Green Car Congress  
Go to GCC Discussions forum About GCC Contact  RSS Subscribe Twitter headlines

« Engine Software Patch Can Reduce Fuel Consumption by 2.6% | Main | Petrobras to Begin Pilot of Cellulosic Ethanol from Bagasse by May »

Print this post

Auto Industry Leaders Tell Congress They Would Support Mobile Source CO2 Caps in Principle

16 March 2007

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality this week, the heads of the United Autoworkers, GM, Toyota North America, Ford, and the Chrysler Group all agreed, in response to a question from the committee, that they would support national caps on mobile source CO2 emissions, depending on the details of the program and especially assuming that it factored in the entire sector—i.e., fuel providers as well as automakers.

The hearing was exploring the feasibility of using a new version of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program—specifically the 4% per year increase proposed by the Administration. Although the enthusiasm for such a boost in existing CAFE-style regulations ranged from non-existent to barely tepid, the witnesses agreed to work with the committee on developing regulations targeted at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the years, proponents of reform have discussed raising, lowering, or reforming CAFE standards. Energy conservation, consumer protection, economic growth, oil independence, and as recently as last Congress, rising gas prices at the pump, have all fueled these debates.

This year, the Committee has undertaken an inquiry into an issue that is arguably more critical than, though not unrelated to, any of the above issues. Scientists have been telling us for years that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are contributing to warming the planet, and the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report expressed little doubt that this conclusion is a justifiable one. It should cause all to reevaluate their approach to energy policy in the transportation sector and the economy as a whole.

Ladies and Gentleman, Hannibal is at the gates. The old debate is no longer sufficient. It is time to stop emphasizing what is wrong and what will not work. We need to talk about what can be done, and what can work. This should no longer be a political discussion; the time has come for us to discuss policy. I want to hear from our witnesses about their ideas to address climate change, and I want to hear what they think about the various policy proposals we have already seen.

—Congressman John Dingell, Chairman Committee on Energy and Commerce

The witnesses in the hearing were: Ron Gettelfinger, President, UAW; Rick Wagoner, Chairman and CEO, GM; Jim Press, President and COO, Toyota North America; Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford; and Tom LaSorda, CEO and President, Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler.

In general, the five witnesses focused on three areas for delivering carbon reductions:

  • Support for lower carbon fuels, especially E85 ethanol.

  • Support for developing advanced batteries for electric drive trains.

  • Continuing incentives for consumer purchases of advanced vehicle technologies and fuels.

Rick Wagoner, who declared that CAFE had failed in meeting in stated goal of reducing petroleum imports, argued a 4% per year CAFE increase would be extraordinarily expensive and would result in an 8.5-billion annual reduction in gasoline consumption by 2017—only enough to slow projected increases.

If all of the E85 capable vehicles on the road today—along with those that GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler have already committed to produce over the next decade—were to run on E-85, we could displace 22 billion gallons of gasoline annually. And, if all automakers were to produce half of all new vehicles to be capable of running on E85 by 2012, we could increase the savings to 37 billion gallons of gasoline annually. That’s more than quadruple the savings that a 4 percent-per-year CAFE increase would achieve—and, very importantly, enough to actually reduce America’s gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions.

—Ric Wagoner

Wagoner also emphasized GM’s commitment to electrically driven vehicles: plug-in hybrids, fuel-cell vehicles and range-extended electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt.

Toyota’s Jim Press also argued for the development of advanced automotive technology and a lower-carbon fuel infrastructure together.

Toyota supports the use of national performance-based regulatory programs, so long as the program is fair, technologically feasible, cost effective and does not discourage early compliance, technological innovation and safety improvement. In this context, we support increasing both the passenger car and light-duty truck fuel economy standards, and giving NHTSA the authority to reform the passenger car standard.

—Jim Press

(The emphasis on “national” in the remarks was likely a reference to Toyota’s opposition to the California LEV CO2 limits.)

Alan Mulally, who said that CAFE “isn’t a silver bullet,” said that Ford would support a reformed CAFE standard based on vehicle footprint—similar to the reformed CAFE standard for light trucks.

Ford supports federal incentives that encourage the production, distribution, and use of low carbon, affordable renewable fuels and flexible fuel vehicles capable of running on renewable E85 ethanol. We support increasing passenger car CAFE standards to maximum feasible levels and reforming the CAFE structure, similar to the light truck reform which set standards based on size or “footprint.”

