Hybrid hoax

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 7:44 PM

For me the most blatant example is greenwasing is a Hybrid vehicle. It's not the Toyota or Honda vehicles, which may not live up to hype but it's the transformation of the worst polluting vehicles into "hybrid" models. If you look at the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid 2WD the first thing you will notice is the giant "HYBRID" written across the bottom of the doors. General Motors uses this in an obvious attempt to let the customer know that they will not face the scorn of other SUV owners because their car is “green”. It must be, it says so right on the door.

Now of course no one can argue with the MPG numbers right? It's a hybrid after all it must get amazing mileage. Not really, when compared to the standard 2WD model it only averages 20 MPG or 5 MPG better than the non-hybrid model. What do you pay for this huge HYBRID graphic and 5 MPG fuel economy? According to Edmunds.com the 2009 model is going for $71,915, that's $16,015 more than the non-hybrid model. According to a side-by-side comparison at the USDOE fueleconomy.gov website, that's only an annual savings (based on 15000 miles) of $453 per year. Now for salesmen this gives them the ultimate trump card, why would anyone pay over $16,000 for a savings of 453 per year? What this does for General motors is it allows them to claim that they make "environmental" vehicles that they never have to sell. They use this same treatment for the hybrid models of the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid.

Ok, the good news is that if you need a SUV hybrid there are better models. The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid has a combined MPG rating of 32 MPG. That is an annual fuel cost of $850 per year and has an MSRP under $30,000. According to fueleconomy.gov that's more than seven (42 gallon) barrels of oil per year better than the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.


http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/sbs.htm

http://www.edmunds.com/ford/escapehybrid/2009/review.html

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