Not So Green Motors

Jan 07 2010

Perhaps the fact that it has disappeared so quickly is evidence of the vapidness of Honda’s concept. Reaching out to race fans while simultaneously funding petrol wasting automobile racing must have created some cognitive dissonance even for the auto executives. But this schlock is part of what makes analyzing greenwashing interesting. A lot of people must see this stuff and thing, ‘gee, Honda cares about the environment.’

Meanwhile, despite portraying itself as a green player, Toyota has resisted efforts to increase fuel efficiency

Jeep of the Jungle

This series of advertisements treats endangered animals as fun props in the service of selling vehicles
that contribute to global warming and off-road habitat degradation. Nice job, Jeep!

Not to be outdone, General Motors has brought the distortion of nature to new lows in its own series of ads for the Hummer. These dumb “Wild” Hummer commercial beg the question, Could a company be more out of touch with the environmental impact of its products?

See video

Ford Model T Had Better Gas Mileage

Jan 07 2010

The Model T got better gas mileage than the average Ford vehicle today.
Read more here
But that doesn’t stop Ford’s marketing crew from creating the illusion of progress, as was clear by their sponsorship of Yahoo!’s greenwashing ad-revenue portal.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Jan 07 2010

After California mandated that automakers sell some electric cars, they complied. This documentary is the story of how they produced a popular electric vehicle but refused to sell it, choosing instead to lease it, fight the mandate in the courts, and eventually re-possess, crush, and destroy all the cars.

Today’s concept cars from GM are less interesting than the production cars of 1997 (see below). What’s going on here?

All the auto makers want consumers to believe they are doing their best to solve our dependence on oil, but this documentary demonstrates that the profitability of oil has led companies like GM to ignore common sense and extend the oil addiction.

Ironically, as oil prices have risen, and demand for vehicles powered by alternative energy sources has risen, American automobile companies have been struggling to sell oversized SUV gas guzzlers and their market share has fallen. Ford now brags about its Highlander Hybrid (“bold moves”), but Toyota has a half-dozen similar vehicles and passenger hybrid cars also. So while Ford tries to portray itself as leading the way, they are really lagging behind. Who Killed the Electric Car shows how the American auto industry got to this sad state by fighting the inevitable decline of the internal combustion engine.

Crushed EV-1 electric cars