We also support taking the politics out of the CAFE decision. Setting CAFE standards can only be properly accomplished after a thorough analysis of the data—technical data, economic data, and safety data. We believe NHTSA has this capability.

We all agree on the same goals, reducing carbon emissions and reducing US dependence on foreign oil, but we must also recognize that CAFE has been one solution but may not be the best way to achieve our shared goals. We need to focus on using less high carbon fuels like gasoline and transitioning to low carbon fuels including ethanol, new bio-fuels, bio-diesel, electricity, and eventually hydrogen. This will do more for reducing carbon emissions and our dependency on foreign petroleum than an approach focused solely on CAFE.

—Alan Mulally

(One of the many aspects of a new CAFE to be decided will include who sets the standards: Congress or NHTSA—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Chrysler’s LaSorda, who also talked about diesel technology as well as biofuels and hybrids, noted that there are other ways than CAFE to achieve similar goals, and adduced the European market as an example.

For those who advocate 4 percent annual CAFE increases over the next 10 years—which translates to a 50 percent fuel economy increase—we know how to do that, too. In fact, we already do it...in Europe. The US combined fleet averages 24-25 mpg, and in Europe the fleet averages 36 mpg. That’s a 50 percent difference.

Why is there a huge disparity between our fleets there and here? After all, we are the same companies in Europe that we are in the US, with access to similar technologies. The difference is the European approach to energy and greenhouse gas policies. They’ve made some tough political choices. They’ve highly taxed gasoline, making the price three times higher than in the US, and they have incentives on diesel fuel. As a result of these policies, fuel economy is always high on a customer’s list, and not just when there’s a spike in fuel prices.

Through policies which affect consumer demand, the mix of vehicles sold in Europe is radically different than here—about 60 percent compacts or smaller, compared to about 15 percent here; and about 50 percent of passenger vehicles are diesel powered. There’s no magic at work here. A gas-engine mid-size car in Europe gets the same mileage as a gas-engine mid-size car in the US. It’s just that customers demand a very different mix of vehicles in Europe.

The European model, while far from perfect, is based on policies that leverage demand and market forces, not on policies that fight them. However, in the US, our policies have historically addressed the supply side—light-duty vehicle fuel-economy standards. But, consider how a 50-percent fuel-economy improvement relates to new vehicle technology alone. If all the new vehicles sold in the US 10 years from now were hybrids or diesels—something that no one really believes is feasible—fuel economy would improve by only 25-30 percent.

—Tom LaSorda

LaSorda called for US policymakers to adopt a new approach that includes vehicle efficiency improvements, the expanded use of alternative fuels and the use of market forces to help drive consumer demand.

The UAW also argued that any carbon reduction policy must address fuels as well as vehicle efficiency. The union is especially worried about stringent increases in CAFE standards leading to the loss of additional automotive jobs in the US.

The UAW urges Congress to explore the feasibility of establishing an additional carbon control policy that would require reductions in the carbon emissions of light duty vehicles sold in the United States, as well as reductions in the carbon intensity of the fuels that go into these vehicles. This two-pronged approach could make a direct, major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it also would contribute enormously to a reduction in oil consumption.

Under this approach, auto manufacturers would have a strong incentive to improve the efficiency of their vehicles. But there also would be a strong incentive to increase the availability and use of alternative fuels. This approach could be integrated with the economy-wide cap-and-trade program, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and oil consumption. It would also avoid the gaming and other complications that have arisen in connection with the CAFE program. Significantly, this approach could also help generate the revenues needed to provide assistance to struggling auto manufacturers and to level the playing field in the auto industry.

—Ron Gettelfinger

Although the automakers present expressed a willingness to consider a cap-and-trade scheme that was sector-wide, none of them were interested in a cap-and-trade scheme that would have one automaker selling CAFE credits to a competitor.

Resources:

March 16, 2007 in Climate Change, Emissions, Fuel Efficiency, Fuels, Policy | Permalink | Comments (32) | TrackBack (0)

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef00d834fc093853ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Auto Industry Leaders Tell Congress They Would Support Mobile Source CO2 Caps in Principle:

Comments

In order to get people into smaller cars they are going to have to force states and cities and rural areas to improve the safety and capcity of the roads.

