GM Flex Fuel Greenwash

One of my favorite examples of green washing is General Motors use of Flex Fuel emblems on some of their cars. I don’t mean to pick on GM in particular but to me this seems to be the most obvious example. Right now without an extensive ethanol fuel network these cars get no better gas mileage than any other car on the road. There is also a concern over Bio-fuels and our food supply. Yet GM, and their fleet customers, get to drive around giving the impression that their cars are better for the environment than traditional gasoline powered vehicles.
The program itself is based on the use of E85 ethanol, a fuel made primarily from corn, while allowing customers to use gasoline. According to GM, the E85 ethanol blend uses a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gas. The flex fuel promotion uses a lot of green colors and gives the impression of a real alternative to gasoline. GM promotes E85 Ethanol, and its environmental benefits, in magazines and promotional events. This allows GM to hold up the 7 million Flex Fuel vehicles sold as an important environmental achievement, despite the fact that most people cannot buy E85 Ethanol.

Russel Arbuckle

GM Flex fuel website:

GM promotion covered in Truck Trend magazine

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