Proving yet again that green is becoming ever more glamorous, some high-end auto companies are pledging to make more fuel-efficient cars. Just in time for the Thursday start of the Geneva auto show, executives from the German-owned Volkswagon and Porsche said that their companies will make more environmentally friendly cars by 2010.

Currently, neither company produces a hybrid model, according to a Reuters article:

Automakers in Germany — where drivers are known for their love of powerful cars — do not offer a single full such hybrid, which combine electric motors and batteries with standard combustion engines to cut fuel consumption.

This could be, however, because previous efforts to sell hybrids failed. Volkswagon had a hybrid Audi model in the 1990s, but had trouble selling the cars. "At that time the market was obviously not yet ripe. We only sold a few hundred of them," CEO Martin Winterkorn told Reuters

Volkswagon plans to develop eco-versions of all of its car models — a plan they call Blue Motion. So far, the company has already created green versions of its Passat and Polo. Porsche also plans to hybridize its Cayenne model by 2010.

Although neither proposal will make the companies’ cars as fuel-efficient as the Honda Civic Hybrid, which uses just 1.2 gallons of gasoline for every 62 miles, it does show that the auto industry from Detroit to Germany is starting to make some changes that benefit the environment. Who knows? Maybe someday we’ll even see an eco-friendly Hummer. They could call it the green giant.  

Story by Susan Cosier. This article originally appeared in Plenty in March 2007. This story was added to in July 2009.

Copyright Environ Press 2007.