They are aldo going to have to force the trucking company to make all heavy trucks such as 18 seelers and even smaller hualers VASTLY safer vs small cars.

They are also going to have to weed out every last drug user from the ranks of truck drivers.

They are also going to have to force cities to have roadways that can safely handle the trucking traffic the city generates WITH the cummuter traffic it also generates.

Oh and they will bloody well need to make a bloody comfortable frewaking seat for those small cars!

I belive through a series of draconian fines on cities and states as far as truck vs car fatalies numbers and car vs car fatalies numbetrs and forcing cities and states to make all roads safer or fave federal intervention and general ass kicking we just might get safe enough roads. If hell freezes over and flaming chupmonks fly our of britny spears ass... maybe.

Otherwise we will have even more homicidal kranky cramped maniacs with back pai rampaging around in compacts dodging drugged out wackos in 15 ton behemoth trucks as they try to get 1000 fat ass snadex vutt wraps to new jerset after being awake for 2 days....

I notice some serious disconnects with reality.  For instance, if the UAW gave up its insistence that the auto companies (meaning the US consumer) pick up the tab for gold-plated retiree health benefits (that the rest of US consumers don't enjoy), a large part of their problem would go away.  I saw no hint in the above that they were willing to budge on it.

The other thing is the claim implied by the words "low carbon fuels including ethanol".  There is no economical source of ethanol which is truly low-carbon, and even if that situation changes the available supply will only replace about 30% of current motor fuel consumption.  The future belongs to the likes of the Chevy Volt, Venture One and Tesla roadster.

The Telsa got some good exposure recently. They had a small blurb in the new Playboy magazine. This could be a nice eye opener for a bunch of people that have no idea electric vehicles have come so far along.

I was also informed that there is another electric sports car that can do 0-60 in 3 secs. Anyone know of this car and if so can somebody please inform me of the name and its stats? It's been bugging me for sometime now.

Jimmi:

Take a look at web site of National Electric Drag Race Association:

http://www.nedra.com/

Mind bogging…

Jimmi: check out the Wrightspeed.

LaSorda's got a point. CAFE -- at it's best -- results in auto makers changing their pricing and advertising to encourage fleet MPG adherence. I don't think that's terrible, and I wouldn't cry them a river. But, gas taxes perform the same function more efficiently because it allows the consumers to twist the arms.

So, I like both. Heck, maybe they could increase the CAFE standards by 4% a year and increase the gas tax by 4 cents a year. In ten years we'd have fleets that were 50% more efficient and a gas tax that had approximately doubled in some places, gone up by about 50% in others (taking state gas tax into account).

Time to evaluate what has and what hasn't worked in past efforts to improve fuel economy. Supply-side regulation in the US (i.e. CAFE + gas guzzler tax) did achieve significant improvement early on but reached a plateau in the 1980s. Over the past 15 years, fleet average fuel economy has actually fallen again, especially if you lump passenger cars and LDTs together.

On the one hand, there has been something of an arms race to make vehicles ever heavier so they offer better passive crash safety. As Wintermane rightly points out, this has made driving a small car on US roads more dangerous.

On the other, increasing affluence has allowed consumers to demand a more imposing exterior shape, more interior space, better acceleration, lower interior noise plus a host of luxury gadgets. All of this adds yet more weight and leads directly to more powerful engines. Car makers only have 1-2 opportunities per customer and decade to sell their products. In a market that is essentially saturated, the easiest way to maximize revenue is by selling big-ticket options.

To avoid having to pay more gas guzzler tax, the US auto industry struck a little-publicized deal with US lawmakers to subvert CAFE by introducing the notorious E85 loophole. In other words, if well-intentioned supply regulations contradict consumer demand, those regulations will draw the short straw.

In Europe, legislators decided long ago to levy high fuel taxes - mostly because of low domestic supplies, more limited trading clout than the US and the de facto absence of a military option to secure supplies from overseas without the help of the US.

This approach has yielded greater improvements than supply-side regulations because as Tom LaSorda pointed out, it has shifted consumer tastes toward smaller, more frugal vehicles. In the EU, fuel taxes have been combined with preferential treatment for high-efficiency technology (specifically, diesel) and crash safety regulations that permit weight savings through a mix of active and passive systems.

