It’s Time for the Detroit Project

Imagine Detroit as the premier international center for advanced vehicle technology. Imagine the world following our lead in the effort to reduce emissions. Imagine Detroit converting to a global war on terror footing as the Arsenal of Democracy, building what our military and our nation need for victory.

We did it before. We can do it again.

The Big Three now clearly get that global warming and oil dependency are serious problems for the nation and for Detroit. A cynic could be excused for thinking that the Big Three promote economy-wide solutions to greenhouse gas emissions to shield themselves. I choose to believe they are sincere. Besides, it is hard to imagine an economy-wide solution that wouldn’t require significant improvements in automotive fuel economy or tailpipe emissions. Vehicles are going to have to change, and fast.

And Washington isn’t wasting time. Just this week, President Bush signed an executive order directing his agencies to prepare regulations to raise fuel economy And a bipartisan consensus is emerging in Congress that seems ready to demand that automakers improve the fuel economy of their new vehicles by 4% per year well into the future.

The Big Three (plus Toyota) continue to resist a 4% per year mandate, but none have said it is technically impossible. Last month GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz with characteristic bluntness told an industry conference, “We have the technology to do it. It’s just not affordable.” Automakers estimate that ten years of 4% per year improvements would cost them $114 billion, with $85 billion as the Big Three’s share. We all know that the Big Three just don’t have that kind of cash.

It’s time to take the high ground. It’s time for actions to replace words. America needs Detroit to return to the ‘can do‘ spirit that once made Detroit America’s greatest military asset. One military expert said that America’s oil dependency and the global warming it exacerbates create “a clear and present danger – economically, militarily, diplomatically and environmentally.” Bob Lutz, at the industry conference last month, perhaps playing the military card, suggested an initiative on the scale of World War II’s Manhattan Project to achieve the technological advances we need to break our nation’s addiction to oil. The stakes are as high today as they were in 1942.

Call it the Detroit Project and give it a Manhattan-Project-size budget–$30 billion—to invest over the next five years.

Because it just makes sense to treat vehicles and fuels as a single integrated system, the Detroit Project needs oil companies and automakers working jointly. And because the Detroit Project is in the national interest, the oil companies and automakers need to work jointly with the federal government. Since 2001, federal spending on developing cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable sources of energy has totaled $12 billion. The Detroit Project should get the same annual federal spending rate ($2 billion per year for five years for a total of $10 billion), but focused on fuels and vehicles. But not without committing to oil savings – no one can afford handouts these days. When the Project is successful, the oil companies and automakers will benefit financially, so they should put up the remaining $20 billion. Our automakers can hardly afford not to make this investment – they will continue losing market share, profits, and jobs to more fuel efficient manufacturers if they don’t.

The Detroit Project should focus on finding breakthrough technologies that help achieve and sustain a 20% to 25% reduction in oil used by Americans for transportation along with a similar reduction in associated greenhouse gas emissions.

The key to the Manhattan Project’s huge success–in just four short years–was the synergy created by bringing together the best and brightest scientists from industry, government, and academia in pursuit of a common purpose. The Detroit Project needs to cast a broad net, gathering the best thinkers from nonprofit organizations and labor as well as from industry, government, and academia.

We have the know-how and we must now get the can-do to solve the serious problems we created by our oil dependency. It’s time for all of us to give up our comfortable but vulnerable entrenched positions and establish a competitive, clean, and efficient future for our industry and a cleaner, more secure future for our country. It’s time for the Detroit Project.


  • P.W.

    Toyota knows how to make hybrids affordable and they deserve every dollar in profits they can take from the big 3. Once they make plug in hybrids they’ll sell even more high mileage cars and deserve every dollar.

  • AP

    I continue to be amazed that people think Detroit doesn’t want to make fuel-efficient vehicles. The problem is, US government policy creates an unpredictable market which often pits the average consumer against the manufacturer, and the manufacturers against environmental groups. Don’t believe it?

