Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green

While there's been lots of good news around green machines in the past couple of years, there are occasionally negatives and a few roadblocks. For the two items I read about today, these concerns have always been present...

J.D. Power found that people are interested in driving greener vehicles, but they don't want to pay extra to do so. These new technologies are more expensive to implement and will be until they reach mass market and economies of scale. Until then, they'll be more expensive than traditional engine counterparts. Other problems for widespread adoption of these green machines in the Power study: "stable oil prices" and the impact on gas prices, and worries about how to operate them.

TerraChoice, an environmental marketing company and part of Underwriters Laboratories’ global network, released a study claiming more than 95% of consumer products claiming to be “green” commit at least one greenwashing offense. The worst offenders are toys and baby care products, with 100% and 99.2%, respectively, guilty of some form of greenwashing.

So as automakers have found out for several years, for those interested in buying hybrids, plug ins, or alternative fuel vehicles, there will always be tire kicking concern over lifecycle costs that can tip the balance. And there's also a bit of skepticism about marketing claiming environmental sustainability and stewardship when that statement has not been verified.

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