December 7, 2008

2006 Ford Escape Hybrid Ad

Can you believe this ad is almost three years old already? I still like it, even though it's kind of ridiculous to call any car green. Plus, Kermit totally sold out. But as the American auto industry currently looks like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off, I can't help wondering what happened to the promise of more vehicles like this? Why isn't the Escape Hybrid the best selling car in the U.S.? It's roomy, all-wheel drive, fuel-efficient, and (mostly) American-made. Were they poorly marketed? Or are consumers really that short-sighted that they want an F-150 when gas prices are low and a Prius when gas prices are high?

Now the automakers need a huge loan for "retooling" to make efficient vehicles. It's not like they don't know how to make them. They sell efficient cars in Europe and South America, where there's more tax on gasoline. Should America have a higher tax on gas to keep consumption down? The money could go towards lower income tax, carbon offsets, infrastructure and public transportation. But I can already hear the wave of backlash to that idea, especially during a recession. Higher fuel efficiency standards could help, but the lower cost of filling up would probably just make some people drive more.

Michael Moore has an interesting proposal to force the automakers to put the taxpayer money towards efficient vehicles, and having them build the public transportation systems we need. But I know a lot of free market types would be against that too. So how about this... Instead of our only choice being gasoline, why don't we have the choice of gasoline, diesel, biofuels, electric, and natural gas? Instead of continuing this stranglehold of Big Oil, we could actually let the consumers choose which is most efficient. We can even choose on a daily basis how we want to fuel our cars with plug-in hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles. Total free market solution. We just need government to stop listening to the monopoly and start letting the people choose.

Once again, I'm proud of America's choice of an inspirational leader who appears to make intelligent and sustainable decisions based on what is best for average Americans (and he plays it cool). We've decided to change. Now let's do it.


Jefferton said...

Btw, Obama also happens to drive an Escape Hybrid.

Anonymous said...

well said there Jefferton. i'd be up for anything that leaves the choice to the consumers and let that drive the market. that way big fatties (like me) can continue to drive big trucks just cause we like to. the American auto companies need to become profitable somehow. building more fuel efficient vehicles may be part of that, but a bigger part will be to remove the strangle hold that union labor has on them right now. fat chance of that with the current make-up of congress, but we'll see. i just hope that the brilliant business minds in DC don't give them a bunch of money and allow them to continue down the path that they are on. i'd rather have them face the consequences and retool like the airlines had to, some of which are actually making money now.

Jefferton said...

The only thing with leaving it all up to consumers is that they only think short-term. We can see that with the yo-yo Prius/F-150 trend. And it's why we never see any real change. I'm for all of the solutions to get off oil quickly, but I know most consumers just want the better deal right now. I think these kind of transition cars are a good middle ground solution that will make sense both in the short and long term. But it's a big change that needs to happen pretty quickly, which is why I think gov needs to do things to help push it along (taxes, standards, etc).

It would be interesting, and morbidly satisfying, to see the Big 3 go bankrupt. But I don't know who would have confidence in buying their cars after that.

Anonymous said...

None of any of this would have happened if they hadn't killed the Ford Probe. Bastards. Hey, I really like the Obama/Armisen "cool" sketch. His impersonation has come a long way....