    In 1985 GM discontinued a highly successful line of large luxury cars (the Seville, Eldorado, Riviera, and Toronado) and spent many millions (maybe a billion) on bringing out a new, smaller line. Everyone at the time thought gas would go to $2/gallon. Right when the cars came out, gas dropped to $1 or so instead. Guess what? Nobody wanted them. Dealers charged more for the old models than the new ones, until they ran out. Sales plummeted, and for their good intentions, GM probably lost billions in sales over several years (it takes 4 years to change a model line). That’s a tough lesson.
    Guess what else government fuel regulations brought us? The SUV. Cheap fuel, combined with a more lenient mileage standard, allowed people to buy a pickup or SUV with a V8 (which most people would like), instead of a V6 car.

    Unpredictable fuel prices will make any manufacturer think twice about investing billions of dollars on a product that comes out in four years, and then sells for for more. Detroit needs to know that there will be a demand for these vehicles when they come out. Otherwise people will keep their old, less efficient vehicles.
    Before most consumers will lay out extra money for fuel-efficient technology, they need to know they will be paid back. A predictably high fuel price (meaning it’s mostly a flat-rate tax) would guarantee that. It works in every other major market, and not having it in their home market hurts American auto makers. Other manufacturers bring in what works back home and look like geniuses.

    Rolling in a $2/gallon tax over 5 years (offset by an equal income tax refund) would encourage more efficient vehicle purchases, reduce consumption much more than CAFE would, put Detroit in tune with all consumers, reduce consumption in old vehicles, encourage people to car pool, reduce crude oil prices (and the money going to terrorist regimes), reduce CO2 emissions, automatically encourage any better alternative fuels or better propulsion methods, reduce congestion on freeways, negate the need for more refineries, and reduce urban sprawl. It’s hard to think of many disadvantages if it’s made tax-neutral.

    Well, the oil companies might not like it.

  • RB

    PW: Toyota doesn’t make its huge profits on hybrids. Look behind their “curtain” of hybrids, and you’ll see their fast-expanding line-up of gas-gulping Tundras and Sequoias (less efficient than GM-equivalent vehicles, by the way). Even though one Tundra wastes more fuel than 5 Priuses save, they get no criticism because they sell hybrids at a subsidized price. And they’re Japanese (Japanese=good).

    We Americans, we just love to hate big corporations, as long as they’re American.

  • sean

    RB: At least Toyota has Prius.
    In 2003 Bob Lutz said Prius is a stunt from Toyota. What a comment!

  • Anthony

    This argument kills me. Every time we travel to Europe there are Vauxhalls, and Opels that get easily 30 to 40 mpg and maybe even more. We’ve rented these cars, and while generally smaller than our American cars, they are comfortable, quiet, have better than average acceleration AND they get really good gas mileage. The technology is here. Now. Oh, and Vauxhalls and Opels are made by GM.

  • jake

    Blame Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RB

    Sean and Anthony, I am very much in favor of reducing consumption. I am saying the government is sending mixed messages, which makes consumers “fair weather fans” of fuel-efficient vehicles. I don’t favor SUV’s, but government policies encouraged them.

    If we could get to where average consumers strongly demand fuel-efficiency, not just this year but next, we wouldn’t even need to discuss this.

    Toyota making the Prius doesn’t exonerate them from making increasingly fuel-inefficient vehicles. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are a “big picture” issue, and unless everyone joins in, driving a fuel-efficient vehicle makes you feel good, but you can’t undo the larger consumption of others.

    And nowhere did I say Detroit couldn’t make more fuel-efficient vehicles, and yes, they do in other markets. I’ve also driven them in Europe, and they are a blast. The difference is that Europeans will pay a high price for them, because that’s what they need to deal with $6/gallon gas. They’ll pay extra for diesels to save money.

  • Glen

    Given that moving away from oil dependence is essential to the survival of the USA and planet, such an initiative should be supported, funded and carried out along with others to encourage the development of affordable solar panels for homes. The writing is on the wall. We need a government that will do more than lip service to move the nation (and lead the world) in the right direction. In my view, we are past the time when pointing fingers of blame at Detroit, Big Oil or Washington DC will do any good. Its time to solve the problems that confront us.

