Saturday, May 28, 2011



Greenwashing (a portmanteau of "green" and "whitewash") is the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly. The term green sheen has similarly been used to describe organizations that attempt to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.
I came across this Escalade Hybrid at a local Publix (in handicap parking no less) and nearly dropped my groceries in surprise. The non-hybrid version of the Escalade, in real world driving, gets between 9mpg city driving to 17mpg on the highway (with a strong tailwind downhill). The hybrid version, if you believe the PR, gets between 20mpg city and 23mpg highway. The cost of the Escalade Hybrid? A mere $74,000 for the base model.

I drive a "real" hybrid, a 2009 Prius. A vehicle 1/3rd the cost and 1/2 the weight of the Escalade Hybrid, a true hybrid that gets at least 50mpg, and on many occasions, 55 to 60mpg.

Why do I call the Prius "real" and "true"? Because the Prius was designed from the beginning, from the wheels up, to be a hybrid vehicle. Not a bastardization like the Escalade Hybrid that's had it's hybrid bits bolted on after the fact. The extra bits and the hybrid badge are there so that SUV-loving drivers can feel less guilty about driving such a beast. It's still a gas and resource hog of the first order, it's just got a new green sheen so it and its owner won't look so ugly.

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