Land Rover Discovery 3 and the Environment

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					                 Land Rover Discovery 3 and the Environment

Global warming is a problem – one thing most scientists and critics do agree on.
What causes it, however, is where the disputes arise. Hopefully, this fact sheet will
enlighten you to some truths and facts regarding your Land Rover and its footprint
on the environment. The recent media bombardment of anti-4x4 propaganda has
urged me to put together this summary.

   •   Firstly and predominantly, an issue that needs addressed is the “huge carbon
       dioxides emitted by 4x4s”. Mankind is responsible for only 3.5% of total
       global carbon cycle CO2 emissions, and cars are responsible for only one-
       seventh of that 3.5%. This amounts to just 0.5% of total emissions. If every
       car disappeared from the surface of the Earth overnight, there would be no
       measurable drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and absolutely no
       impact whatsoever on climate change.
       Given the average figure for 4x4s sold annually, 4x4s are responsible for
       just 0.28% of carbon dioxide emissions.

   •   Fuel economy is the second issue I think is vital to address. The average fuel
       economy for the Discovery 3 TDV6 is 30mpg. According to real-life figures
       from owners on the Discovery 3 online forum (, driven
       carefully will return between 30-35mpg whilst driving vigorously will likely
       return between (approximately) 20-30 mpg. Given the cars weight (2718kg)
       and breadth of capabilities – this is in fact very efficient.
   •   Whilst 4x4 are seen to be ‘gas guzzling’ – the average fuel economy of the
       Land Rover brand is 30 mpg – considerably higher than many sports cars,
       executive and luxury cars, people-carriers and large estate cars – all of
       which are equal in number.
          o To back up this point, here are some examples (I have chosen equally
             priced/specced alternative vehicles):

                !   Alfa Romeo 159 2.2 –            29.7   mpg
                !   Audi A6 2.4 V6 –                29.1   mpg
                !   BMW 540i –                      26.9   mpg
                !   BMW 330i Touring –              32.5   mpg
                !   Cadillac CTS 2.8 –              24.1   mpg
                !   Chrysler 300C 3.5 V6 –          25.7   mpg
                !   Citroen C5 Estate VTR –         33.6   mpg
                !   Ford Mondeo 2.5i V6 –           27.7   mpg
                !   Ford Galaxy 2.0 –               34.5   mpg
                !   Honda Accord Tourer 2.4 –       29.1   mpg
                !   Jaguar S-type 3.0 V6 –          26.2   mpg
                !   Lexus GS300 –                   28.8   mpg
          !   Mercedes-Benz E280 CDi –        28.2   mpg
          !   Mercedes-Benz SLK55 –           23.5   mpg
          !   Mini Cooper S Convertible –     32.5   mpg
          !   Mitsubishi Evo –                20.5   mpg
          !   Peugeot 407 3.0 –               28.8   mpg
          !   Porsche Boxster S –             26.6   mpg
          !   Renault Laguna 2.2 dCi –        36.7   mpg
          !   Renault Espace 2.0 –            29.1   mpg
          !   Saab 9-5 Aero –                 31.7   mpg
          !   Seat Alhambra 2.0 –             29.1   mpg
          !   Skoda Octavia vRS –             36.2   mpg
          !   Subaru Impreza WRX –            27.4   mpg
          !   Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2.8 –    27.2   mpg
          !   VW Passat 4motion –             28.0   mpg
          !   VW Sharan 2.0 –                 29.1   mpg
          !   Volvo V70 2.4 –                 29.7   mpg
          !   Volvo S80 3.2 –                 28.8   mpg

Those marked in green have a lower average fuel consumption than the
Discovery 3. And there are not many. The Disco3 outperforms all but a
handful of these family cars, estate cars, people-carriers and sports ‘minis.

   •   The next point I feel deserves attention is the overall dust-to-dust
       energy usage of vehicles. Here are some quotes from What Car?
          o “"Fuel efficiency is only a small part of the total energy needed
              to design, develop, produce, drive and dispose of a vehicle. In
              fact, some of the less fuel-efficient vehicles actually have
              extremely good "dust to dust" energy consumption. Conversely,
              some hybrids are inferior in total energy demands while
              offering high fuel-efficiency.”

          o "Choosing a car based on fuel economy or vehicle size doesn't
              get to the heart of energy usage."

       The main points portrayed in this investigation revealed the following
       brief points:
          o Dust-to-dust; Land Rover (and other 4x4s) come out on top of
              small cars and less pollutant cars (eg. Toyota Prius).
          o Cars such as the Prius requires more energy in production, more
              £ worth of steel in production (and this unconventional steel is
              harder to recycle at the end of it's life), it also has to be
              shipped over from Japan which uses a lot of energy and natural
         resources (Land Rover's are locally built to us - no shipping
       o Hybrids also show up poorly in overall "greenness" due to the
         disposal and replacement of high-energy-use items such as the
         batteries and electric motors and lighter-weight materials used
         in construction.
       o The following shows the car's Dust-to-dust cost per mile:
             ! Land Rover Freelander - £1.05
             ! Land Rover Range Rover Sport - £1.51
             ! Land Rover Discovery - £1.56
             ! Toyota Prius - £2.03
       o It should also be noted that it is estimated that 70% of all Land
         Rovers built are still on the go today.