  • Don

    First, there is only one domestic manufacturer and is the UAW. Expecting the UAW to act patriotically defies past experiences as they have actively fought any initiative that would reduce the dependence on oil. The UAW will waste the taxpayers money.
    We are best off raising the gas tax to the point that demand for fuel efficiency becomes high. If the UAW chooses to compete great, otherwise let them go out of business. Nearly all the technology is already invented it is a matter of development not research. Let the best mousetrap win. The government needs to define the mouse not fund the mousetrap makers.

  • Brian

    RB,

    Just wait and see when Toyota releases its next version of the Prius. I hear average gas mileage will go up to 70mpg as a standard hybrid, but with a new lithium ion battery pack. After that, watch for the plug-in to appear, and see 100+ mpg of gas. You say there is subsidation going on at Toyota, well you’re right. But as Toyota scales up production of hybrids and prices come down, more people will buy and they’ll make a windfall. Eventually, the hybrid will become a plug-in and these technologies will pass on to the Sequioas and Tundras, making them more gas efficient as well.

    Detroit is in trouble and it will certainly take a Manhatten project to turn the Big 3 around. Every day they continue to lose more ground. The way I see it, their only salvation will be to begin immediate mass production of plug-in hybrid vehicles that are also flex fuel. This gives customers more choices (fill up with electricity, gas, or ethanol) which is appealing. New lithium ion batteries will dramatically extend the eletric range and create an opportunity for Vehicle-2-grid whereby customers get paid for selling stored electricity back to the grid. PHEV’s that use biofuels as a back up would go far to address our oil dependency, energy security, eliminate the trade defecit, create local jobs, and help fight global warming.

    PHEV’s that run on biofuels are a no-brainer. Unfortunately, the US is way behind the game.

  • RB

    Brian, you’re right. Detroit is in trouble. My point is that the government has the power to make these issues resolve themselves by taxing fuel more heavily (refunded as a whole by income tax), creating a stable consumer demand that Detroit can plan for. They’d know where to invest their money. Letting natural disasters (like Katrina) and politically unstable countries (like Iran) determine our fuel prices makes everything a moving target. As a consumer, should I plan for $2/gallon in two years, or $4.50? What do I buy?

    As for the Prius, though, I’ll continue to disagree. Even if a Prius used NO fuel (impossible, of course), average it with a Tundra (14-17 MPG in the city) and you get 28-34 mpg. Since one Tundra uses about 4 times the fuel of a current Prius, you’d have to have MANY Priuses to make up for that one Tundra. One efficient vehicle can’t undo one poor one.

    The subsidation issue would also be removed by a higher fuel tax. If fuel taxes were higher, that alone would justify buying a more efficient vehicle – which may be a hybrid (or diesel, or lighter, or …). Who cares what the solution is, as long as it works?

  • Craig Northcutt

    If Detroit had a different attitude, like “Failure is not an option”, then Bob Lutz and the other idiots resisting the future, indeed what the consumer really wants, they would have been given the boot a long time ago. Instead, the big three will die on the vine, all the while pointing the blame outside, asking for hand outs. Meanwhile, inside looking companies, like Honda and Toyota, with long term vision, will continue to be a decade ahead of the Big three in terms of quality and value propositions to consumers.

    Just this week I saw yet again another bran new GM made vehicle, crabbing down the highway sideways. I just smirked, recalling my 1990 GM Suburban, and how no one could seem to get it aligned properly, and how it would crab sideways, and brake asymmetrically, eating up the right front rotor in 1/3 the usual service duty, and really, be quite a hazard in the wet, or snow. I sold that POS after it left me on the road stranded for the fourth time, swearing It would be at least a decade before I’d even consider going through that torture. Yet here it is a decade later, and I see bran new $30K+ GM Vans, and pickups, still showing the same alignment problems my vehicle had 15 years ago! It’s a disgrace! All of you out there, take note, why is it when ever you see a vehicle driving down the road sideways, it’s from GM or Ford?

    I look forward to my next Honda or Toyota. At over 100K miles, my Acura Integra, and Toyota pickup we by far more reliable and inexpensive to own, than any sub 60K mile US car we’ve owned.

    My next vehicle will be a hybrid, the only question is “Toyota or Honda?”

