Environment

London 2012 – Killing the planet

Earlier today I joked on Twitter at the news that BMW were the chosen vehicle provider for the 2012 Olympics in London…

So expect the athletes to be cutting each other up, not indicating and running up close behind other athletes with music playing too loud!

Tonight, as the details of the deal emerge, I am appalled at the decision and the potential effects on our already fragile environment!

In a deal that is rumoured to be worth around 45 million pound, sterling, the mini has been chosen as the preferred vehicle to transport the competitors around the complex (no doubt the VIP´s will be in something bigger!).

I am all FOR small, compact vehicles, I drive an eco-friendly Fiat Panda personally, but vehicles have to adapt to the needs of the job they are going to undertake.

The headlines read things like “BMW is to supply 4000 low-carbon vehicles to the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games after it was named the games’ automotive partner this morning”.

But an extra 4000 vehicles on the roads of London? Low carbon or not, that is a lot of emissions for an already choking city!

Are you seriously trying to convince us that for 45 million quid, that is the best deal the Olympic team could get?

Let us start with legs – Walk! Travelators (like airports) – Coaches to move people on mass – Mini buses – LRT Trams – Hibrid buses! They all exist!

Let us look at some maths and budgets! 4000 cars could carry a maximum of 4 passengers (but more likely 1 or 2 at a time, however I will give them the benefit of doubt!)

The BMW / MINI option –

4,000 vehicles x 4 passengers = 16,000 passenger capacity.

The FIRST Electric deal I looked at –

http://shop.atvandwatersports.com/product.sc?productId=30&categoryId=15

18,000 dollars for a 14 seater, that 11 thousand sterling, so it gives us OVER 400 vehicles.

4,000 vehicles x 14 passengers = 56,000 passenger capacity.

That is 3 and a half times the capacity, so even if TWO thirds of the fleet were unusable as they were charging, the same number of passengers could be transported. Actually, slightly more!

This is just a shocking and appalling choice, driven by who knows what! We do know that BMW have suffered shocking sales recently, but I am sure that has nothing to do with it!

One question yet to be answered is what happens to these vehicles AFTER the event? Scrapped? Sold as pre-owned to a market that is not particularly flushed? Who knows.

My electric buses could be put in use in tourist sites, the city centre, or even shipped to countries who have no transport links of their own yet, perhaps where a person has to walk for hours just to get water to live! Ok, they need electricity, but it might be easier to achieve.

London, especially the Olympic committee, you SUCK this time! Why do you continue to bow to corporate manipulation before putting the obvious needs of the planet, the people and the whole ethos of what the games is about first?