Technology with attitude

New SUV Praised By Sierra Club

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Wired reports that The Sierra Club is showing a bit of centrist wisdom and backing the new Ford hybrid SUV, Mariner.

After years getting along about as well as the Montagues and the Capulets, the Sierra Club and automaker Ford have signed a temporary cease-fire. The Sierra Club has agreed to promote Ford’s new gas-electric hybrid SUV, the 3,787-pound Mercury Mariner Hybrid, to its 300,000 members and will work with the company to educate consumers about gas-electric hybrids.

“It ain’t every day that we say something nice about Ford — in fact it ain’t every decade,” said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club’s global-warming program.

Becker said after years of criticizing Ford for not producing any hybrid vehicles, “we felt it necessary to recognize what they had done.”

“It’s an SUV, but it gets better mileage than nearly all of the cars for sale,” he said.

But, of course, you have the shrill voices who still say “Not Enough!!!”:

Jennifer Krill, zero-emissions campaign director for the Rainforest Action Network, said selling a few thousand hybrid vehicles amounts to “baby steps when (Ford) should be taking giant leaps” in addressing fuel economy.

Krill said Ford’s fleet of vehicles has the worst fuel efficiency of any major automaker and that projected sales of the Mariner Hybrid will amount to “less than six one-hundredths of 1 percent” of the company’s total vehicle sales.

“(Ford) is drastically under-producing hybrid vehicles and slowing down the opportunity for that market to develop,” said Krill. She added that even though it’s a hybrid, the Mariner gets worse fuel economy than the Ford Focus, a gasoline-driven compact car.

Again, we’re looking for progress here people, and Ford is delivering it.