    CN

  • Richard

    Don’t count gm and ford out. GM invented the green car. The EV that no one wanted, Please see the coming failure in PHEV.
    We will be on oil when all your grand kids die.

  • ETM

    You would need to name it something like the ‘Chicago project’.

    After all, the Manhattan project started off in down town Chicago (at least the nuclear pile part of it).

  • Gerald F. Shields Jr.

    The problem isn’t the technology. The problem is the Big Three are basically “Legacy” automakers. Imagine if you designed and made a “fictional red box”. This red box had moving parts that required that you had to buy replacement parts to repair the red box and it required a special fuel to power the box. Naturally, you will sell the parts also as well as license the parts design to other “third party” manufacturers. Moreover, you’ve collaborated with other companies to sell the red box fuel. For years, you’ve made millions of dollars selling the red box (and the parts, repairs and fuel) and you’ve hired people to design and market the red box. Now imagine an environmental crisis occurring where there was a shortage of the fuel that powered the box and it’s causing the price of the fuel to rise. Then say one of your designers made a box that (1) Had less moving parts and (2) Uses less fuel to power the box. Let’s call this redesigned box the “Green Box”. Would you sell the green box? No. Why? Because since the green box has less moving parts, that means it doesn’t need to be repaired as much and that means you lose money from parts and repair. Because the green box uses less fuel, it doesn’t need to be refueled as much and so you will lose money from fuel sales, never mind that there’s a fuel shortage and forget that less need to refuel the box would benefit the consumer. Now, imagine that the red box is a regular car, truck or SUV with a standard ICE and imagine that the green box is either a gas-electric hybrid or an electric car.

    So given what I’ve described above, it wouldn’t matter if you gave the Big Three money to make a fuel-efficient vehicle. It wouldn’t matter if you collaborated with them to develop fuel-efficient technologies because in the end, they KNOW that vehicle and those technologies would cannibalize their “peripheral” sales. It would be more beneficial to give the money to or to collaborate with companies like Telsa and Phoenix Motorcars that design and make electric cars or hybrids, but doesn’t have any “hooks” in a auto parts and repair economy. They can then design more cheap fuel-efficient vehicles, build factories, hire more people.

    For the legacy automakers, we should raise fuel-efficiency standards and tax their fuel-inefficient product, but we should shouldn’t give the Big Three ONE MORE DIME.

  • MICHAEL A.

    Way back in the early 1990s Clinton/Gore proposed an energy tax that would have given the U.S. auto industry the kick it needs to mass produce fuel efficient cars. The tax passed the House with EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN voting against it. And, this big “NO” vote was after NASA’s James Hansen began warning Congress about global warming in 1988.

    After the bill passed the House, it died in the Senate. It was single handedly killed by a Conservative Democrat, Senator David Boren of Oklamhoma. Senator Boren had been on the payroll of the Oil Industry for years.

    Again, all these Conservative politicians KNEW what was at stake with climate change. They just didn’t care about your kids and grandkids.

    Still not convinced that Global Warming is a political problem forced upon by Conservitives?

    The big Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarenegger was a major step in the right direction. But every Republican except ONE in the California Legislature voted against the bill.

    Finally, for mindless partisans out there Schwarenegger is a moderate, not a conservative. And, I voted for him. The question I have for the conservitives is this:

    Fossil Fuel Tax Today or Soylent Green for your Kids?

  • Gerald F. Shields Jr.

    Nonsense. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are to blame. Members of BOTH political parties has failed to act in the public interest to limit pollution and require increased fuel economy, promoted the purchase of vehicles with poor fuel efficiency through preferential tax breaks, and has redirected alternative fuel research from electric and hybrid research towards hydrogen, which won’t be viable for 10-20 years.

