Japanese automakers like Honda and Toyota are ahead of American companies in producing green vehicles. Clifford Winston, an economist at the Brookings Institute, told CBS News that American automakers may be lagging behind because of market demand. Winston says that the bulk of the demand for green vehicles is confined to the East and West Coasts.
So if demand is not driving the push for green technology, what is? Eric Smith, political science professor at University of California Santa Barbara told CBS News that it’s politics.
Smith says members of Congress “have to look tough on environmental issues,” so they are leveraging the collapse of the automakers to push for investment in long-term hybrid projects that will please their constituents.
Last week, the big three automakers made green promises in return for a bailout.