Reports from the Geneva motor show taking place this week have highlighted the launch of numerous 'green' cars. It seems that most of the major players have been showcasing their take on an electric or a hybrid model, alongside a number of smaller companies offering their own electric/hybrid vehicles.

Developing these cars has been expensive and now that the ‘scrappage’ schemes that a lot of countries introduced to revive car sales are ending (or have already ended), the car industry is hoping for incentives to help persuade consumers to go green. The UK government, for example, has already put forward plans for a subsidy of up to £5000 to help consumers wanting to buy electric/hybrid cars.

Of course electric and hybrid vehicles do not necessarily mean more use of composite materials, but the high strength to weight ratio of composites are a significant advantage in these vehicles. As it is in conventional petrol-fuelled vehicles, which are also under pressure to reduce their emissions. In the March/April issue of Reinforced Plastics (published later this month) one of our features takes a look at some of the ‘lighter’ composite solutions car makers are taking advantage of.

One of the composites experts interviewed in this article believes we are currently "in the midst of a ‘perfect storm’ of market pressures and industry trends that makes composites more attractive for automakers than ever before."

What do you think?