  • Hal Howell

    One has only to look at the Chevy Volt to see that GM has the ability to build what we need. The answer is so obvious. Everybody wants a fuel cell. Well that would be nice except that no one among the masses will be able to afford it. Chevrolet is looking at under $30,000 as the target price of the Volt. Imagine what a fuel cell is going to cost! Yet Chevy has the answer. An onboard gasoling engine that is used as a power source to recharge the batteries and run the generator for the electric motor as needed. At a range of 40 on battery power alone at a decent speed it would satisfy most people’s needs. While Toyota and others are trying to get Lith-ion battery to a realistic cost factor, there is an even quicker and cheaper alternative. Get rid of the spare tire. Then use that space for more NMHD batteries. There should be no need for a spare tire in this day and age. Its nothing but dead weight. The space could then be used for batteries to get the PRIUS down the road more on electric power than gasoline. The tire manufacturers need to re-invent the wheel and get the public a tire that is dependable and eliminate the need for the spare and jack and other space/weight wasting items. I read where a Toyota engineer said that the current batteries were designed to last the life of the car. So how far could the PRIUS go if it had triple the battery size and capability in place of a spare tire?? The auto manufacturers seem bent on coming up with the super elegant solution rather than one that works. The Volt is the right idea and hopefully it will make it to market soon. I mean even if I only got to work on electric and had to return home with gas assist, I would still be using only a small amount of gas compared to the present.
    We don’t need perfect solutions, just ones that work or at the very least work better. After a week of driving my PRIUS, I drove my wife’s VW JETTA. At every stop light I became all the more aware of the fact I was wasting gas at stop lights. Even the PRIUS is not a perfect solution but it is a step in the right direction. The more exotic the solution the more it is going to cost. For the masses to be able to afford these steps toward energy independence we need solutions that the majority can afford not just the wealthy.

  • carl

    doesn’t anyone get it? It’s the oil stupid….it’s always about the oil. Do you think these oil companies are not lobbying detroit not to make eco friendly cars. Of course they are, probably with cash in their pockets. Just read the industry record billions of profit the oil companies are making. With that kind of money comes power. Power to influence anyone, even good politicians. We have the technology to run cars without a drop of oil 20 years ago. They just don’t want to do it. They don’t want to. They will talk about it…just a PR tactic to have people think they are working on it. GM was the inventer of electric car…20 years ago. Trust me if they wanted to they can make a car today do 100mpg. I find it ironic that between classes of vehicles of different make they all come within 1-2mpg difference. They know what they are doing.

  • kamm

    “Imagine Detroit converting to a global war on terror footing as the Arsenal of Democracy, building what our military and our nation need for victory.”

    Oh pleahhhse, stop with this utter nonsense.
    What the hell Detroit can or rather has to do with the utterly screwed up ~30 years of US foreign policy?
    There’s no military solution for that and obviously Detroit has nothing to do with “footing” that such horrendously idiotic buzzword-based idea called “global war on terror” – this is the complete neocon nonsense, wake up.

    I agree though it is the LAST chance for the Big Three to prove themselves worthy – otherwise they will die like the music studios are already dying thanks to their arrogant ignorance of their own market changes.

  • Justin

    here is a link to a tire that could help out in many ways.

    http://www.michelinman.com/difference/releases/pressrelease01102005a.html

  • kamm

    PS: and yes, of course, oil companies will NEVER ALLOW mass defection to electricity or any other, non-fossil fueling systems.
    NEVER, EVER.

  • Gerald F. Shields Jr.

    Sure, big oil can lower prices to slow the defection to hybrids, but for how long? Almost every day, I hear of city, state or federal government department or group switching to hybrids. Public Mass Transit companies routinely state their switch to hybrid buses to cut operating costs incurred by high gas and diesel prices. Seattle and other cities are also upgrading their bicycle networks to work in concert with the Mass Transit systems in place. The other day, Phoenix Motorcars and Altair Nanotechnolgies were hyping their quick battery chargers which they can charge their electric vehicles in 10 min. That’s just 8 min longer than if you was filling up at a gas station.

  • Less NOx

    Check out the fuel economy of 07 cars.