Nevertheless, the fundamental demand dynamics described above are just as evident in Europe as they are in the US. Demand for full-size pickup and SUVs may be negligible - if only because of parking problems - but that is compensated for by the higher speeds on the autobahn and the relatively beefy engines needed to sustain them in comfort and safety. This is especially true of Germany.

Conclusions:
- in the US, additional supply-side regulation on fuel economy (i.e. tightening CAFE) would eventually be subverted in some way unless there is a massive shift in consumer demand. The current regime of tax credits for hybrids etc. is not scalable or sustainable, which is why they are strictly limited. Subsidies and protectionist tariffs for corn ethanol are skewing markets in ways that are not sustainable.

In other words, as much as the average voter is going to hate it at first, the tax burden has to be shifted further away from wealth generation and toward asset consumption. Fossil fuels have to become more expensive - and not just in the transportation sector. This has to happen slowly, predictably and irreversibly to minimize the accelerated depreciation of legacy assets. Expect cars and other consumer goods to become more sophisticated, more durable but also more expensive as a result. This increases revenue per sale but also means it takes longer for new, even better technologies to achieve market penetration.

- in Europe, LDV fleet average CO2 emissions represent new supply-side regulation that will eventually be subverted just as CAFE and the gas guzzler tax have been. Far better to eliminate tax breaks on commute distance and corporate car purchases. Taxes on fossil fuels should be even higher but vehicle license fees and road tolls should be cut. Initially, the additional revenue should be spent on tax incentives for getting old (diesel) clunkers off the road. This would improve air quality and increase demand for new and late-model used vehicles. Longer term, Europe needs to encourage alternatives to oil-based transportation, specifically CNG vehicles and EVs - but not hydrogen.

Rafael. As usual, everything you makes sense and is impeccably logical. However, when American consumers say they want cars with better gas mileage, they mean they want their current beefed up, accessory laden behomoths to get better gas mileage. Heaven forbid that they would deign to move to smaller or now available more efficient vehicles.

Any "solution" proposed or passed by congress will be as seemingly painless as possible. Higher gas taxes are not in the cards and never will be. When gas prices next ramp up above $3.00 across the country, there will be calls for lower or nonexistent gas taxes ,not lower taxes. With the pullback over the winter in gas prices, SUV and truck sales ramped up as if the summer high prices were merely an a short term anomoly. Someone will "fix" all this of course by magically discovering huge oil fields or providing cheap, unlimited, high EROEI ethanol or some such miracle fuel.

As far as the big car vs. small car dilemma goes, maybe we could start by requiring uniform bumper heights.

The U.S. economy is bleeding record breaking billions of dollars to foreign countries for oil as well as a plethora of other things. One would think this would be reason enough to do something. But noooo!! This country is not into anything that smells of sacrifice. Bush recognized this in the war on terror and the war in Iraq. No sacrifice required. Don't look back. Keep on shopping.

Your right about CAFE. It has been perverted and subverted to the point of meaninglessness. It has loopholes you can drive a Chevrolet Suburban through. And that, of course, is the point.

tom -

I am well aware of the political hurdles that need to be overcome to achieve a useful outcome. Given that the US White House is still in Republican hands, there is indeed just about zero chance of any increase in any tax this side of Jan 20, 2009.

That, however, does not mean there cannot be any public discussion on the subject. In particular, it is simply not true that improving fuel economy necessarily means having to make unacceptable sacrifices - financial or otherwise. This is a knee-jerk response based on the likely consequences of an immediate and steep hike in fuel taxes (e.g. an extra $1 a gallon).

I'm not suggesting such a disruptive step change in fuel taxes. The key is to perform the cutover from the current to a new tax philosophy over the course of 10-12 years, without increasing taxes collected as a fraction of GDP and without seriously skewing tax fairness. Doing that would give US auto makers time to respond with incremental innovations and marketing and, for consumers to adjust their priorities accordingly.

Exterior styling, engine smoothness, interior ergonomics/materials, seat configuration options, electronics etc. are already becoming as or even more important to customers as raw size and engine power. The trick is to ensure this trend is sustained regardless of what OPEC tries to do to undermine it, preferably such that consumer will pay a premium for it at the dealership.

All you need is a presidential candidate who is prepared to say that the US needs to hit the reset button on energy policy, in particular in the transportation sector. Between the lack of secure future supplies of oil & gas from Iraq and Central Asia and global warming, fiddling with the already rickety CAFE program is akin to re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic. Change must come, but it must be well-considered.