•   The next issue I will address is the ‘size’ argument. Many say that
    4x4s are far too big to be driven in cities. The following table should
    help put things into perspective (remember – the anti-4x4 lobby are
    always urging 4x4 drivers to change to people-carriers, and the truth
    is that they are as big if not bigger.)

       o Whilst being taller than other models, the most popular 4x4s
         are in fact narrower and shorter than the average saloon car.
         The best selling 4x4 on the market, the Honda CR-V, is shorter
         and narrower than a Mondeo and a Passat.
       o Also, the Discovery 3 features a seven-seat configuration,
         whilst its equally-pollutant executive cousins are best suited for
         4 or 5.
       o Land Rover research found that 53% of Discovery owners
         regularly carry three of more passengers in the back.

•   Next up – safety. Some have begun to argue the nonsensical notion
    that 4x4s are not as safe as they are made out to be. So, to set the
    facts straight:
       o 4x4s are inherently safer vehicles than ‘normal’ cars and are
          increasingly packed with technology making them even safer.
       o DfT and Government Office statistics reveal that the safest
          group of vehicles on the road in terms of deaths and injuries are
       o The elevated driving position of Land Rovers and other 4x4s
          mean that a much improved view of traffic around is given,
          which is the most crucial accident avoidance measure of all.
       o 4wd cars are safer in poor road conditions, such as ice or rain.
       o 4x4s typically have lower insurance grouping than similarly
          priced saloons indicating a better safety record.
       o A 2006 government report analysed the effect on casualties in
          a two-car impact of travelling in different types of cars. Results
          confirmed that risk of serious injury or death was about half as
          great for 4x4 occupants as for those in smaller cars.
       o The Discovery 3 is kitted with an active anti-rollover system
          designed to make cornering safer.

•   Land Rovers recent investment in the independent environmental
    organisation Climatecare also shows dedication and reduced impact
    Land Rovers have on the environment. The recent carbon offset
    scheme is a £1 billion pound project by Land Rover and is thought
    through by the 3000 engineers in Land Rovers HQ in Gaydon. In its
    pilot period, it is set to offset the equivalent CO2 produced by
    125,000 average homes.
•   The scheme is run independently of Land Rover and all aspects of the
    scheme's administration and implementation is overseen by a
    Governance Committee. Every new Land Rover from the 2007 model
    year is included in the scheme. Some details on the group are given
        o The offset scheme is run by Climate Care and a Board of
           Governance oversees it. This is led by Sir Crispin Tickell who is a
           former government adviser and diplomat. Also on board are
           Professor Diana Liverman, director of the Environmental Change
                         Institute at Oxford; Dr Sally Uren, the director of the Business
                         Programme at the sustainable development charity, Forum For
                         The Future and Alan Knight, government adviser and former
                         director of environment policy at B&Q.
                       o The Governance meets every four months to ensure due
                         diligence is exercised throughout the offset process to make
                         certain it is accountable, efficient and transparent.

                •   Finally, I wish to conclude my points with some general statement
                    further proving Land Rovers contribution to caring for the planet and
                    reducing CO2 emissions.

                       o Land Rover sponsors the Born Free Foundation.
                       o Land Rover is greatly involved in the British Army.
                       o Land Rover sponsor Earthwatch, the international environmental
                       o Land Rover is partnered with the Royal Geographical Society.
                       o Land Rover sponsors the China Exploration and Research
                       o Land Rover is partnered with Biosphere Expeditions.
                       o Land Rover supply a quarter of the global aid agency market and
                         the vehicles are utilised by emergency services, police,
                         ambulance and mountain rescue teams across the country and
                       o Ninety-nine point six per cent of Discovery 3 sales in the UK are
                         diesel derivatives with a CO2 level of 249 g/km – that's on a par
                         with many petrol family saloons and hot hatches. And Discovery
                         3 is a full seven seater
                       o Since 1997, Land Rover have reduced their overall emissions
                         from Solihull by 30%.
                       o Land Rover is developing a hybrid powertrain which will figure
                         prominently in Land Rover's future, working along with petrol
                         and diesel engines. They are also planning for the engines to be
                         bio-ethanol and bio-diesel complaint. This information comes
                         directly from an interview with Land Rover's new Design
                         Director, Gerry McGovern.
Bibliography:          o The future of Range Rover, Discovery and other Land Rover
                         models are expected to be tweaked with lightweight aluminium             material to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
Ford Media             o 95% of Land Rover sales are diesels – giving roughly 30%
Land Rover UK
SMMT UK                  increases in fuel economy.
The Sunday Times
What Car?
Various other Google results etc.

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