After wearing out the shoe leather around the vast halls of the Frankfurt motor show for a day and a half, I’ve been quite impressed by the way the car industry is embracing hybridisation and electric vehicles.
Manufacturers have been keen to show us their latest developments. I’ve had a ride in the Range Rover Hybrid around the streets of Frankfurt, Steve Cropley has been chauffeured about in a BMW i3 and Jim Holder has been amazed by Volkswagen’s e-Up. The Tesla Model S, the car that’s been the subject of a full road test in this week’s Autocar magazine, has also been receiving plenty of attention on its show stand.
With several high-profile vehicles reaching production status, it feels as though the hybrid and alternatively powered vehicle market is really gathering momentum, which is a pleasing state of affairs.
Then, all of a sudden, you spy something that brings you back to reality with a sudden bump. Social media forum Twitter was awash with references to a story the Daily Mail has run on the new Porsche 918 Spyder, which has proved to be one of the highlights of the Frankfurt motor show.
I’m not going to link to it here, but the story is still featured on the paper’s home page. I went to take a look. The story has most likely been corrected, but originally it said the Spyder is ‘more fuel efficient than a Honda Prius” and “can do more than two miles to the gallon”.
To me, the inaccuracies in the story are a reality check. They suggest that although those inside the car industry might have embraced hybrids, there is still a long way to go before the ‘real world’ catches up in terms of understanding and education about alternatively powered cars. And perhaps we need new, more eloquent ways of communicating the merits.
Two miles per gallon indeed…