Volkswagen, Toyota, and Volvo all recently made big announcements about their plans to manufacture electric vehicles. That’s great news for the climate, but before we declare these automakers climate champions, we should also take a long, hard look at how they’re spending their lobbying money in the US.
All three companies are part of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which right now is working hard to roll back fuel-efficiency standards. In February of this year, the Alliance sent a letter the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking for a withdrawal of emissions rules for the 2022 to 2025 model years.
If these companies are serious about making cleaner cars and trucks, why are they trying to fight the efforts to lower pollution from vehicles at the same time? They’re betting that in the short-term, they can still profit off of gas-guzzlers, even if it’s at the cost of the climate and human health. This strategy is bad for their own customers too, because efficiency standards not only help lower greenhouse gas emissions, they can also save consumers thousands of dollars per vehicle on the cost of fuel.
If VW, Toyota, and Volvo really care about making vehicles that are better for the climate and our health, they would pull out of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers campaign. Then we could truly celebrate them as clean car companies.
Want to take action? Tell these car companies to stop driving backwards on climate. Learn how here.
[i] https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/27/toyota-mazda-denso-to-form-joint-venture-to-develop-electric-vehicles.html, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/business/energy-environment/volvo-hybrid-electric-car.html, https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/11/volkswagen-to-offer-electric-versions-of-all-of-its-vehicles-by-2030/