Erik's Weblog 2.0

September 14, 2007

[@074]

Tell Ford and GM: Ethanol is Not the Answer!

Ford vehicles were responsible for 25 percent of the carbon emissions from cars in the United States in 2004, and GM vehicles were responsible for 31 percent. Both companies continue to resist a rise in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, and both promote ethanol as a viable part of the solution to global warming and energy security. However, ethanol-fueled cars are less fuel-efficient and using current technologies can even produce more global warming emissions than gasoline-fueled cars.

I'm not convinced that PHEVs are the answer either, but corn-based Ethanol is a joke.

Comments

Paul

Sep 14, 2007 at 11:28

I'm pretty sure that the auto makers are actually now behind a raise in CAFE standards are working with Washington to get a bipartisan solution through with the current energy bill.  I do some work with the AAM and I saw that they had the details posted over at Drive Congress along with a lot of other background on the subject.  I think the best solution that they could come up with would be one that was more well rounded and incorporates a few different solutions to this issue as opposed to throwing all our eggs in one basket.  Just raising standards probably isn't the best idea - but one that takes into account a raise that separates cars and trucks, encouraging new technologies, and possibly some incentives for buying hybrids, etc.. - now that would probably have the best chance for success.

Erik C. Thauvin

Sep 14, 2007 at 14:25

I'm all for raising the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, but 32 to 35 mpg by 2022 is a joke too.

If you look at the mpg of cars and trucks sold in Europe *today* (diesel, etc.), the notion that HR 2927 is a "tough legislation" becomes literally comical.

E.

Paul

Sep 26, 2007 at 15:19

But Europe and the US are really not comparable when it comes to CAFE standards.  The driving in Europe is much much different than here- and it even goes past the much larger distances Americans travel.  Americans actually tend to drive more rather than less when they have cheaper gas or more efficient cars so any gain would be quickly negated by CAFE raises.  

Now, I don't think they are a terrible idea, but they need to be part of a comprehensive package.  Look at gas prices - if you want a good idea from overseas look at the places that have implemented high gas taxes.  That truly drives change because it forces consumers to change their habits (unlike CAFE) which is the only way to effectively deal with this issue.  Consumer choice is what drives people to pick larger autos like trucks and SUVs, and consumer choice will be what will cause fuel efficient cars to be popular and manufactured - not Washington legislation.

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