While Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen work to convince consumers of their green credentials, they refuse to disavow the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is lobbying on their behalf to roll back U.S. clean car standards that the auto industry agreed to just five years ago.
The Trump administration has reopened this agreement in response to the Alliance’s lobbying and is now moving to weaken 2022-2025 vehicle efficiency and fuel economy standards – despite overwhelming public support for the standards and massive economic and environmental benefits. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the standards would produce close to $100 billion in net economic benefits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons, slash oil consumption by 1.2 billion barrels, and save consumers $1,650 over the lifetime of new vehicles.
Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen may point to recent announcements on electric vehicles – Toyota says it will mass-produce EVs by 2020; Volvo has publicized plans to make only electric or hybrid vehicles by 2019; and Volkswagen, rebuilding its reputation after being caught cheating on emissions, has set a goal of selling one million electric vehicles per year by 2025.
But consumers should not be fooled. Automakers are planning to sell more electric vehicles because they are being pushed by clean car standards in the United States and around the world. They are willing to renege on past commitments – and continue to sell dirty vehicles – if we let them.
If Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen are as green as they say and if their commitments to EVs are genuine, they should terminate their membership in the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and repudiate the Trump administration’s actions to weaken clean car standards. Instead, they are trying to have it both ways by letting the Alliance lead the campaign against clean car standards while taking credit for expanding production of clean vehicles that are spurred by those very same standards. It’s time to expose this hypocrisy and hold these automakers accountable.
Ask Toyota, Volvo and WV to pull out of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers’ campaign to weaken fuel-efficiency standards. Call or tweet them today.
Toyota: (800) 331-4331
Volvo: (800) 550-5658
Volkswagen: (800) 822-8987