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Leon Kaye headshot

3p Friday: The Latest Sustainability Moves From the World's Largest Automakers

By Leon Kaye

Labor Day weekend has passed, and therefore goes another summer—well, at least unofficially if you are holding out till the Equinox. So now that your last summer road trip of the year has wrapped up, we thought we’d update you on the some of the leading automakers’ latest sustainability moves. Of course, the big automotive news of the week was Bugatti setting the new record in becoming the world’s fastest car—a feat summed up best by Seth Meyers—but we’d like to think the following updates on six of the world’s leading car manufacturers will have more long-term impact.

Toyota looks to low-emissions vehicles for the 2020 Olympics 

The world’s largest automotive manufacturer announced that at least 90 percent of all the cars it will provide for next year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be low-emissions vehicles. The fleet will include at least 500 Mirai cars powered by hydrogen. The company also recently announced its commitment to reducing emissions across its U.S. operations by 40 percent.

GM goes renewable, offers a boost on the Bolt 

Next year’s Chevy Bolt model will have 259 miles of range on a full charge, a boost of 21 miles over previous model years. The Detroit-based automaker is also touting the recognition it recently received for its contribution to advance the U.S. renewables market. According to an emailed statement to TriplePundit, the company has more than tripled its original renewable power goal, which currently stands at 416 megawatts.

Honda's long-range electric vehicle hits Europe

Long venerated by car owners for its reputation for reliability, the second largest Japan-based automaker hasn’t quite attracted the same buzz for its all-electric models as Tesla, Nissan, BMW and even Chevy. But the new Honda E, which for now will be marketed in Europe, has made more than a few reviewers swoon over its design—and for city drivers, its 136 miles of range is respectable.

Ford eyes an expanded EV lineup

The company that a century ago launched the automobile industry that we know today generated plenty of buzz last year when it announced it was phasing out most of its compact-sized cars and sedans. Other than its SUVs and trucks, the only models we can soon expect to see are the Mustang and a Focus crossover. Nevertheless, Ford insists it is focused on developing a robust lineup of all-electric vehicles (EVs)—and in fairness to the automaker, there is a steadfast “perception gap” in what electric cars can currently do, as opposed to how most consumers think they perform. The company’s head of electrification just shared his perspective on this ongoing challenge yesterday.

FCA is pushing toward its long-term sustainability goals 

Fans of the 500 minicar series will not be happy that some of those models will no longer be sold in North America after 2019, and the all-electric 500e is one of the four models that will be axed after this year. From an operations perspective, however, FCA appears on track to meet its long-term sustainability goals, especially when it comes to waste, water and emissions. Let’s give props to some of their Detroit employees for doing their part to keep parks in southeastern Michigan pristine.

New EV models soon to come from BMW 

Have you seen the all-electric BMW i3 models? Seeing one charging at the local Whole Foods made me wish . . . I had spent that money on an i3 instead of at Whole Foods. Other reviews have generated more mixed feedback. Well, more all-electric news is coming from BMW this November: The company’s line of Mini Cooper-branded EVs will hit the roads, with 45,000 customers already on its waiting list.

Image credit: Chevrolet

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye