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Podcast series probes auto industry carbon reduction

“There’s an environmental story about every single bit and bob that goes into every single automobile. That all has to be harvested and collected and transported. … [It’s] all of the energy that [the factory] consumed to make the car, it’s all of the people traveling to and from the plant, all of the materials traveling to and from the plant.” — Chris Wells, author and professor of environmental studies at MaCalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

“My concern is with the lack of urgency. We don’t have time. And it’s great that the auto industry is trying to figure out how to scale up their EV production. But it needs to happen much more quickly than it’s happening.” — Andrea Marpillero-Colomina, sustainable communities program director at GreenLatinos

“Unfortunately, I’ve been watching this industry for a long time, and they don’t always keep their promises. … This is the Pinocchio industry. They don’t tell the truth.” — Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign

“I was really clear, the only story that mattered is a headline of, ‘GM believes in an all-electric future,’ and that, if GM wasn’t willing to go that far, my question was, is that painting a big enough picture that we need to be painting about what GM really believes about what the future is going to look like?” — Ray Wert, former head of storytelling and advanced technology communications for General Motors

“We have to be realistic about this and understand the goal is to reduce net CO2 emissions, it’s not to convert everybody to one particular kind of car. That’s the means to the end. It’s the end itself that matters the most.” — Gill Pratt, chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corp. and CEO of Toyota Research Institute

“Now that Magna has really taken a front seat, customers are pushing, investors are pushing, employees are pushing, I think it’s become more and more of our everyday language and discussions. … And the last two to three years — particularly the last year — has been a significant incline in trying to meet the sustainability requirements.” — Paul Rodrigues, general manager of Magna International’s Plastcoat division in Brampton, Ontario

“I think it’s also a business risk issue right now, both for the procurement of energy and making sure that you’ve got what you need to operate into the near-term future.” — Ahmed Elganzouri, global director of sustainability and energy for Magna International

“There needs to be respect from federal government experts dealing with the industry and vice versa. And that doesn’t happen overnight. You have to develop those relationships. You have to develop those set of values. And without that set of values and developing those relationships, you cannot be successful.” — Margo Oge, former director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, chief architect of the landmark 2012 deal with automakers to double fuel fleetwide efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025

“How do we achieve that holy grail of solid-state [batteries] with faster charging and greater safety? I used to point to the Manhattan Project and say, look what massive resources do. Look at COVID vaccines. Something that everyone said would be impossible to do in 18 months got done in under a year. Massive resources produce breakthroughs.” — Elaine Buckberg, senior fellow at the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability at Harvard University, former chief economist at General Motors

“What we have seen is that type of messaging is really being picked up by [automakers’] suppliers. And not just their Tier 1s. We’re talking … the entire value chain of the activity set. They’re looking to decarbonize their electric usage at the same time. Many of them are saying, ‘Gosh, if GM is doing this, I better get on board, too.’ “ — Brian Calka, vice president of renewable energy sales and project development for DTE Energy, an electric utility company in Detroit that has been working with auto companies to increase green energy generation Podcast series probes auto industry carbon reduction

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