Poeple will take a fuel tax even a large one IF consumption taxes replace income taxes. The end of income taxes is such a huge carrot that frankly it would be a smash hit wth damn near everyone save maybe tax filing companiesl;/

But again the roads will have to getsafer and the realy big cargo trucks will have to get ALOT safer.

And your still going to have to deal with the fact that most people cant fit or drive or get out of a small car.

I would frive a small car but I deal with too many 18 wheelers too many drunks too many drug users too many idiots and too many poorly designed dangerous roadways.. oh and im about the size of your average full sized refrigerator... makes cramming into a subcompact a tad tricky.

CAFE standards are demand side not supply side regulations. Adding more and more cars to the road even at higher mpg per car does not help the climate problem. Taxes are also not likely to effect American comsumption much. Inspite of tripling of gas prices since 1999 gasoline use has change little if any. Rationing is the only proven way of cutting comsumption.
Peak Oil may be what drops consumption globally without any action by any government. Then the debate shifts to a battle of CTL vs BTL.

The danger of 18-wheelers to small cars is over-rated.
The truth is if one of these were to cause a crash it would crush an SUV as easily as it would a VW bug. The safety of the SUV is a myth. The reality is 18-wheelers ARE driven by professional drivers who's job it is to get from point A to point B safely. Crash investigators have shown that when a 18-wheeler is involved in a crash with a car 9 out of 10 times it was the driver of the car that caused it.

Engineer Poet:

Many readers will agree with you on this one.

USA/Canada car factories will have to find ways to lower total labour cost per unit. Otherwise, production of future vehicles will quickly move to other countries.

I would add PHEVs to your list, at least as an interim measure for people doing long distances regularly, and/or until such time as storage units cost per KWh come down.

Tom,

I don't know if you were driving at the time of the oil embargo or not. Rationing was bizarre! You had long queues, people filling up when they had 3/4 of a tank already, swapping of car tags and jerry cans galore. Very little reduction in consumption resulted.

I don't personally advocate it, but the 55mph national speed limit (which WAS enforced) did reduce gasoline consumption. Diesel consumption actually went up because the cross country trucks had to run in lower gears. The accident rate also plummetted.

CAFE is an attempt to legislate behavior ignoring the microeconomics of both supply and demand. The most effective way to reduce road fuel consumption is to tax the bejeebers out of it.

When you pass by enough car vs truck accidents you learn for yourself how cars handle it. And maybe it is often the driver of the cars fault but still its one image you wont fight with words or stupid comercials.. blood on the road speaks louder then all the words you have.

Wintermane, come to Colorado sometime during a good snow and you'll see all of the SUV rollovers. SUV safety is a myth.

Rafael:

Improvement in fuel efficiency of 1980’ was due to conversion to oxygen-sensor-driven closed-loop fuel-injection computer-operated technology, mandated by CARB and EPA to achieve low emission of harmful pollutants. Market or taxation has nothing to do with it.

I do not think that increasing weight of vehicles sold in N. America was conscious decision. All automakers - domestic, Japanese, European – just recycled old parts inventory from heavier vehicles, as a cheapest answer to buyer’s demand for bigger vehicles. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Chrysler being the champions. The only exemption was BMW, and only some Japanese models.

I can not comment on how CAFÉ loopholes emerged, I am not a telepath.

I strongly suspect that high European gas taxes, in addition to reasons you have explained, also aimed to get tax revenue from socially acceptable taxation of luxury items. The legacy of such approach is, for example, heavy yearly tax for ownership of TV in UK.

Problems of stable crude oil supply are relevant only if oil is supplied from barbaric or rogue states, like Iran or Venezuela. Europe has no problems with supply of oil from Norway, And US has no problems with supply of oil from Canada and recently Mexico.

Regime of tax credits for hybrids in US is sustainable. Hybrids will be much better vehicles from any respect than conventional ones – better performance, fuel economy, reliability, lower cost and maintenance, and they need financial push only for initial roll.

As for your ever-recycling push for heavy fuel taxation in N. America… We have this discussion before. The only thing I can tell you that one have to live a decade here to get a slight idea of core values America is built around. Than the idea of government regulating by heavy taxes or other means for what Americans should buy, what size of vehicles to drive, or where to build the homes they live, will be appreciated as science fiction. For initial evaluation, consider this:

2006 California elections contained numerous referendum propositions, such as:

Proposition 86, amends the state constitution to increase the excise tax on cigarettes by $.13 a cigarette in order to fund healthcare expansion (beef-up the funding of emergency services in hospitals).

