We knew Honda was capable of a lot, but we'd have never guessed that they'd start producing livestock. The bodacious bovine pictured above (no, the one on the left...sheesh) is a UK-market Civic Hybrid named Clover. It'll be on display at this weekend's Fruitstock festival in London, an event staged by beverage maker innocent to raise money for WellChild, a British charity.
Clover and another Civic Hybrid will be on hand to teach attendees about hybrid cars. According to Honda research, 75% of people don't know how they work, and 50% aren't familiar with them at all, hence the need to set up a hybrid educational display. After Fruitstock, innocent will take custody of Clover for one year, during which the company will use her to promote cleaner cars.
In addition to this weekend's hybrid awareness campaign, Honda UK also announced that it's introducing a program to offset carbon emissions produced by Civic Hybrid buyers who are waiting for their new cars to be delivered. To accomplish this, Honda is working through The CarbonNeutral Company and investing in wind power and forestry projects.
(Additional photos, press releases after the jump)
[Source: Honda UK]
Cow's that? Honda moooove with the Hybrid heifer
Honda's Civic Hybrid has been churned into a cow for an appearance at Fruitstock, the innocent festival, this weekend. Hoofed have thought it?
Honda is attending the London event to inform and educate festival-goers on cleaner driving.
"We've created a Hybrid with grass before," explains John Kingston, Environment Manager for Honda (UK), "and the next logical step was a cow car. When I first herd the idea in the office, I thought, 'what a load of bull', and told the person who suggested it to 'pull the udder one'. But on reflection, it was probably the best moos I'd heard all day, besides – no-one came up with a heifer idea."
The Civic Hybrid, nicknamed Clover, will be joined by another car on the Honda stand that explains how Hybrid technology works in basic terms. Research conducted by Honda earlier this year, suggested three out of four people don't know how a Hybrid car works, while one in two had never even heard of the term.
"We've got no beef with consumers who don't understand hybrids," continues Kingston. "We're here to help and to chew the cud on all things green. Better that than hide behind confusing technical descriptions. And we make no apologies for milking the idea – if it works I'll certainly be giving the person who came up with it a pat on the back. I just wish I'd had a steak in the plan from the start!"
After Fruitstock, Honda's 'Cow-look' car will be loaned to innocent drinks (the organisers of the festival) for one year following its appearance at the festival to help spread the word about cleaner cars.
Clover will graze on the 'Meet innocent' Stand at Fruitstock, while the 'Hybrid explained' car is on the Honda stand.
Fruitstock is a free festival for all the family – people can listen to summery music, buy delicious food at the farmers' market, enjoy a free yoga lesson or massage; and there's plenty for the children to do in innocent's dedicated kids' area.
Fruitstock is open Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 August, from 12pm to 9pm, in Regents' Park, London.
Honda's 'While-U-Wait' emissions offset promise
Honda has pledged to offset the CO2 emissions of Civic Hybrid customers until they take delivery of their new car.
The offer follows extraordinary demand for the Civic Hybrid since its launch in the UK in April. Those ordering the cleaner, fuel-efficient Honda will have the carbon emissions from their current car offset with the help of The CarbonNeutral Company until they take delivery of the Hybrid car.
The CO2 will be offset through CarbonNeutral investment in a forestry project in Snowdonia National Park where the planting of native woodland absorbs CO2, and a Wind Power Generation project that creates power without the need to burn fossil fuels.
John Kingston, Environment Manager at Honda (UK), says: "Is there a better While-U-Wait service in the industry? Not only will Civic Hybrid customers be cleaner drivers when they get their order, but we'll help green-up their current car before then."
As well as being popular in the UK, global demand for the Civic Hybrid has been huge, with 5,229 sold across Europe and a staggering 112,000 cars sold worldwide to date.
Honda's CarbonNeutral offer started at the beginning of July. The Civic Hybrid has a combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg, emits 109g/km of CO2 and is exempt from the London Congestion Charge. The ES model costs £16,265 OTR.