Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Birmingham FoE take on Toyota's Rav4

Toyota stand accused of bringing the ‘bull’ into the Birmingham 'Bullring' with a fuel- hungry 4-wheel drive vehicle masquerading as being ‘good for the environment’.
The ravenous RAV4 emits 207g/km carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas human emissions of which are thought to cause global warming. These emissions earn the RAV4 a firm “F” rating in the UK’s new A-F labelling scheme and yet the vehicle is currently displayed in Birmingham’s largest shopping centre next to a board proclaiming Toyota’s commitment to protecting the environment.
Rob Pilling of Birmingham FOE said, “Toyota are talking a load of Bull. The RAV is a beast of car and to display it right in front of their environment claim is absurd. It is true that there are worse offenders on the road, but this vehicle emits well above the UK average. It is simply not an environmentally friendly option.”
There are many better cars to choose from. For example, Toyota manufactures the Prius, a hybrid vehicle, which emits 104 g/km carbon dioxide, half that of the RAV4. This earns it a more respectable B rating.
Birmingham FOE say if Toyota is determined to promote cars in the Bullring, they should stick to ones like the Prius. They should also display the new energy labels in a prominent position. This makes it easier for prospective buyers to choose the greenest models.
Even so, Birmingham FOE believe that sustainable transport is about a lot more than technology fixes. Even A-rated cars create problems with congestion, noise, safety, air quality, land take and social exclusion.
Rob continued, “We desperately need to reduce our dependence on private cars. We need to make more journeys on public transport and by walking and cycling.”
In this context, Toyota would have to change their stance dramatically in order to live up to their environmental rhetoric.