    Fuel Economy Leaders: 2007 Model Year
    Rank Manufacturer/Model MPG
    city/highway
    1 Toyota Prius (hybrid-electric) 60/51
    2 Honda Civic Hybrid 49/51
    3 Toyota Camry Hybrid 40/38
    4 Ford Escape Hybrid FWD 36/31
    5 Toyota Yaris (manual) 34/40
    6 Toyota Yaris (automatic) 34/39
    7 Honda Fit (manual) 33/38
    8 Toyota Corolla (manual) 32/41
    9 Hyundai Accent (manual)
    Kia Rio (manual) 32/35
    32/35
    10 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD
    Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD 32/29
    32/29

    Looks like you should cut Toyota some slack RB for their Tundra, RB. Better to buy one of their gas guzzlers instead of a GM pick-up since there isn’t a single GM product in the top ten! Why reward a company that builds Hummers?

    But you are right about a gas tax being a good strategy to take the guesswork out of future gas prices. But why even discuss it if one party wouldn’t raise taxes if their life depended on it, and the other is too spineless to propose an increase even if they knew it was the right thing to do?

  • NegativePopulationGrowth

    Bush must love the fact that you through “global war on terror” and one upped him with “Arsenal of Democracy” into an article about calling for the building of more fuel efficient/alternatively fueled cars.

  • richard

    GM has the Saturn hybrids 2, and is coming out with the malibu and then the volt.
    they popularized the electric car you duffasses. You guys don’t know shit about business. Toyota is making money inspite of the prius, not because of. And detroit is losing money because of $7,000 car in medical vs 10times less for Asians

  • Gerald F. Shields Jr.

    Richard you said:

    “GM popularized the electric car”

    You mean the EV1: The same electric car that GM designed and produced not because they wanted to, but because The California Air Resources Board passed the ZEV mandate in 1990. The same EV1 that was never sold, but was only available to consumers under a lease program that had no clause allowing for purchase at the conclusion of the lease. The very same EV1 that GM did anything and everything to ensure that (1) No one bought it and (2) No one demanded to buy one? Then they sued to repeal the ZEV mandate.

    Now they coming out with 2 mode hybrids, which by the way doesn’t allow you to drive in EV only mode. As result, you only get a small MPG improvement. The Union of concerned scientists had already panned these mild hybrids and The Saturn Vue “MildBrid” SUV already doesn’t qualify under proposed new government criteria for certifying vehicles as clean and energy efficient — standards for states that let hybrid drivers travel without passengers in the special lanes to avoid rush-hour traffic.

    In other words, I got a “Jeopardy” question that best describes GM’s Hybrids: A dictionary term meaning 1: lacking strength: as a: deficient in physical vigor: FEEBLE, DEBILITATED . If you had guessed the answer, post it in the next message.

  • Mike

    Excellent comments everyone, interesting debate….my opinion is that the MONEY is the reason for the current situation.
    Big Oil, & the Big 3 control the auto technology and fuel situation. They pay their Political Puppets like Bush, and Congress to protect their industries, their personal wealth /power, & allow them to steal more & more every day from US. They don’t want to innovate – unless they can make money at it.

    BUT NOW IT’S TIME TO DO SOMETHING….

    -STOP CONSUMING SO MUCH : food, oil,
    “consumer goods”, gas, etc, that alone will
    help the environment tremendously. LIVE
    SIMPLY….to simply Live ! Do you really
    need to be going to the damn mall and
    buying clothes or some other crap you’re
    just going to get tired of & discard into
    our overburdened landfills in a month ?

    - BUY LOCAL produce / food ! it uses less
    petroleum based production for growing,
    shipping and storage….and if organic, all
    the better.

    - RECYCLE / FREE-CYCLE == DON’T JUST
    THROW IT OUT !!! check out
    freecycle.org

    - WRITE YOUR POLITICIANS – at all levels,
    maybe if enough people urge them to
    raise vehicle economy standards (CAFE),
    increase incentives for hybrids/EVs,
    increase alternative energy production /
    research/use, increase recycling, decrease
    pollution, encourage more local food
    growth, That will overcome the billions
    spent by companies in political donations,
    and help decrease their unethical &
    immoral influence on BOTH parties.

    - STOP BUYING THOSE G*DD@MN SUV’S !!
    Most people driving those greenhouse gas
    belching monsters are ALONE. What a
    waste of money/gas/resources.
    Are you really safer in that monstrosity ??
    Maybe if more people stopped having so
    many kids, they wouldn’t need such a
    inefficient vehicle.

