Going by all the points, i still think a Spark would be a good idea. The only thing is, you have already owned a Matiz - so you might want to change. The other alternative is the AStar.
Astar has the new KSeries engine and i believe it to be pretty good on the fuel efficiency side. Although it does not have the dual-fuel option, i guess the good fuel efficiency would take care of it.
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Old 31st March 2010, 15:16   #4
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I guess CNG is the cleanest burning fuel today, hence you could consider a car that's (officially) dealer-fitted with a CNG kit like the Indica, or buy any of your choice and fit a kit at the dealer / after-market level. Maruti has just announced that they'll be offering CNG kits on their hatchbacks from next year.

Also, from the eco-friendly POV, you might want to consider the next gen Reva. Substantially more car than the current Reva. Do search the forum for pictures.
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Old 31st March 2010, 16:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I guess CNG is the cleanest burning fuel today, hence you could consider a car that's (officially) dealer-fitted with a CNG kit like the Indica, or buy any of your choice and fit a kit at the dealer / after-market level. Maruti has just announced that they'll be offering CNG kits on their hatchbacks from next year.

Also, from the eco-friendly POV, you might want to consider the next gen Reva. Substantially more car than the current Reva. Do search the forum for pictures.
Here is something from the link I had quoted in my previous post in this thread:

Quote:
On a cycle representing congested urban traffic, both LPG and CNG outperform petrol powered vehicles on emissions of carbon monoxide (CO). Indeed, emissions of CO from CNG powered vehicles are of the same order as those emitted by diesel vehicles. However, emissions of total hydrocarbons (THC) from CNG vehicles are relatively high because of methane, the major component of natural gas. Although methane is a small contributor to the formation of low level ozone it is a major factor in global warming. Emissions of NOx and particulates from both LPG and CNG powered vehicles are significantly lower than those from diesel vehicles. Moreover, emissions of NOx from CNG vehicles are half those from equivalent petrol engined vehicles. A recent study using a small delivery van fitted with a three way catalyst and capable of switching between CNG and petrol, showed that on a modified EU emission test cycle, emissions of CO, non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and NOx were 76%, 88% and 83% respectively lower with CNG than with petrol. Using data from other studies CNG also compares favourably with emissions from equivalent sized diesel-engined vehicles.
Diesels, ahoy!!
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Old 31st March 2010, 16:29   #6
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Tempted with a powerful sedan under 6 lakhs ex showroom Delhi?

Your default choice-accent with a company fitted CNG, full warrenty and neat installation, ex showroom price Rs. 4,99,000+52,000 for the kit.
I have driven one, and it is adequately powerful and efficient despite having based on an alpha engine.

if you want a good modern hatch, then the I10 1.1 CNG (era/magna) can be considered.
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Old 31st March 2010, 17:08   #7
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Since CNG is not available in Bangalore, I would suggest the following cars,

1. Santro eco - LPG variant with some decent features. Well proven but not fun to drive on LPG mode.
2. Spark LPG - VFM car, but I think you will get bored since you are a Matiz owner.
3. Punto Diesel. - Excellent features with a Euro4 heart. Award winning diesel engine.
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Old 31st March 2010, 21:28   #8
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Thanks all. I love the Punto comparison....can say it makes the car more tempting. Only would like to point out that diesel powerplants cannot be compared on CO2 emmissions alone, since diesels emit higher levels of sulfurs and particulates as well. If we are on diesels, I would like to see some numbers for the Figo as well.

My irrational list with all your inputs:
A Star (not dual fuel, but could fit an after market after couple of years?)
Spark (Which as some of you have pointed out is a boring upgrade from the Matiz)
Et la Grande Punto (stretches budget a bit. Those damn Italians....do they have to make such objects of desire, and add a frugal engine too?)
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Old 31st March 2010, 22:51   #9
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Friends, do we have any news of when i10 Electric Blue Drive will be launched in India? That may be an option to consider.
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Old 31st March 2010, 23:11   #10
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Yes, I Think i10 Electric will be a great hit. but i am not sure will the Li-ion batteries of i10 will last for minimum 2 years or not. Also Night Driving of Electric car may lower your range per charge also the ICE, Fog Lights, AC may lower the range in city also. If the i10 is equipped with Regeneration Braking then the City use of car may give you good Range but if its not then the range may be lowered due to heavy traffic in City mainly in MUMBAI.
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph03n!x View Post
Here is something from the link I had quoted in my previous post in this thread:

Diesels, ahoy!!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simhi View Post
Friends, do we have any news of when i10 Electric Blue Drive will be launched in India? That may be an option to consider.
Soon, real soon. Though I expect Chevy to launch its Electric Spark first (rumoured launch in the 3rd quarter of 2010). Click here for pictures + details (Chevrolet at the Auto Expo 2010).

@ U Chill : How about using an electric Spark / i10 within the city, and a Volvo for out of town . That's got to be eco-friendly.
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:54   #12
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Well,

You want a car with good highway dynamics that has a smallish carbon footprint. The first thing to keep in mind, is that the biggest impact your car will have on the environment is the carbon footprint of manufacturing it. This will be far far greater than anything you will do with a five year ownership period.
My advise would be to get a low emission, fuel efficient diesel/petrol car with good handling, road grip and airbags, keep it well maintained so it doesn't cough smoke, and keep up with the emissions tests. That is the best thing you can do for the environment, short of buying an electric car, and that opens a whole new barrel of worms when it comes to saving the environment.

P.S I don't mean to come across as some one who doesn't care about the environment, in fact I care very greatly and do my best to ensure that my lifestyle does not denigrate it much.

P.P.S If we all cut down our bottled water/beverage consumption by 10 percent, half our eco battle would be won :-) And I am not talking about the empty bottles, they in-fact are only one part of one side of the equation.
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Old 7th April 2010, 16:06   #13
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Ah well, GTO I just got back from a 5 day vacation in sweltering Goa. Chosen mode of transport? You guessed it!- Volvo

I am all for electric, but don't see myself buying one before 2016. At this point, the technology, range and battery replacement costs are still prohibitive for single car owners.

I still see the A-Star as top of the heap. Again all the datapoints I have are from UK websites- possibly the lowest carbon footprint in current lot of small cars, recyclable parts, high efficiency. Drawbacks- the famous rear seat space (or lack of it) and slightly higher price after Figo and Beat joined the game. It is still rated better in dynamics by Autocar than the Beat, and I would give some additional points for refinement, and *** since it comes from the Suzuki stable.
Suzuki Alto car reviews & latest news from the experts at Autocar

Since I am not in a tearing hurry to buy, I will take my time out to test drive all options in the coming weeks.

To conclude- I do wish we as consumers could demand more transparency and data points from manufacturers.
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Old 12th April 2010, 12:46   #14
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Here is a helpful comparison website that I stumbled upon, UK and US green car data: What Green Car CO2 Emissions, Ratings & Reviews at WhatGreenCar.com

& their take on the petrol vs diesel debate: Petrol & Diesel Cars Guide Ratings & Reviews at WhatGreenCar.com
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Old 12th April 2010, 21:59   #15
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I expect the e-Spark to hit the market much before the blue-i10. Simply because Chevy needs to keep offering something new in "dated" model to keep their sales running. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for that one, will pick it up if competitive.

I really commend you on caring enough for the environment. Like imp! has mentioned, the maintenance of a diesel & petrol car also goes a long way in reducing your carbon footprint. Its not just that, but other practices like the amount of water you may use to wash your car that makes a difference too (Huge issue in Bombay)
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