Forget for a second that the Toyota Prius is the best selling hybrid model which topped 1 million in sales this past May and forget that it averages 46 miles per gallon. It seems no matter how green Toyota gets, critics are still pushing the Japanese auto maker to live up to its ‘environmentally-friendly’ image.
Groups of environmentalists led by the Natural Resources Defense Council are calling Toyota out on its opposition to the strict fuel-economy standards that Congress is trying to set. In the past two weeks Toyota has received over 8,300 emails from NRDC activists asking to company to support the 35 mpg standard requirement by 2020.
“They have a green halo, justifiably, and yet unbeknownst to their customers they’ve joined forces with the Detroit Three to argue against greener standards,” Deron Lovaas, the NRDC’s vehicles campaign director, told the Associated Press.
Toyota on the other hand is saying that the Senate bill would hurt the automotive industry and it needs to give auto makers more time to meet the goals. Toyota and Honda, both who are ahead of the game in the fuel-efficiency debate with their hybrid technology, are working hard to keep ahead of rivals.
“They market every night the Prius and the Toyota Camry — we’re the green car, huh? Then watch the football games, and they’re marketing the Toyota Tundra — like the biggest vehicle ever made,” Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a Camry hybrid owner, said Wednesday in a speech at an environmental conference.
Besides the Prius, Toyota offers hybrid versions of its Highlander SUV and the Camry. Toyota’s premium division, Lexus, also offers three hybrid models including the LS, GS and RX hybrids. Honda on the other hand is working on bringing a clean-diesel Accord to the U.S. along with a new dedicated hybrid model to fill the spot of the Insight.
Source: The Detroit News
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