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4679Re: [hreg] Re: What is holding back American car companies?

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  • Roxanne Boyer
    Aug 2, 2006
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      Ok, now I know why GM stock is rated "junk".
      Why does Bob Lutz think ethanol is the solution?
      Several studies and even my own have shown that if all the available land in the US grew biomass for ethanol, only 10% (modern tech) to 20% (future tech) of our gasoline could be replaced by ethanol. (Only 6% of diesel consumption could be replaced by biodiesel.)  Biomass fuel is hugely inefficient way to convert land into energy.  Lutz has not done his homework.
      I agree that it is difficult to put engine and electric trivetrains into the same car and make it economical.  Most families have two cars; why not have one for long distance (engine) and the other electric for short commutes.  It may not be for everyone, but, I bet there will be a profitable market.  I seems Bob Lutz has no vision for the future; he can only see what is now and thinks it will never change.  How do short sighted people like this get to be Vice Presidents?

      blpasemann <blpasemann@...> wrote:
      I have been reading a lot and I read about the car companies not
      wanting to promote hybrids or electric cars. Here's an article from
      the energy bulleting website. This kind of talk from GM will never
      get me to buy one of their products. I read similar things from ford,
      like when they are scaling back there hybrid production quantities
      from earlier statements. I just don't think they want to do it and
      are being paid by big oil.

      GM article:
      ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- -------
      Lutz: GM building hybrids for good press
      LeftLane News
      General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said in an interview this week
      that GM doubts the benefits of hybrids, but must build them to improve
      its public image. "Hybrids are technologically of doubtful benefit,
      and expensive, but necessary from a political and public relations
      point of view," Lutz told Just-Auto. "Toyota has said, economically,
      hybrids make no sense. The reduction in fuel [consumption] does not
      pay for the technological content and cost of the vehicle so therefore
      economically it remains fairly nonsensical, so that's the left-brain
      analytical argument."

      "The right brain is it's the popular thing to do, many people believe
      that if we all drove hybrids the world would suddenly get cooler again
      and then it's the patriotic thing to do because if you drive a hybrid
      you will no longer be funding the Arab terrorists, and so forth."

      "So, with all those beliefs out there, you have to do a hybrid for
      public policy reasons."

      "I don't care how much money you get out but when you've got two
      drivetrains, the sophisticated electronics and a big lithium-ion
      battery, you've got cost."

      Lutz says diesels are also problematic. "The modern diesel is becoming
      more and more expensive as we have to have to gear up to meet Euro 5,
      which is very difficult."

      "Let's not forget, a diesel engine is always going to be more
      expensive than a conventional petrol engine, that's the laws of physics."

      In March, Lutz said GM is most enthusiastic about ethanol. "We think
      running the nation on E85 makes more sense than all the hybrids in the
      world," he said.
      (21 July 2006)
      > I don't know for sure, but I would guess that part of what you (we) are
      > seeing is due to the lag from concept to market that auto makers go
      > It typically takes several years for a manufacturer to design and
      > something new. I don't know how long, but I'd guess between 3-5 years,
      > depending on how much is new vs how much has already been designed.
      > (Consider an all-new vehicle vs a new body on an existing chassis.)
      > Think about the Dodge Magnum, a big, gas-guzzling beast available
      with a
      > 300HP (or so) engine. It came out about a year or so ago. It was
      probably in
      > the works before W. became President.
      > Honda and Toyota have traditionally made smaller vehicles, so were
      > in a much better position from the start to offer more
      fuel-efficient cars
      > and take advantage of today's higher gas prices.
      > Paul

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