If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the latest issue of our HybridCenter.org Driving Change Network newsletter. A bunch of fun things in there, including a very interesting case of two gents, namely myself and our Senior Engineer Jim Kliesch trying to rent a hybrid car around the same time. There’s also an interesting examination of the possible revisions to the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate in California—something that could blunt the leading edge of auto technologies if not properly addressed.
Of course, what would a DCN newsletter be without GM vice president Bob Lutz. On March 20, General Motors (GM) vice chairman Bob Lutz admitted at the New York Auto Show that not making a vehicle like the Prius was “a mistake.” Indeed it was, for as a long-time GM car owner, I anxiously awaited a GM hybrid to buy when my family needed a second car. With none available, I bought a Prius instead—my first foreign car.
Yet GM continues to make that same mistake with the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids, using the very hybrid technology that attracts the fuel-conscious consumer primarily to boost power rather than efficiency.
General Motors has recently initiated an online program called GMnext that, according to their website, is “a dialogue-based campaign…to showcase GM's commitment to transportation solutions employing technologies that are relevant to consumer needs.” We asked our activists both to comment on GM’s blog about their plug-in Volt, and send letters directly to GM to “engage in the dialogue.”
You can head to the site and see a number of great comments posted—several of them by DCN members. A few of the comments submitted, however, didn’t get posted for whatever reason, and I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to read them.
Here’s what Richard in Colarado had to say:
General Motors, along with the other major American automobile makers, are already late bringing plug-in hybrids to market.
It is time to pull your heads out of the sand, break out of the old status-quo, and really start to address the issue seriously.
The capacity is there, but where is the will power in upper management?
If upper management is too stodgy to accept change, then get rid of them. We need fresh new thought and sweat equity, to bring about the solutions we need now!
Get to work, there is no time to waste!
And this one from Kristen in New York:
It is time to increase the miles a vehicle can get using fossil fuel and/or change the direction of fueling vehicles with fossil fuel.
Make the wave instead of waiting to ride it.
Here’s one from north of the border, Dianne in Quebec:
Comfortable cars with as little gas consumption as possible are required by the population. With so many baby boomers about to retire, and with a FEW dollars to spend, we need comfortable cars - not uncomfortable vehicles that we have to climb up into and are afraid to drive too far due to their high gas consumption, high insurance costs, etc. i.e. give us back the Buick LeSabre only make it a hybrid, or electric car, but give us comfort and economy!
Last, but not least, here’s an interesting one from Carolyn in Kansas:
As a long time GM employee, I'd like to again be able to buy a GM car - however US car-makers seem determined that I buy foreign (started in '75).
Our latest purchases are Priuses (2). We're delighted with the vehicle and are now only waiting for a van-type roomy vehicle. The concept of making SUV type hybrids is ridiculous.
All these blog comments, plus the 13,000 letters sent directly to GM on this issue should send a clear message to Lutz, Wagoner, and company that there’s a market to be won for fuel-efficient vehicles, but they’ll need more than concept models and muscle hybrids to win that market over.
Posted by: ScottN
P.S. For any of you who sent your comments to GM through our action center and got a bounce-back on your email, I got in touch with the GMNext webmaster, who told me that they had some issues with messages getting caught in their spam filters. Rest assured, we will make sure your messages are indeed delivered to GM.