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Automaker group is hypocritical

The newly formed Alliance for Automotive Innovation is hypocritical from the start ("Lobbying groups Global Automakers, Auto Alliance merge," autonews.com, Jan. 8). Automotive "innovation" is something the member companies have been fighting with significant horsepower.

General Motors is the company chair of the new group. Last year, GM provided an example of what not to do in the name of innovation when the automaker, along with Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and others, sided with President Donald Trump in litigation to attack standards for more fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles, a move the public quickly and rightfully criticized.

This year, each automaker has a choice: Stand for climate progress, public health and consumer choice — or fall with Trump.

GM CEO Mary Barra spoke of the need for "a stronger voice" to advocate for policy to reach a zero-emission future. This reeks of hypocrisy and industry greenwashing.

In practice, GM and company have attempted to reverse the standards necessary for the auto industry to truly innovate for the zero-emission road ahead.

It`s time for automakers to wake up. More tailpipe pollution, dirtier air and a climate increasingly imperiled isn`t innovative. Having one unified voice among automakers will not drive us into a new era of mobility if their follow- up action drives us into reverse. The automotive future will be electric, and it must be powered by clean energy. Automakers asleep at the wheel of true innovation today will wake up tomorrow to find that it`s passed them by.

GINA COPLON-NEWFIELD, Director, Clean Transportation for All campaign, Sierra Club, Boston