Proposition 87, imposes a tax of 1.5% to 6% on oil extracted from California …the $4 billion raised by this tax would go towards research into alternative energy sources,… energy efficient technology, alternative fuel vehicles, and reduction of GHG emissions.

Proposition 82, 1.7% tax on incomes over $400,000 for individuals; $800,000 for couples to establish state-wide voluntary preschool education system for all four-year olds.

Proposition 89, raise income tax on corporations and financial institutions by 0.2% in order to fund expanded public campaign funding … whatever…

All four propositions have failed miserably. In CALIFORNIA!

And if you think that it is cerebral knee-jerk reaction for “tax increase’ wording, you would be wrong.

I bet that even proposition ### in Texas to forbid Al Gore to fly private jets over Texas territory will be repelled too, thought with teeth grinding and tears flowing.

You react to the roads you drive. The more a danger OTHERS are to you in your mind the more protection you demand. The harder it is to merge into a freeway on your way to work the more power you demand of your next car.

The time you almot fly off a blind curve the more likely you are to get a car that maniverse better.

We gave reacted conciously and uncouncuoysly to american roads and amaerican drivers.

We also of course react to spending more and more TIME in the car due to traffic and poor road capacity.

There simply are too many dangerous underbuilt overloaded roads being driven by too many idiots drunks drug users blah blah blah.

Ig you have ever gotten home and thanked god you actauly managed to and thought to yourself as you hugged your child... what if I had failed to make it... your prolly much more a common american then many of the people who comment here.

People want large vehicle that get better mileage just like every spoiled child wants everything, without accepting that there are tradeoffs and decisions to be made,

Well how adult of you.

Some may actually think that they are advancing the state of the art by demanding the impossible. If we just keep whining and stamping our feet, we will get our way and can take credit for it :)

Actually, the Union of Concerned Scientists designed an advance Explorer SUV that got almost twice the mileage. It was lighter and more aerodynamic, but had all the room inside that people seem to want.

wintermane,

I like your posts but I take exception to your falling for the paper design by the incompetent lawyers and fund raisers who advertise themselves pretentiously, as the Union of Concerned Scientists.

They built no such thing. They dreamed up such a vehicle and used press clippings of the most advanced features in all present SUVs by all manufactures and added an impossible to afford and impossible to re-cycle, carbon fiber body that drove costs for the B2 bomber toward 2 billion (with a B) per plane, to produce an instant double the mileage, estimated, double-mileage, never-built, imaginary SUV.

Those clods wouldn't know how to build a back yard soap box derby vehicle, never mind a "better SUV". They are phonies living on the high hog, collecting moneys to "raise consciousness" i.e. afford more advertising appeals for ever more money.

stan peterson: no... the UCS vehicle isn't the one you're talking about. (the carbon-fiber one is the "hypercar".)

the UCS proposal (http://www.ucsusa.org/UCSVanguard) uses an ordinary body with off-the-shelf engine and control system technologies to get a 25-35% gas mileage improvement, on today's assembly line. it's a valid point that all the car companies are choosing to put sticker price first rather than explain to people that the higher efficiency powertrain would pay for itself in less than two years.

BTW, Stan,

today I have visited Boeing plant in Everett where from August of this year carbon-fiber 787 250-seater will be built. It will have 20% less fuel consumption, longer life, substantially lower maintenance costs, and higher passenger cabin pressure and humidity – very welcomed feature for all us passengers. All for very moderate cost. Liner will enter commercial service in 2008, with order backlog already extending to 2013.

Carbon fiber/epoxy resin composites are no-starters for mass produced cars for numerous reasons: high cost, long time for settling of epoxy resin, irritating nature of carbon fibers, no way to recycle, etc. However, there are other plastic composites which do not have such deficiencies. I am talking about thermoplastic/polyester composites, which are relatively cheap, recyclable, and very well poised for mass production. Currently GM uses such body panels on Saturn line vehicles, and they have numerous advantages.

Wintermane:

I am here with you on this one. I am puzzled how Americans, many of them conceived, born, raised, and living in the cars could be such a bad drivers (compared to European drivers, for example).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2013 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group