    - GET OFF YOUR FAT @SS AND BICYCLE,
    WALK, TAKE A BUS/SUBWAY instead of
    your gas guzzling SUV/huge american car
    It will help your heart, mind & the planet

    - COMBINE CAR TRIPS/ CAR POOL to
    stores/ work/school/visiting….if you buy
    less, recycle more, this will be reduced

    - GET OFF THE COMPUTER / VIDEOGAME/
    COUCH & go outside, do something like
    exercise, volunteering to help
    conservation / nature like cleaning up
    your neighborhoods, planting trees,
    bicycling, walking. Encourage your
    teenagers to do more than just hop in
    their car to go to the mall or for a drive,
    if they’re bored !

    - BUY A HYBRID / EV If you have to have a
    car – There’s lots of alternatives to the fat
    Lazy american planet destroying SUV.
    Do you really need something that
    big & wasteful ? Do you really need to
    have a vehicle to haul huge amounts of
    unneeded items every day ??

    - USE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY – solar, wind,
    geothermal, etc.

    - CONSERVE ENERGY AT HOME ! Turn off
    all the power hungry electronics, lights;
    Keep your thermostat lower in winter/
    higher in summer. Turn off the AC as
    much as possible ! Plant shade trees
    to help cool your house. Insulate your
    house better.

    - REDUCE the amount of grass lawn you
    have, which will reduce time in
    maintenance, gas for your mower, and
    fertilizer/pesticide use !

    Thanks & good luck to us all !!

    Mike
    Newark, DE

  • Paul Richards

    A profit system works to make profit. The government is the tail. The corporations are the dogs. Oil and car companies will not be profitable for long as we swelter in global warming and the dead end suburbs we all live in. Stock holders can read the writing on the wall. It is in everyone’s interest to kick the oil habit, work for a healthy ecosystem which will not kill us and our grand kids. The US (all of us) need to look in the mirror. We need social planning for a healthy planet. War is not the answer. Go figure it out for yourself.

  • GripperDon

    I worked there for years, for the largest supplier to Ford We brought them great new Ideas every year, Even made presentations in the Glass to the BOD. Always the same thing no beacuse. In the mean time everyone else was Yes could it also do … Or can you modify it so that … Positive responses. Sick Sick of the old school, management by incest beauractitic bunch of loosers. Lost half of the worlds market share with their We know more that you do approach to everyaspect of the business. They don’t even know what tehy don’t know. So don’t hold you breath they will do anything that leads the world. Except to bancrupcy

  • John

    My 1985 Ford Escort would burn rubber in two gears and still got 40+mpg overall. I measured 50mpg on the highway and 35+ in the city.
    My 1988 Ford T-Bird still gets 33mpg. And it will leave most cars at the red light.
    So, why can’t we still do it today?
    Today we get excited when a new car is rated at above 30mpg, yet we had then back in the 80s.
    Progress, WHAT PROGRESS?

  • Mike

    Forget blame and who’s fault it is. Forget politics. This is our chance to kick Detroit and the scientific community in the butt and get them going like we did in 1942 or like in the 60′s with space and NASA. We need to view this as a challenge and come up with 100 MPG cars and 35 MPG SUV’s that have more horsepower than the current SUV’s. It can be done!

    It’s nice to talk about conserving or cutting back or sacrificing space or power. And everyone on this website has done that. But in order to change the world you have to appeal to everyone. Let’s use new technologies to help end this crisis. Look at the Toyota Highlander hybrid. Same size, MORE HORSEPOWER BETTER MPG!!!!!! It CAN BE DONE!

  • John

    If we had cars getting 35+ up to 50 in the 80s, why aren’t we getting most cars at 50+ and up to 60 now?
    Oil, Money, Greed.
    Why? Because they can.
    Soccer mom will still buy an SUV that drinks 8mpg because she can afford it. When a 30mpg car would do just as well.
    BillyBobTruckLover will still get a Hemi in his truck, because he can, when a 4 cylinder getting 25mpg would do just as well for what he needs.
    No commuter who drives alone needs 800hp and 5mpg going 20 miles one way.

