A theme that I have been writing and speaking about a lot recently is the obligation of industry CEOs to lead their companies in reducing heat-trapping emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy – not only because of the essential societal benefits but because it’s good for business.
Over the last few years, electric cars have seen a significant surge in popularity. With the launch of popular models such as Nissan’s LEAF and the Chevy Volt, EVs would seem ready for their close-up. But is it really the case?
The New York Times has run a thought-provoking
Almost every big automaker fell short of their first-year sales targets for electric vehicles (EVs), and even though total EV sales in 2011 beat hybrid sales in 2000 (the vehicle’s first year on most markets) by a hefty margin, EVs took a beating from media outlets. Bad press or not, EV sales will continue to remain a mere fraction of overall vehicle sales until OEMs figure out
Ever since the introduction of the Tesla Roadster in 2008, compressed natural gas (CNG) has taken a back seat as an alternative fuel in the U.S. retail automotive market. Despite heavily financed advocacy campaigns, the technology has suffered from a lack of model availability, infrastructure, and public interest. Recent announcements from both
No one will deny that quite possibly one of the biggest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions is vehicles. There is no denying that traveling is important, however, the damage being done cannot be fixed so easily. Although numerous cities around the world are making public transportation and alternative
Mazda will introduce a subcompact gas-powered vehicle in Japan next year that gets 70.5 miles per gallon, a model automakers say shows that combustion-powered cars can deliver fuel efficiency similar to hybrid vehicles. With a more efficient engine and transmission, and a frame and suspension system produced with lighter, high-tensile steel, the
The cash for clunkers program is already proving too good to be true. The $1 billion in funds allocated for the program is almost gone after less than a week, and now congress is scrambling to get an additional $2 billion to extend the program.
With sales up at Ford and at dealerships, the program can be viewed as an unabashed success for the auto industry. And the environment is also winning, as the vehicles being purchased are estimated to be 69 percent more fuel efficient than the vehicles being dumped, according to the website CashForClunkersInformation.org.
Detroit car makers would increase profits by $3 billion annually and significantly boost sales if they improve the fuel economy of their vehicles by 30 percent to 50 percent, according to a new study.
Conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, the study found that a major reason for the precipitous decline of Detroit’s sales and profits in recent years was the refusal of the Big Three automakers to recognize the importance of fuel economy to consumers. That failure meant the steady loss of market share to foreign car companies whose vehicles got significantly better mileage, the study said. Had the Big Three paid attention to their own market research showing the importance of fuel economy, “they would not be in Chapter 11 today,” said a co-author of the study.