October 4, 2005

RAISE THEM AGAIN. WE'VE PLENTY OF MONEY:

Carmakers to Focus on Fuel-Saving Tools (John O'Dell, October 4, 2005, LA Times)

[T]he Bush administration plan proposed in August is more likely to push the auto industry to apply fuel-saving technologies in the next generation of light trucks.

Those technologies would include: more hybrid gas-electric vehicles, six-speed automatic transmissions to squeeze out better gas mileage and air conditioners that run by electricity, rather than power from the gas engine, said Lindsay Brooke, advanced automotive technology analyst at CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Another possibility: enabling six- and eight-cylinder engines to shut down half their cylinders while cruising on the highway. Chrysler, General Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co. already offer this feature on some vehicles.

Use of lightweight aluminum or composite plastics for fenders, pickup beds, hoods and doors also could increase, Brooke said.

And fuel-efficient diesel engines for light trucks could become a big item if automakers can meet the tough new federal and California diesel emissions requirements that take effect in 2007.

Most new diesel engines get 20% to 30% better fuel economy than gas-powered vehicles.

Still, all these changes will come at a price. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that meeting the new fuel economy rules would add about $275 to the cost of each truck, minivan and SUV sold in 2011.


In addition to all their virtues, higher fuel economy standards are politically popular. Of course, had the feds kept pushing the standards this scenario would have been avoided, Truck and SUV Sales Plunge as Gas Prices Rise (Sholnn Freeman, October 4, 2005, Washington Post)

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2005 8:21 AM
Comments

Uh, okay.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 4, 2005 9:10 AM

Funny how price affects buying decisions. Therein lie the solutions.

Posted by: Genecis at October 4, 2005 12:03 PM

Orrin:

I missed the part in the article where John O'Dell wrote about how higher fuel-use standards were causing automakers to plan to construct vehicles from carbon fiber nanotubes.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2005 4:52 AM

Michael:

Standards are way too low to require such sertious innovation.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 7:53 AM
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