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Re: [hreg] Hydrogen-based transportation

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  • Kevin L. Conlin
    Good arguments, guys, you all make legitimate points, but I think the biggest factor in the Big 3 improving fuel economy, quality and innovation was foreign
    Message 1 of 90 , Jan 10, 2002
      Good arguments, guys, you all make legitimate points, but I think the
      biggest factor in the Big 3 improving fuel economy, quality and innovation
      was foreign competition, particularly from Japan.
      The Big 3 lost market share to a competitor that not only had a cheaper
      product, but it was more reliable, got better mileage, and enough Americans
      wanted them that it drove one of the Big 3 to bankruptcy. As I write this
      from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and having spent yesterday
      in the automotive section of the show, I can tell you first hand that the
      wave of innovative products coming from the Far East is staggering. I've
      been a gearhead all my life, but never imagined I'd see theatre quality
      surround sound, satellite radio and television, and pop-up navigation
      systems among others, in everyday vehicles. These changes are not being
      driven by Ralph Nader, the Society of Automotive Engineers, or the US
      Govt. They are being driven by innovative thinkers that have perceived a
      shift in the way people see and use their vehicles, and realize a
      fundamental change has occurred in how we utilize them and relate to them.
      I'm not saying that I think people should be immersed in a surround sound
      movie experience while driving the Katy Freeway, especially not when they're
      in front of me, my point is that many factors influence the acceptance or
      rejection of new ideas and technology, and to claim any one source is
      responsible is seldom true.

      My 2 cents worth, glad to see HREG come back to life after a dormant stage.
      Best Regards, Kevin


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <jclem412@...>
      To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 12:08 AM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Hydrogen-based transportation


      > HREG,
      >
      > Good points, Robert. And, I must thank Charlie for being consistent and
      > persistent in his commentary. I took Charlie's comments to be stern
      > reminders of some of the shortcomings of the
      > highly-complex-and-highly-oil-dependent-auto-industry.
      >
      > I see that the reason for so much non-government, non-greenie induced
      > innovation in cars is simply that the 20th century concept of a car is
      very
      > complex, which forces the necessity of innovation. The thousands of
      parts,
      > whining, grinding, scratching, rubbing, and moving can only beg for
      > continuous improvement. And how can you keep selling the same old cars -
      > reliable or not? Incremental changes, that's how.
      >
      > I hear the fear of litigation argument alot. Seems believable that
      > innovation may be stifled. But the fact is, when a car is introduced, or
      an
      > airplane for that matter, a lot of attention is given for doing it right,
      > safe, and cost-effectively. The development team, though nowadays
      including
      > more and more production folks, has usually included the mindset that
      doing
      > it best is the goal and it is an inherently obvious one, not needing the
      fear
      > of litigation to make it happen. I see that fear of litigation usually
      > arises when designs and tools have been committed to production and it is
      > just plain too expensive to make changes - that is where the decision
      happens
      > to let a little bit of safety margin (or efficiency) slip away, thus
      > increasing litigation risk.
      >
      > My father worked in Quality Assurance at GM for 40 years. He often told
      me
      > that the philosphy there used to be (in the 50s and 60s) to let a few bad
      > parts through and let them fail in service. Of course, now the philosophy
      is
      > zero-defects. The old philosophy was driven by the profit motive;
      likewise,
      > the new philosophy is driven by the profit motive. It has been the
      consumers
      > who have changed their beliefs and expectations, largely due to folks like
      > Nader, and THAT has prompted scores of innovation.
      >
      > I agree with both Robert and Charlie in most of what they said. But
      > Charlie's reminder of the lag in fuel economy from the Big 3 is too
      important
      > to ignore. Gone should be the incremental improvements or jazzy ads that
      > Madison Avenue have used to sell cars for years. Why do TV ads tell us SO
      > little about the technology and processes used to make the cars, and
      continue
      > to show cars driven in pristine environments and not the smoggy cities
      that
      > most are driven in?
      >
      > Vastly improved fuel economy will necessitate a revolutionary change in
      the
      > way cars are designed, built, and driven. And we DO need to be shocked
      into
      > doing it, and not just by the Greenies. The hydrogen economy should not
      try
      > to replicate or emulate the evolution of the internal combustion engine
      > powered cars and supporting infrastructure. Certainly, the hazards of
      > hydrogen can be turned into vast benefits for all. Afterall, we are all
      > about 2/3 water, and water contains hydrogen.
      >
      > Jonathan A. Clemens
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
    • JOHN GARDNER
      I have accepted to be at the Woodlands event on April 8. John Gardner Michael Ewert wrote: Looking ahead to Earth Day, I’d like to
      Message 90 of 90 , Jan 20, 2006
        I have accepted to be at the Woodlands event on April 8.
        John Gardner

        Michael Ewert <mewert@...> wrote:
        Looking ahead to Earth Day, I’d like to get an idea how many of you will be willing to help staff an HREG booth at one event or other.  I’m sure we will have many opportunities and I don’t want to accept more than we can handle.  Please let me know if you would like to staff the specific request below or if you would like to sign up tentatively to staff another Earth Day event.  Most will be on Saturdays in April.  Please e-mail me at mewert@....  Thank you.
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Eric Duran [mailto:eduran@...]
        Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 11:35 AM
        To: mewert@...
        Subject: Bellaire Earth Day
         
        Mr. Ewert,
         
        I'm writing to ask the Houston Renewable Energy Group to participate in Bellaire's Earth Day Festival on April 22nd, 2006. We'd like you to have an informative booth at the Nature Discovery Center site, from 10am to 2pm. We're asking the exhibitors this year to make the booths as interactive as possible, but information would be okay, as well. We look forward to having your organization join us.
         
        Thank you,
         
        Eric Duran
        Staff Naturalist
         
        Nature Discovery Center
         
        713-667-6550
           

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