The Council For Economic Priorities has been conducting research on the automobile industry's environmental record. In view of the soon blossoming hybrid market, it might be of interest to Electrifying Times reader to do some checking up on the other environmental impacts the auto industry has besides emissions. Some of these results are posted on their website at http://www.cepnyc.org These are the highlights and lowlights ...
The study reveals that the two "greenest" car lines - Mitsubishi and Honda - are actually made in the "dirtiest" U.S. production plants.
To read Mitsubishi's reply go to:
The Consumer Research Report, "The Worst and Best Auto & Tire Companies," published in their January/February 99 newsletter, gives Mitsubishi and Honda top marks as the manufacturers of the most fuel-efficient car lines, but ranks them as the overall worst performers in the manufacturing category.
"The only benchmark for environmental friendliness routinely disclosed to consumers when buying an auto is fuel efficiency," said Alice Tepper Marlin, President of CEP. "Our new study reveals some unpleasant surprises when the manufacturing process is also taken into account."
Car models such as Honda's Civic and Mitsubishi's Mirage-long valued by eco-conscious consumers for their fuel-efficiency-are actually not as "green" as consumers assume, when the high levels of pollution produced by their manufacture are considered. Chrysler-which is cited as having the "cleanest" auto production facilities in the U.S.-produces vehicles that are below average in fuel efficiency in their respective classes.
The report compiled emission and release levels of various toxic pollutants from the manufacturing facilities using EPA data. CEP encourages the Big Three manufacturers, Chrysler, GM and Ford, to make greater strides to improve the fuel efficiency of such low-ranking vehicles as Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee, General Motors' Chevy Cavalier and Ford's Taurus.
"Auto manufacturers can no longer merely hide behind a single factor claim that their product is environmentally friendly-environmental concern must inform their production processes and their product." stated Romi Chin Gottfrid, CEP's Environmental Research Associate and an author of the report.
The study also ranked tire manufacturers' production processes for their overall environmental quality. Michelin has the worst production process, in terms of the quantity of its waste emissions, and Bridgestone/Firestone, the best.
The six-page Consumer Research Report researched by Romi Gottfrid and Amy Muska O'Brienis available free by contacting CEP at 1-800-729-4237.Auto Companies