No such thing as a green automaker
Because Nissan might sell 20,000 electric Leafs this year, somehow that's going to save numerous polar bears, at least that's the image Nissan is trying to project with a Nissan Leaf ad.
I'm not sure who started this greenwashing PR madness: Ford's Kermit the Frog campaign? Numerous Toyota Prius commercials? Years of Chevy Volt marketing without one sale?, or what, but the idea that any major automaker is fighting the good fight is simply, factually, beyond ludicrous.
Perhaps, compared to the rest of the auto industry, I favor Toyota's business model followed by Hyundai, then Ford, at least for now. Still, neither Toyota nor Ford is anywhere close to green. Green and automaker simply don't belong in the same sentence. Besides, I hate the whole lessor of evil approach to logic. Wrong is just plain wrong, and automakers – the lot of them – are laggards, not leaders, when it comes to being green and efficient.
Maybe, if Nissan had been the CAFE leader in the US for the last decade, I might believe Nissan has turned a new Leaf, but they haven't, not by a long shot. A few thousand Leaf sales aren't enough to change that reality.
Certainly, Nissan Leaf buyers can claim some green cred for purchasing an electric vehicle, but the green leaves of change only fall on those few Leaf driveways. Nissan, on the other hand, still has a long way to go before it can rightfully proclaim any sort of greenness.