Hybrids Awash in Green-Washing

There is a phenomenon in the corporate PR world called "Green-Washing." This innocent sounding term is in fact a terrible trend in polishing up a corporation's image to give consumers the impression that the corporation is concerned about the environment. Pretty advertisements and completely insignificant changes to the corporation's policies are used to bring in more money rather than actually do something about the health of our planet.

Unfortunately, hybrid technology in automobiles have started receiving the Green-Washing treatment. Two cases in point...

First, Toyota has rolled out its new Hybrid Toyota Hylander SUV. The promotional materials for the car are designed to give buyers piece of mind when they buy this vehicle, because they are buying a "hybrid." What the materials don't tell you is that Toyota expanded the Hylander's width, height, and weight. In the end, these changes + the new hybrid engine result in ZERO additional fuel economy. The Hybrid Toyota Hylander SUV gets the same gas mileage as the previous, non-hybrid model. Read more HERE.

Second, the Lexus LS Hybrid costs $104,000. At that price, this car should get both incredible fuel economy AND great performance. But Lexus decided to focus exclusively on performance by installing a 5.0-liter V8 engine with a high-output, electric drive motor that gets 438 horsepower. This sedan gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. What a waste of hybrid technology and a waste of an opportunity to design a luxury automobile that doesn't waste fuel. Read more HERE.

This is a frustrating trend to see in the automotive industry. They are taking advantage of consumers' positive impression of hybrid vehicles. It almost makes you think that the car companies have a stake in fuel sales and no matter what technology offers, they must still find a way to keep us all addicted to gasoline. I hope buyers don't fall for these tricks.

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