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Global Emissions
By CAR lobbyist Jeremy Cottrell


 

A topic of great debate and popularity is the current whirlwind surrounding “green” ideals, eco-friendly impact, and global warming. This growing subculture of society has resulted in one of the fastest growing sectors of product development, building development, lifestyle modifications, and notably a marked evolution in transportation.  

 

In conjunction with the move toward meeting consumers’ demand for earth friendly products companies have began investing significant amounts of capital in researching, testing, and producing the next generation of “green” products.

 

Auto manufacturers have seen a dramatic shift within the last five years with the advent of E-85 capabilities, widespread hybrid technology, diesel alternatives including “clean diesel”, and a wide array of developing technologies. The reason for the increase is two-fold. First, consumer demand for vehicles that utilize more efficient fuel standards as well as adhering to the recent popularity of the hip green lifestyle. Second, government mandates dictating standards to be imposed upon the auto industry.

 

In a capitalist society the first demand makes perfect sense; provide a product that the consumer demands and let the marketplace economy take over. However, the second seems a bit more like a communistic economical theory, where what is produced is dictated to both the manufacturers as well as the consumers. While historically the government has imposed mandates on various industries regarding environmental regulations, it seems as though the severity coupled with the brevity of the changes proposed may be a bit ambitious and out of context in the global setting.

 

The two things to consider most when looking to emissions trends are GDP and population. With that there needs to be a secondary examination into future governmental policy considerations as well as economic indicators. That being said it is no surprise that the United States ranks first in emission contributions. However, developing countries such as China, India, Europe, Brazil, South Korea and Mexico are expected to outpace the United States in terms of percentage gains by 2025. Most of these countries are expected to experience triple digit emission growth.

 

Considering the interdependent nature of the auto industry, with parts and materials being gathered globally this would seem to be a complicated manufacturing dilemma. Requiring auto manufacturers who sell vehicles within the United States to adhere to a set of regulations not even grossly followed by other developing nations would seem to be ceremonial solution rather than a practical one.

 

Certainly, any improvement is a move in the right direction, but requiring industry to invest billions in developing the technology that does not currently exist and requiring a stipulated annual improvement with a minimal time frame seems to take the notion of demand out of the market system economy. Further, looking at this problem as it is portrayed—as a global crisis, necessitates examining the fact that the bulk of the emissions will be from developing nations in the upcoming years.

 

Allowing the market to dictate what products survive has seemed to work soundly throughout the duration of the auto industry. Introducing laws and mandates to artificially hasten the change and requiring the inordinate costs to be borne by private business seems to be a short-sided vision. After all, like most quickly developed technology consumers ultimately bear the cost in terms of quality and price.


Let’s look at a global problem as a global problem. Approaching emission and fuel economy regulation realistically, globally, and in plausible context will serve to create a more founded long term world solution.

 

 

 

*This table demonstrates the technology being developed by means of demand rather than government mandate.

 

Organization

Description

BMW Clean Energy

Visit the BMW Clean Energy site to learn about the automobile manufacturer's development of new, environmentally friendly concept vehicles that run on hydrogen and electricity.

Daimler/Chrysler Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The Daimler/Chrysler AFV pages, located on the Daimler/Chrysler fleet Web site, provide information about vehicle specifications, emissions certifications, and the availability of alternative fuel models.

Daimler/Chrysler Environmental Vehicles

Learn about the development of Daimler/Chrysler's HEVs and FCVs.

DaimlerChrysler Energy for the Future

Learn about DaimlerChrysler's development of alternative fuel vehicles and other advanced transportation technologies.

Eco-Fueler

Eco-Fueler Corporation produces a vehicle capable of running on compressed natural gas (CNG), propane (LPG), or regular gasoline. The Eco Fuel Roadster is capable of getting 65 to 70 miles per gallon (MPG) and qualifies for rebates and incentives, including HOV access, throughout the United States.

Ford Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Ford's AFV Web site lists all current model year cars and trucks that can be fueled with natural gas, propane, ethanol, and electricity. The site also provides technical specifications and emission certifications for each alternative fuel model.

Ford Environment

Ford's environmental site features links to information about the company's clean manufacturing techniques, recycling policy, emissions technology, and ecological priorities. It also contains information about Ford's fuel cell vehicle program and other environmentally friendly alternative fuel vehicles that can run on propane, natural gas, and ethanol.

Ford Environmental Vehicles

Ford Motor Company produces a number of environmentally friendly vehicles that run alternative fuels like natural gas, ethanol, and propane.

Ford Fuel Cell Vehicles

Ford's fuel cell vehicle site contains information about the research and development of hydrogen powered FCVs that produce zero tailpipe emissions.

Ford Hybrid Electric Escape

This Web site features general information about HEVs and specific information about the Ford hybrid electric Escape.

GMability Education

The GMability Education web site has supplemental articles and web-based activities that help students understand relevant topics. Games and interactive features engage students, and lesson plans based on national education standards help teachers integrate activities into the classroom.

General Motors Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Visit General Motors AFV Web site to learn about current model year cars and trucks that can run on CNG, LPG, and E85.

General Motors EV1

This site provides facts about technical specifications and leasing information for the General Motors EV1 all-electric, ZEV.

Honda Insight

Insight Central explains the technology behind Honda's new fuel-efficient, low-emission, HEV.

Honda Natural Gas Civic Sedan

Learn about the Honda Civic GX NGV. Powered by a CNG, 1.7 liter SOHC VTEC-E engine, the Civic GX boasts the cleanest-burning internal combustion engine in the world.

Hyundai Environmental Vehicles

Hyundai environmental vehicle pages feature information about this auto manufacturer's development of battery electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell technology.

Live Green Go Yellow

General Motors site promotes the use of ethanol E85 in GM's fleet of flexible fuel (FFV) cars and trucks that can run on either gasoline or an ethanol gasoline blend of E85.

Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Vehicles

This Web site describes the Mercedes-Benz FCV program and the development of concept cars using this advanced technology.

Mitsubishi Advanced Technology

The Mitsubishi Advanced Technology page has links to research and development projects for EVs, HEVs, and other environmentally friendly transportation solutions.

Peugeot Environment

Discover the innovations being made by Peugeot, including advances in FCV technology.

Phoenix Motorcars, Inc.

Phoenix Motorcars combines vintage hot rod vehicle body styles with the all-electric Enova Systems Panther power train system to create limited edition zero emission electric vehicles that are both practical and luxurious.

Renault Environment

Renault's site features information on the development of alternative fuel and fuel cell technology.

Solectria

Solectria develops and manufactures complete integrated drive systems and individual vehicle components like AC induction drive motors with regenerative braking, high efficiency motor controllers, gearboxes, DC-DC converters, battery chargers, and various accessories and monitoring systems. Solectria's electric and hybrid-electric drive systems are found in school buses, passenger sedans, delivery trucks, ice resurfacing machines, and solar racing cars worldwide.

Toyota Environment

Toyota's environment site features news on the latest clean vehicle technology being developed, including hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Learn about the fuel-efficient and low emission hybrid sedan from Toyota.

Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle

This page features information on the battery-powered, zero emission RAV4 EV from Toyota.

USCAR

USCAR is the umbrella organization of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors, which was formed in 1992 to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative, pre-competitive research.

Volvo Environmental

Volvo currently produces bi-fuel vehicles that run on CNG and LPG. The company is also developing HEVs and AFVs that run on biogas, DME, electricity, ethanol, methanol, RME, and hydrogen.