Fiat 500 and the Environment

Fiat 500 Enviroment

Fiat 500 and the Environment

Fiat is widely considered to be among the ‘greenest’ car manufacturers in the world, and its cars boast some of the most impressive CO2 figures available.

Fiat Group has led the way in responding effectively to the need to limit the impact that transport has on the environment. And to achieve this important goal, Fiat continues to propose concrete solutions that are within everyone’s reach and are on the market today. For example, Fiat is European leader in the production of compact cars – by definition, among the most environment-friendly. And the launch of the new Fiat 500, which introduces Euro 5-ready engines, (petrol and diesel), is two years ahead of the legislative deadline.

Additionally, Fiat’s commitment to environmental concerns has resulted in the decision to introduce Euro 5 engines on the majority of its range by the end of 2009.

Protection of the environment is an essential aspect of the development of all Fiat Group Automobiles models, and this constant commitment has won the company acknowledgement as the best European brand for the reduction in CO2 emissions. That recognition came in 2005, from an independent source (European Federation for Transport and Environment – EFTE), and in 2006 the Group achieved an 18 per cent reduction on 1995. That same year, 55 per cent of all the cars sold by Fiat had CO2 emissions below 140 g/km – an industry voluntary target – while 13 per cent were below 120 g/km.

For 2007, the company again leads the way with regard to low CO2 emissions, and continues to make improvements in terms of average emissions (g/km), according to the latest report from the EFTE. Its figures show that Fiat’s average CO2 output was 144 g/km for 2006, down from 145 g/km – a change of -0.5 per cent. This puts it in second place among all the major manufacturers included in the research.

The carbon dioxide benchmark figures for an entire fleet average, form the basis of a car maker’s environmental, or ‘green’, credentials, and future European Union regulations are likely to be based upon them.

But, regardless of any decisions taken by the EU, Fiat is committed to reaching the lowest average level for CO2 emissions for its cars by 2012. Of course, it helps that a high proportion of Fiat sales are small cars, but the company will continue to strive for improvements through a programme targeting its engines, transmissions and vehicle design.

Stop&Start, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent around town, the Multiair electronic inlet valve control system, and a new modular two-cylinder petrol engine all feature among Fiat’s environmentally-friendly developments.

With a major objective to develop and apply innovative technologies for improving powerplant performance while cutting fuel consumption and engine emissions, the major thrust of Fiat’s research is towards integrating mechanical and hydraulic drive systems with electronic regulation schemes in order to control the combustion process and exhaust gas treatment.

With safety and the environment top of Fiat’s agenda, nowhere is this attention more evident than in the research and real-world application made in several key areas. These include:

  • reducing emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases
  • reducing fuel consumption and dependency
  • developing emissions-curbing systems such as diesel particulate filters
  • extending the range of vehicles that are powered by alternative fuels
  • continuing work on diesel engines equipped with the MultiJet system

Additionally, Fiat has teamed up with software giant Microsoft to help teach motorists to drive their cars more economically and to reduce emissions. Using a system called EcoDrive, owners will be able to download information about their fuel consumption, driving conditions, emissions and how the car has been driven after every journey, and replay it on their personal computers.

The system will encourage drivers to set themselves challenges such as CO2 reduction targets for each journey or over a set period of time. In a business community, several drivers could be encouraged to come together to achieve joint targets to make a bigger, collective impact.

Finally, all the vehicles in the Fiat range are already 95 per cent recoverable, anticipating the homologation deadline imposed by Directive 2005/64/CE, which will become obligatory for newly homologated models in December 2008 and for new registrations from July 2010.

At the same time, to improve the environmental impact of its cars at the end of their life-span, Fiat has reduced the use of PVC and thermo-setting polymers, and has considerably increased the quantity of recyclable materials – thus making a significant contribution to the re-use of materials from scrapped cars.

Published 19 January 2008 Melanie Carter

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