Bag of Spoons
Just off the A1(M)

Thu, 17 Sep 2009

Return of the micro-car

My job requires me to drive around 40 miles into London several times each week. I travel alone in a medium-sized car and the roads are full of other single occupant vehicles. My car, Vauxhall Zafira diesel, is reasonably efficient for its class at 46mpg, but it's still a relatively inefficient way of getting around. A few years back I was doing the journey by motorbike. That did a slightly better 60mpg, but there are cars that could do similar. The bike saved me a bit of time in general, but came with the disadvantages of increased risk and getting cold and wet in winter. I can get the train to work, but it costs more than using the car and takes a lot longer.

We're a two car family, but that's almost essential with us both working whilst living in a large village with limited public transport. If we got rid of one car and I always took the train would not save us much, if any money. Much as I want to be green we have to live within our means. I could try and find a job that required less travel, but it's not the best time to be doing that.

What I'd like is a much more efficient vehicle that still offers the comfort and safety of a car.For a couple of years I've been following the progress of the Loremo car, a lightweight diesel car that promised up to 180mpg. It's still not out and currently scheduled for a 2011 launch. It has some unusual features like lifting the front of the car to get in and having a pair of rear-facing seats in the boot.

This week I saw that Volkswagen were showing off their own mini diesel hybrid. This is even more minimal with only two seats, but that's perfectly adequate as a commuting vehicle. So what's stopping them putting it into production? I'd buy one if the price was reasonable.

That VW reminded me a lot of the old Messerschmitt bubble cars. Perhaps the time has come again for a more human-sized car. Not that they would be any use to this chap.

[21:09] | [/Motoring] | Comments | G
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