Greenboasting by the auto makers
Posted: 4/21/2007 - Commentary by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Did you know that Toyota has been selling a hybrid minivan in Japan since 2003, but won't release it in the United States? Toyota has done great work with the Prius, but why on Earth do they refuse to add a power cord and a charge controlled to the vehicle so people can just plug it in?
Why did Ford, GM and most of the American car companies ridicule Toyota over the idea of hybrid cars, and then later jump on the bandwagon with half-hybrid vehicles that don't really qualify as full hybrids in the first place?
The truth is that auto companies are into GREENBOASTING -- the practice of spouting off environmental-sounding nonsense in order to please customers and increase sales.
Honda runs an internet advertising campaign that screams, "ENVIRONMENTOLOGY" and shows the Honda Element surrounded by natural, green looking, pro-environmental themes. So I went to a local Honda dealer and asked them, "What so green about the Honda Element?" The sales person had no idea.
I asked about whether the materials were partly recycled, or free of toxic chemicals, or if the car had drastically reduced emissions... the answers I got were: I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. As far as I can tell, there's nothing "environmental" about the Honda Element other than the fact that it runs on a four cylinder engine. Now maybe I'm totally wrong about this and there IS something environmentally cool about the car, but if the Honda dealers have no idea about this, then how are the customers supposed to learn about it? Perhaps the environmentology aspects are a proprietary corporate secret only known by top Honda execs (and they're not talking)!
I think the car companies have been tied to Big Oil for way too long. The history of the automobile in the U.S. is full of accounts of stifled technology, scrapped plans and "disappeared" individuals who could have revolutionized fuel economy and made personal transportation a whole lot cleaner. The car companies, in my opinion, have been part of the problem for a long, long time. Only now, after movies like An Inconvenient Truth have gone mainstream, did the auto makers suddenly scramble and pre-announce all sorts of "green" cars that don't even exist except as visions in some corporate executive's confused head.
I want a plug-in electric vehicle now! And I'm not buying another car until I can get one. I'm tired of pumping gas, polluting the air through car exhaust, and funding oil wars in the Middle East with my tax dollars.
Join me by boycotting new car purchases until the auto makers get serious about delivering a truly fuel efficient vehicle.
Will Toyota win the electric car race?Word on the street is that Toyota may emerge as the winner here. They're reportedly working on a Li-Ion Prius that *might* get over 75 miles per gallon and that *might* have a plug-in option. But that's all gossip at this point. Toyota won't publicly talk about what's next because they don't want to hurt Prius sales right now.
Currently, I still drive a four-banger Toyota Matrix. It's a fine car that gets fairly good gas mileage for a conventional gasoline engine. But it would be even better if I could buy a set of solar panels, slap 'em on my roof, hook up my DC / AC inverter, and refuel my car using sunlight.
And that possibility, my friends, scares the snot out of the oil companies. If there's anything that cannot be allowed to happen, it's the possibility that consumers might get their fuel for free, right out of the sky. Imagine the loss of profits, the loss of control, and the loss of power over consumers from the point of view of oil companies. Free energy from the sun? Big Oil won't stand for it, and the auto makers have stood right beside them for decades, defending the burning of fossil fuels for personal transportation.
Perhaps things are changing for the better now that public pressure is on the car companies, but for the past few decades, the auto makers have actually held us back. Shame on them.
But let's turn this around and financially reward those car companies that DO manage to produce a quality plug-in electric vehicle. Save up your car-buying dollars, folks. Save 'em up for a day when we can all buy cars that can be recharged from free sunlight. That day is coming, and it's being driven almost entirely by grassroots consumer demand. We'll be covering this here at NewsTarget.com. Stay tuned for more...
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