Volkswagen on the Dark Side?

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just picking up on this Greenpeace/Volkswagen Dark Side story. Greenpeace is spoofing the latest Passat ad (the one with the kid in the Darth Vader costume) to attack VW for its opposition to EU 2020 targets for bringing down vehicle CO2 emissions. It’s also pointing out that a handful of economy-optimised Bluemotion models do not a green car manufacturer make (very fair point) and that Volkswagen has actually made the least progress in reducing its overall average CO2 output in recent years (they’ve got the figures). Volkswagen’s also been singled out here as it’s Europe’s largest car-maker.

Check out www.vwdarkside.com for the Greenpeace take – but remember that VW’s arguments against emissions cuts (the costs, they’re making the cars their customers want, etc) aren’t anything not said by the US Big Three (who all shut up pretty quickly* when Obama made cleaning up a condition of their bail-outs), for a start, and the look-at-the-whole-range argument is true of pretty well every other large-scale manufacturer. Take Toyota, for example: great ‘green’ image thanks to the Prius, but far more (if not the bulk) of its sales world-wide are of the gas-guzzling Land Cruiser 4×4 and the Hilux pick-up. No official statement from Volkswagen yet on the matter.

*Funnily enough, later in the day comes news that they’re protesting again. The Obama administration has compromised on the original proposal for a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 62mpg (US) by 2025 and is willing to come down to 56.2mpg; the automakers want 47mpg. More at Edmunds Auto Observer.

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