It seems to me the objections to the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid's being called "green" fall into three categories:
Symbolic: The Tahoe Hybrid is not merely a Prius that can tow a boat. It is a 5,716-pound supertanker of a vehicle that is still twice the mass necessary to do the job it's typically assigned to do, that is, move a person or persons in and out of the suburbs. The Green Car Journal award seems to enable the continuing American fixation on super-sized vehicles.
Practical: The charge is "greenwashing," which is to say, the Tahoe Hybrid program will be a painfully small-volume effort that will net more positive media than real economy.
Strategic: This is the strongest objection. In a time of surpassing urgency -- whether your pet issue is global warming, oil security or economic disruption -- we are accepting, even rewarding relatively modest and incremental changes in efficiency that require no sacrifice, no change in consumer behavior at all. This isn't going to get it done, people. The notion that American drivers can sally on as before, driving the miles and tonnage they do, and only the technology under the hood has to change, is complete bollocks. We will incrementalize ourselves to the crack of doom.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Green Car of the Year?
How does a gigantic SUV become "Green Car of the Year"? I am not the only one wondering that. Read Dan Neil's Doing well, not good.