This morning, as Rick Wagoner finished his keynote speech at the L.A. Auto Show, a couple of guys showed up on stage and took control of the room for a couple seconds. "Mr Wagoner, we are very excited to hear about all of your commitments to green technology, will you sign this pledge to make GM the most fuel efficient automobile company by 2010?" The response was curt but friendly, "I think my speech spoke for itself." Rick actually then posed for some pictures with the guy and nobody got punched, headlocked, arrested or even kicked out.
The good news is that GM made a lot of very exciting announcements today, and that the activists recognized that. But their point is still valid. GM has a very inefficient fleet, and has been slow to go after real-world, short-term solutions.
The Saturn Vue 2-mode hybrid, the promise of a plug-in version in the next few years, and maybe more interesting news on the horizon for Detroit are all far more near-term than their commitment to fuel cell vehicles. And, until today, we hadn't heard that kind of commitment to currently available near-term technologies from GM.
It's very comforting to see the interaction between activists who realize that auto companies are starting to move in sustainable directions, and auto-companies who are starting to realize that sustainability is extremely important to their business. It's like cats and dogs furtively cuddling in the chilly dawn of ecological instability. I find it extremely encouraging and kinda adorable.
EcoGeek's coverage of the LA Auto Show was underwritten by the General Motors Company, which, we agree, is very strange since we say some fairly mean things about them with some regularity. The only condition of their assistance (travel and lodging) is that I disclose it, which, of course, I would have done anyway.
|< Prev||Next >|