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Ford wants you to buy a car, but not drive it - Walla! vehicle


Ford's campaign encouraging car leaving at home raises controversy over manufacturers' role in reducing air pollution and road congestion

Ford wants you to buy a car, but not drive it

A new Ford campaign is trying to persuade drivers to park their cars and cycle or walk.

A cynical "greenwash" move or a new two-wheeler agenda?

Amnon Director, Angle


Wednesday, 22 June, 2022, 08:30 Updated: 08:54

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The equation is simple - more cars are more traffic jams (Photo: Kobi Liani)

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the river is flowing.

Four cyclists, wearing sportswear and safety helmets on their heads, pedal for pleasure in the pastoral landscape.

A large sign hangs in the sky above them and announces: "PARK THE CAR" - Park the car.

Is there a more positive advertisement than this for a new, green two-wheeled agenda?

One would think that this is a new campaign by Greenpeace or the climate conference.

If you just do not notice - and hard not to notice - the large and familiar logo of the "Ford" company at the bottom of the picture.

A new car company campaign that encourages walking and cycling, instead of using a car?

At first glance, it's hard to decide whether this is a fine troll or a cynical move of "greenwashing" ("greening", impersonating polluting green companies in front of consumers and regulators) on behalf of Ford?

More on Walla!

The calculator that reveals the green bluff of automakers

To the full article

Ford's campaign: "Park the car" (Photo: Manufacturer's website)

"This is probably the last thing people expect from a carmaker," writes Stuart Rowley, president of the Ford of Europe company that launched the program, in response to the obvious question.

"However, responsible driving is not only safe driving, it is also driving responsibly towards the environment and towards our health - walking or cycling once a day," Rowley adds, "can cause significant health change."

Speech that is more suited to a yoga instructor than to a senior manufacturer of polluting vehicles.

Driving is a habit - not a necessity

A data from the World Health Organization reveals that about half (!) Of car journeys in Europe are less than 5 kilometers away, a distance that can be covered by a 15-minute bike ride or a 30-minute quick walk.

Rowley, who presented the figure as part of the launch of the venture, encouraged people to think twice before choosing a car to make short trips.

In addition, Rowley stated that the world would be a good place if more people gave up driving: "Driving a car is a necessity for some people, but for many of us - including me - it is a habit we must change. I commit to that change," he added.

Each and every one of the readers will decide for themselves whether to believe the intentions of "Ford" and Rowley - after all this is the fourth largest car corporation in the world (and the largest in the US) - but one way or another, many studies

Illustrate the importance of reducing travel in private vehicles.

According to a 2021 study, for cyclists who rode at least once a day, emitted at least 84 percent less greenhouse gases on average on daily journeys compared to people who rode motorized transport (in life cycle analysis), other data detailing the indirect negative impact of vehicles;

From the amount of energy required to manufacture the vehicles, through the high pollution that oil produces while traveling, to the vast infrastructure required (roads, bridges, parking lots, gas stations, garages and more).

Ford's campaign is in line with the European trend of banning private cars from entering city centers in order to reduce air pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce traffic congestion.

Civart Rowley, President of Ford of Europe (Photo: Manufacturer's website)

"Automakers understand they must be part of the change"

How can the "Ford" move be understood?

"I do not think it was done from a cynical place, but there is sophistication here," says Dr. Elite Oppenheim, director of the Shlomo Schmelzer Institute for Smart Transportation at Tel Aviv University. '.

Ford does not encourage people to stop buying cars, but to buy cars and use them only when necessary, "Oppenheim emphasizes." Car manufacturers today understand that they must be part of a change in perception and part of the smart and environmental transportation

revolution . "

And the environment.

The solutions to these problems, Oppenheim says, will have to focus on autonomous vehicles connected to the Internet, electric vehicles and flexible public transport - instead of private vehicles.

Oppenheim argues that the very concept of private car ownership will be less common in the future: "We will see more car and shared car rental services."

According to her, one of the reasons for leaving private vehicles will be the alternatives in the field of public and cooperative transportation: "Within the cities, high-quality mass transportation and the ability to rent vehicles at discounted and customized rates," she notes.

Vehicles per km of road, Israel in a very bad place (Photo: screenshot)

Israelis are addicted to the private car

And with us?

The issue of transportation in Israel is a complex and painful matter: many feel that public transportation is not quality enough, to say the least, and if that is not enough - the very fact that there is no public transportation on Saturday leads many to continue driving.

There is no need to expand on the congestion on the roads and the traffic jams around the country.

According to a document from the Knesset Information Center, in recent years (2014-2021) there has been a 28.4% increase in the number of motorized vehicles in Israel and a 33.6% increase in the number of private vehicles.

As a result, there was an increase in the annual mileage (the total mileage a vehicle traveled in a certain period of time): if in 2014 the total mileage was about 52.4 billion kilometers, in 2019 it was about 63.2 billion kilometers - an increase of 20.6%.

In 2014, Israel was in first place, together with the United States, as a country whose average annual mileage for motor vehicles is the highest among OECD countries. This volume of travel is 88% higher than the OECD average. This figure reflects that in Israel and the United States. Prefer to travel by private car over walking and other means of transportation (due to reasons like lack of alternatives, habits, prices, suburban-oriented urban planning and more).

In addition, Israel is in first place in the total annual travel index per kilometer of road - far ahead of the other OECD countries, and 253% higher than the OECD average.

This figure reflects the exceptional scope of traffic congestion in Israel, which impairs labor productivity and causes greater air pollution.

Get used to it, this is how our lives are going to look like (Photo: Shlomi Gabay)

"For many years the emphasis in Israel has been on road infrastructure. We built endlessly. It did not solve the traffic jams, as we know. On the contrary," explains Oppenheim, but expresses cautious optimism about the future: "The solution for the private car is to create an alternative - good public transport. "We've been touching on it lately, and we're seeing a huge investment in it."

And back to Ford's campaign.

The best way to avoid traffic jams and preserve the environment is indeed to stop driving a private car and use more public transport, bicycles and on foot.

"I am sure that many young people will easily give up their private car if they have better alternatives," says Dr. Oppenheim, concluding: "Car companies need to

understand how they fit into these solutions space and produce car-sharing collaborations."

Waiting for Ford or another company - the challenge is at our doorstep:

The article was prepared by Zavit - the news agency of the Israeli Association of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

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  • Air Pollution

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Source: walla

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