There are, I firmly believe, two things a car cannot be.
One is green, the other is ecological.
A car is a highly complex piece of technology requiring substantial amounts of raw materials that are mined and then transported around the globe. The end product is fabricated in a factory with a massive geographic as well as pollutant footprint.
They are then driven along roads which, however you try and describe them are the antithesis of green or eco.
So why does any manufacturer bother to classify any car as eco or green. I don't care what propels the car, it's a car, it's made of metal and plastic and requires energy to make it move. It takes up space in our world, it has an impact which is rarely beneficial to the environment. It has a cost.
Not only that, classifying something as green or eco opens the door, as we see in the press every day, to a tsunami of picky criticism from the powerful, vocal lobby intent on doing anything they possibly can to maintain the crumbling status quo. How easy is it to take the piss out of people claiming to be eco or green. I'll remind you, very very easy.
How easy is it to belittle and undermine people who are trying to make an effort to reduce the human impact on the globe, albeit in small, peacemeal ways. I'll remind you again, very very easy.
How easy is it to bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is changing and everything will remain as it did in the 1980's. It's a doddle
So how should we describe a car that uses newer technology which may have a slightly less enormous impact on our world, but which is still essentially a non eco, non green machine?
The two terms have become common parlance, they are shorthand and were first introduced in the 1970's (I remember because I was there) by the whole earth movement, the people who realised early that we were shagging the planet a bit, making a right mess and dumping waste and toxic filth anywhere that was convenient.
It's important to remind a 30 year old today who considers it his natural born human right to drive an Audi V8 that if it wasn't for some droopy hippie activists in the 1970's, Audi would still be dumping their toxic industrial sludge into the Rhine. Okay I'm picking on Audi, but they were not alone, every industrial manufacturer was having a field day.
So in whole food co-ops and streets of squats the term eco or green came to be, many years later it was co-opted by big business as marketing spin, slap 'eco' on it and it'll sell to the guilt ridden middle class. It's a nonsense, it's greenwash, it's damaging and lazy.
A car is a car, an electric car is made of the same stuff a petrol or diesel car is made of. What makes it move might be 'renewable' or even 'sustainable,' but never eco, and never green. The sooner we, and manufacturers and marketers in particular, stop painting leaves on the side of a high tech metal box that requires a massive industrial infrastructure to sustain it, the better.
In the long term, I think they'll sell more cars.