After last week’s show hearing in which some facts plus an unhealthy dose of fear, uncertainty, and doubt attempted to use the Volt to attack the Obama administration, GM is keeping its chin up and continuing plans for a greener world with diminishing dependence upon petroleum.

A few initiatives worth mentioning are a new “Ecologic” window sticker, placement of the largest fleet order of CNG-powered vans in Chevrolet's history, and ongoing promotion for the Volt.


GM North America President Mark Reuss announces Chevrolet vehicles sold in the United States will display new Ecologic environmental labels at the Washington D.C. Auto Show Thursday, January 26, 2012 in Washington, DC.

As should be pretty plain by now, “green” and “environmentally sustainable” plans are viewed as mutually complementary with the call for weaning off of oil and achieving energy security. It’s not about either/or, rather the whole push is inclusive.

The “all of the above” approach being promoted by GM, the California Air Resources Board, the Obama administration, and countless others encompasses all ideologies and approaches.

New Ecologic sticker

As has been noted in previous reports about small combustion cars leading the sales charts, a vast number of consumers prefer vehicles that cost less to buy and cost less to run – that is by using less fuel.

While GM is coming up with economical models that fit the bill, it is increasing consciousness of environmental issues as witnessed by the extra sticker.

GM announced last week in a press release titled “Chevrolet Pioneers Auto Environmental Label,” that the inexpensive, American-built, 40-mpg Sonic will be the first car to have an Ecologic label on the rear driver’s side window.

Later this year the sticker will start showing up on other 2013 Chevrolets, GM said.



 

GM says the sticker informs customers about the vehicle’s environmental features related to manufacturing, driving and recycling.

In an age where distrust of large corporations is reaching a crescendo, the newly re-crowned world’s largest automaker took an extra step to know its Chevy brand is a straight shooter.

Specifically, the company says Chevrolet’s labels are independently fact checked by third-party environmental auditing agency, Two Tomorrows.

“Customers want companies to be honest and transparent about their environmental efforts and sustainability goals, and rightly so,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “Putting an Ecologic label on each Chevrolet is just one more way for us to share our environmental progress.”



 

Following are vehicle-specific features the label communicates:

• Before the road: Environmental aspects related to vehicle manufacturing and assembly.
• On the road: Fuel-saving features such as advanced engine technologies, aerodynamics, lighter weight components or low-rolling resistance tires.
• After the road: How 85 percent by weight of the vehicle can be recycled at the end of its lifespan.

Compressed natural gas van order

Hey, we thought electricity is “the future.” As mentioned, GM is pursuing all of the above, and perhaps the unspoken message is “may the best technology win” (or is it may the most politically favored win, or most lobbied for, or easiest to sell to the existing market, or ...? ... never mind.)

In any case, America has a lot of natural gas, and not one to miss an opportunity if it can help it, GM announced a major fleet account sale of 1,200 CNG-powered Chevrolet Express cargo vans to AT&T.


These Chevrolet Express CNG cargo vans await delivery Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Mike Stone for Chevrolet)

This no doubt will be used as a data collecting opportunity as well.

AT&T has announced its intention to invest up to $565 million to deploy approximately 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles over a 10-year period through 2018, including the Chevy Volt.

How many Volts has AT&T acquired thus far? We knew you would ask, and the answer is we don't know. An inquiry yesterday to GM Spokesman Rob Peterson indicated neither did he know, and he added this would not be the kind of info GM would normally share.

As for the CNG vans, AT&T said it will use them in its communications service business. Last week, the company announced its 5,000th alternative-fuel vehicle deployed was a Chevrolet Express van.



 

“CNG technology is important to AT&T because it helps us reduce our fleet-based carbon emissions,” said Jerome Webber, AT&T vice president of Fleet Operations. “It is also cost-effective and readily available in our country right now.”

GM noted the U.S Environmental Protection Agency says CNG-powered vans can produce approximately 25 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than similar gasoline and diesel-powered vans.



 

AT&T said this greener tech therefore fits its mission.

“There are millions of fleet vehicles on the road today and we want to be a critical part of this sustainable revolution, helping make these conversions as easy as possible,” said Brian Small, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations.

Volt

You may have seen the 30-second clip of GM’s Volt commercial featuring Tim Allen as narrator, but did you catch that GM will feature this spot on Fox News?

Fox has been known to be a strong critic of the Chevy Volt and its maker, but like everyone else in business, it will take a valid profit, as this GM-sponsored ad deal certainly is.


 

So who’s putting one over on who? Fox for taking GM’s money for its allegedly failing product, or GM for going into the proverbial lion’s den to speak truth?

We’ll leave that to you to mull over, but will say Fox fans who’ve accepted every word about the extended-range electric Chevrolet from certain Fox pundits may hear their first purely positive representation of it on this network. The newest Volt advert suggests someone has to share the light of day to recipients of misinformation, even if GM has to pay for it.

"This isn't just the car we wanted to build ... it's the car America had to build," reads Allen during the 30-second spot. "From the heart of Detroit ... Chevy runs deep."

GM has said it shot several versions of the Volt ad, and rumor has it that some form of the Hamtramck-themed Volt promo will be aired during the Super Bowl.

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