I do not understand why this is so hard for US car makers to make a car that gets 45+MPG. why do they feel the need to use this crazy hybrid technology? there is no need to design a car that looks all futuristic just because it has this hybrid technology. take any car you have in your line up and offer a diesel engine option. how hard is it to stick 1.9L diesel engine in a new Malibu and get over 50MPG? you can do this to any vehicle in the american its very simple.
It is very hard to stick a diesel in any car in the US. California and EPA emission rules have fucked us on that one. So far, the only practical way to meet those rules is to inject urea into the exhaust. As Consumer Reports found out recently, that urea injection is some expensive shit.
Supposedly the volt only costs about $1 night to plug in. And I dunno if its really a hybrid. Sure it has both a engine and a motor but its electric 100% of the time till the battery runs out then it runs 100% of the time on the gas motor. So if you live close enough to work you can drive there and back and not use one drop of gas.
You've almost got it. It is an electric car in that it has batteries and the electric motors EXCLUSIVELY drive the wheels. The gas engine is only connected to a generator. It has no transmission or mechanical drive train connected to the wheels. When the battery runs out, the engine comes on and keeps the electric wheels moving. The gas engine is considered a "range extender".
A true hybrid, like the Prius, allows the wheels to be driven by BOTH the engine and electric motor or exclusively by either. I think the Prius runs exclusively on its electric motors up to 30mph.
Don't worry, all the hedge funds will be right back into oil before long and gas will be $5 a gallon in no time. The economy is going to be fucked too but the hedge funds will make their money.
Here is what Lutz said.
"If the rise in gasoline prices is gradual, I think that all of us in the industry would frankly welcome that, because there is nothing more illogical than forcing fuel-saving technology when gasoline is extremely cheap,"
Take it in this context. The Feds have already passed the new CAFE requirements that require manufacturer fleets to get 40mpg. The problem is fuel efficient cars have historically never sold well in the US. One exception was back in 2008 when gas prices really went nuts. Everyone saw that economy car sales went through the roof when prices were above $3.00 a gallon.
Lutz is correct that their more fuel efficient cars will be in high demand (and make higher margins) IF gas prices are higher. The only way to artificially push those prices up there is when you increase taxes dramatically. They have done EXACTLY that in Europe and as a result, the average car gets about 40mpg and the public actually buys them. Of course, Europe didn't fuck themselves with stupid diesel emission rules like the US did.
Lutz is a free market guy. He believes in selling what the public actually wants. But if the Government is going to force him to build cars that get 40mpg, then he wants to actually be able to sell them and make money. In that context, he is right to say that MUCH higher gasoline taxes will guarantee sales of these newly mandated cars.
I mean, come on, this guy had a huge role in bringing the Viper to market, do you seriously think he wants to sell these shitty little cars? IMO, he statement is strictly a result of government regulation...