    And, lest we forget, what about biodiesel?
    I saw a dyno run on a biodiesel car the other day, and it was clocking in at 800hp. THEN, they went and did a mpg test, and it got 55mpg. So it can be done. And the cost? It was 5k of parts and labor on an already purchased car. Included removing old engine and adding the new. So imagine if you could get one stock for 2k more, I for sure would buy one, even if it wasn’t 800hp.
    People are just so uninformed on what has been done, and what is possible with what we have. They think that the big Cadillac Escalade is the ultimate. So uninformed.

  • Garret Z

    people aircrafts are the worst for emmisions all we do is come against the car manufacturer every one need’s a car we need to look at how horrible the emmisions are on aircrafts!!!!!!!!!!

  • John

    That is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Just take a bus, instead of a car. Take the train / tram / bus / etc. across town, instead of starting up one more car. There is no where in Atlanta that I can’t go that I need a car. There is no place in New York City that I can’t go that I need a car. Imagine, if 1000 less cars were on the road today in Atlanta or New York City. Or if 10,000 less, or if even 1,000,000 across the country. Problem is, people need their car like they need their pacifier.
    But, I do agree, airplanes are one of the worst contributors. I can see the need for the amount of transoceanic flights, but the number of flights transcontinental could be cut down tremendously if people would use the trains system already in place. Instead of clogging up I-4 in FL, they should just hop on the train and zoom there in 1/4 the time.

  • Jan de K.

    In Europe, there is a mass-transit system in place that will get you anywhere you want, and never need a car. Our towns are set up more concentric and give more leeway to bicycles than for cars. More of our citizens are in so much better shape than Americans because of these and other facts.
    We learned long ago to be less dependent upon oil, and learned to live a better and healthier lifestyle in the process.
    American’s need to grow up in terms of global and social responsibilities, and join the rest of the world and ditch the unnecessary SUVs with one person driving 10s of miles to work. Instead, learn to drive the energy efficient vehicle. THEN the “big 3″ will learn that they have to give American’s what they want. Until the American’s make buying choices that lead to a better world, then you will continue to sow what you reap. You want the big SUV, so you buy it, and the carbon monoxide and other carcinogenic toxins that goes with it. If you really wanted to change, it would come from the masses, not the government. Even when the Government made laws to make it better for more efficient cars, the Americans chose their big V8 20 foot long cars. They didn’t think, they just indulged. Sounds like Soddom and G…..

  • John

    Question for Jan de K.
    Have you ever seen the skies in Colorado? or in Florida? That is what blue skies should look like. I have never seen a blue sky anywhere in Europe that compares to almost everywhere in America. Why? Because there is more emissions in Europe than there are in America. More haze in the air in Europe from more pollution. The main reason you hvae the mass transit is because without it your countries would be crippled due to the high price of petrol. You didn’t switch to mass transit out of global commitment, it was a case of economics and price of oil and the typical European can’t afford it. Yet your skies are still more polluted than in the US.

    Respectfully though, lets not turn this into a bashing, turn this into creative, what can Europe also do more of to help wiht the global crisis, and what can American do more of to help with this global crisis? Each can continue to choose better health conscious alternatives. Consider the grand children. Ever wonder why there are more cancer cases % wise than there were decades ago?

  • William

    Actually Garret, there are two items that are the worst.
    Believe it or not, the most noxious attributer to the detrimental gases in the air is…. the cow. Believe it or not.
    Second most is natural, Mt. St. Helens put out more gas in its one eruption than mankind has in 40 years. Measured and documented. Believe it or not.

  • Alan

    Didn’t the Clinton administration already do something like this in the 90′s. I believe it was referred to as PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles) with a goal of a Mid-Size Sedan being capable of reaching 80 mpg. What happened to the technology developed under this program after the Bush administration came into power and killed it? I bet the Asian and European automakers/divisions have continued development while the American automakers focused on developing suv’s and forgetting about passenger vehicles. Now we as a society are paying the price to the oil producing countries/companies around the world, not to mention going to war over oil and also paying the price for that as well.

  • shubham gautam

    to make a electricity with petrol

  • okan

    I think this project very important everybody. It must be.