Ford Crushes ‘Clean Cars’ While Greenwashing Gas Guzzlers
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 @ 20:32:14 GMT
Andrew Michrowski writes: See what happens when you have a really good technology!...
* Activists stage flag-draped funeral at San Francisco Ford dealer as EV drivers are forced to turn over their cars to be crushed.
* Global grassroots coalition demands that Ford ‘TH!NK twice’ before destroying the most fuel efficient car in its oil addicted fleet.
* Ford ignores Norwegian offer to purchase TH!NK EVs.
San Francisco – Today in San Francisco and tomorrow in
Oslo, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and an
international grassroots coalition will protest Ford Motor Company’s
plans to destroy of all of its TH!NK zero emission electric vehicles (EV)
in the United States, the most fuel efficient cars in its oil addicted fleet.
The transatlantic actions are the latest from Jumpstart Ford, the global
grassroots movement to end Ford’s five year oil binge and compel America’s
worst-ranked automaker to produce a fleet of environmentally ethical, zero
Who: EV drivers, environmental and human rights activists, veterans,
representatives from local government and impacted communities
What: Flag-draped funeral for Ford TH!NK EVs as drivers reluctantly turn
over their cars to be crushed
When: TODAY at 12:00 noon (Monday, August 23, 2004)
Where: S&C Ford, 2001 Market Street @ Dolores, San Francisco
In a somber noontime ceremony at S&C Ford in San Francisco, mourners in
black veils will pay last respects to flag-draped Ford TH!NK EVs honoring the
clean car technology for its 34-month long service in the global movement to
save Earth’s climate from deadly greenhouse gas emissions. Veterans for
Peace will facilitate a Military Funeral Honors ceremony to include the playing
of “Taps” and the folding and presenting of a burial flags to grieving TH!NK
EV owners. Inspiring eulogies will be delivered by George Johnson of Veterans
for Peace, Jennifer Krill of Rainforest Action Network, Jason Mark
of Global Exchange, Randall Hayes of the Oakland Department
of the Environment, Leila Salazar of Amazon Watch, Dr.
Henry Clark of the West County Toxics Coalition and Kristin Casper
The Ford TH!NK funeral is in response to the American automaker’s refusal to
accept repeated offers from Elbil Norge, a Norwegian EV car manufacturer,
to purchase the zero emission vehicles to meet growing consumer demand in
Norway, a nation powered almost entirely by renewable electricity. Ford’s
August 2002 decision to shut down its EV program and destroy the U.S. TH!NK
fleet followed the auto industry’s gutting of California’s zero emission
mandate in June 2002.
“Ford is pulling the plug on the only cars in its gas guzzling fleet that
don’t produce deadly greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jennifer Krill,
director of the Zero Emissions Campaign at Rainforest Action Network.
“By crushing these beloved cars and ending its EV program, Ford is
shattering the new American dream for an energy independent future. EVs are the
perfect solution for progressive places like Norway and Northern California
where reliable sources of renewable energy are on the rise. In light of
mounting evidence that tailpipe emissions are a leading contributor to
catastrophic climate change, Ford’s addiction to oil is an environmental
crime. Ford should manufacture and market environmentally ethical EVs as
aggressively as it has pushed its oil addicted SUVs. Ford’s decision to
crush perfectly reliable zero emission vehicles proves once again that it is
more interested in greenwashing gas-guzzlers than innovating an emission free
future. The TH!NK EV is a casualty of Ford’s oil addiction.”
"The TH!NK EVs were produced in Norway, and Norwegians want them
back,” said Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace in Norway. “It is
wrong for Ford to crush these cars. A Norwegian company has even offered
Ford a million dollars to purchase the TH!NKs but has so far received nothing
but arrogant silence. This shows that Ford has other motives than environmental
protection and sound business principles.”
"Ford needs to think straight and realize that pure electric vehicles
can play an important role in breaking the company's oil addiction," said Jason
Mark, clean car campaigner at the human rights group Global
Exchange. "It seems that Ford isn't thinking at all. Why would the
company wantonly destroy these vehicles when drivers here in the US and in
Europe are begging to keep them?"
“I leased a Ford TH!NK in November, 2001 at S&C Ford in San Francisco,”
said TH!NK driver Marc Geller. “In repeated discussions between June
and November 2001 leading up to my decision to lease the 2001 TH!NK, Frank
Ginotti, S & C Ford Fleet Sales, told me the 2003 model would be available
for purchase. I followed Ford’s progress, including photos of the new model on
the assembly line in Norway, its introduction at the 2002 Los Angeles and New
York Auto Shows and its appearance in the 2003 Ford Fleet Guide. Ford
broke its promise to me and hundreds of others who leased the TH!NK.”
"If automakers don't reduce smog-forming emissions, greenhouse gases and
the need for petroleum, I believe we won't be in business,” said Fujio Cho,
president of Toyota in The New York Times.
Ford Motor Company is America’s oil addict. According the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, the average fuel efficiency of Ford cars
and trucks today is 18.8 mpg, dead last among the top six automakers for the
fifth consecutive year. From subcompacts to SUVs, Ford's current fleet of
cars and trucks gets fewer miles per gallon on average than its Model-T did 80
years ago. Ford's widely touted 'eco-friendly' Rouge River plant features a
water-preserving green roof, yet manufactures 280,000 gas-guzzling F-150s a
year, generating up to 100 tons of atmospheric carbon a piece over each truck's
lifetime. Marketed as “the first American hybrid,” Ford’s so-called ‘no
compromise’ Escape represents less than one half of one percent of its fleet
and will have virtually no impact on its last place fuel efficiency ranking.
In 2000, Ford promised to improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet of SUVs
25 percent by 2005. In 2003, the company announced its intention to break
that promise. Despite waiting lists for zero emissions cars, Ford has
ended all programs, and blamed consumers for its lack of innovation.
The TH!NK EVs are the first mass produced car in Norwegian history and have
become a national symbol of pride and progress for the role they play in
reducing air pollution and ending oil addiction.
Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org), Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.no)
and Rainforest Action Network (www.ran.org) are members of an
international grassroots movement calling on Ford to commit to achieve a
fleet-wide average of 50 MPG by 2010 and eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2020.
For more information, please visit www.JumpStartFord.com.
Paul West, Rainforest Action Network, (415) 398-4404 x319, firstname.lastname@example.org
Toben Dilworth, (415) 596-6051 (on-site mobile)