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A deal, a deal, they finally made a deal! Big whoop. December 1, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Business & Society, Climate Change, Environment, Government, Politics, Technology.

Congress finally passed a compromise bill affecting auto mileage standards. Notice the finally part of that. Also notice that it was passed in spite of the automobile companies continued resistance. When you see the ads they run pretending to give a damn about the environment and mileage remember that. Also, when they say that it just isn’t technically feasible keep this guy in mind. It’s true that his full blown rebuilds aren’t economically feasible for anyone but the wealthy and that their cost would never be recovered in fuel savings. But it is also true that it puts the lie to the claims that there is no technology that exists to reduce mileage as drastically as we really need.

 Then there’s the research at MIT that would produce an engine that while more expensive than current ones would be much less expensive than hybrids. What I wondered about when reading this was whether in their savings calculations they accounted for the reduced weight of the smaller engine and reduction in supports needed for it in determining what it would do for gas mileage.

When it comes to innovations that would allow even further divergence from the old gas engine standard there’s the in-wheel motor that has different companies creating their own versions of it including Bridgestone, Mitsubishi and PML.

There’s lots of tech out there to do what Detroit is saying can’t be done. They apparently just don’t want to put forth the effort. There might be what they view as good reasons for doing it given their current financial problems but looking solely at the short term will do nothing to help guarantee their long term existence. Now in my opinion if there was a technology that was proven to produce major fuel efficiency improvements and they just couldn’t feasibly afford to retrofit their factories to produce it I wouldn’t have a problem with the government subsidizing that retrofit so long as the accounting was transparent. It would just do too much good for our country to not do so.



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