BMW ActiveE electric carEnlarge Photo
Like a karaoke singer following a top rock band, London has its work cut out in hosting the 2012 Olympic games, following China's impressive 2008 games.
The city won't have as much trouble beating Beijing's pollution levels though, which is why London is claiming its games will be the "greenest ever".
Maybe the team organizing the transport didn't get the memo. As U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail has revealed (via Motor Authority), 4,000 BMWs will shipped in from Germany to whisk VIP dignitaries and officials around the city - and only 200 of those are zero-emission electric vehicles.
The rest of the fleet will be made up of sub-120g/km of CO2 diesels from BMW Europe's wide range of clean diesel vehicles, with a selection of motorcycles and bicycles. While these top the high-efficiency charts in their respective classes, many green car fans will be disappointed that the games aren't putting more emphasis on electric vehicles, in such a large fleet.
The BMWs will also get their own VIP-only lanes, no doubt to the detriment of normal traffic flow in some areas.
There's no word on whether the BMWs will be exempt from London's $12.50-a-day congestion charge for vehicles producing more than 100g/km of CO2. The Olympic village and charging zone don't overlap, though Olympic vehicles are likely to pass through the zone on some journeys.
The 200-strong fleet of electric cars is likely to be made up of BMW ActiveE coupes and MINI E models, the two most prominent BMW electric vehicles currently undergoing testing.
London's games are still likely to be considerably greener than Beijing's pollution-choked streets, but whether gridlocked Londoners will get to appreciate that is a different matter entirely...