Home > Uncategorized > And then the automakers debate in Tokyo

And then the automakers debate in Tokyo

Though the automakers’ executives are supposedly debating over the best medium-term solution for cleaner cars in Tokyo this week, many wonder what good news will come out that will have a significant impact in people’s lives and the environment. Is it hybrids, synthetic fuels or hydrogen fuel cell technology?

The folks at Cars! Cars! Cars! aren’t holding their breath that The Great Big Change In Cars will be happening soon. Here’s what they have to say about a CNN/Money report: Debate over clean car technology:

Apparently there was a real debate over in Japanduring some car show thing. Here’s the run down: Most automakers agree that fuel-cell cars powered by hydrogen produced with renewable energy sources are the end game since they would rely on no fossil fuels and emit only pure water. But most said the technology was at least a decade away.

“At least a decade away. If these dinosaurs are willing to admit stuff is at least a decade away we all know what they’re really saying, “Hydrogen cars will come after I retire. So if I can continue down the same road and get my fancy retirement package I’ll be happy.”

On the other hand, the Japanese automakers can’t restrain themselves from developing more and more environment friendly technology. Toyota is adamant in developing more hybrids, and will just be adding the powertrain option on more models. To exemplify this is their Lexus LS flagship sedan, a hybrid concept unveiled at the Tokyo auto show on Thursday. In addition to working on hybrid and fuel-cell technology, the other Japanese automakers such as Honda and Nissan are now working feverishly to improve control systems on internal combustion engines to achieve better fuel economy.

“You can see that the Japanese don’t really make a habit of listening to what others have to say about their business. The others being: Despite the big public debate right now, it will just be a niche technology,” BMW AG Chief Executive Helmut Panke said, forecasting hybrids to account for no more than 5 percent of all cars in the long term.” (excerpt from CNN/Money news article)

And what brighter ideas have the Europeans? Clean diesel systems, my friends – which, according to them, cost less and got better mileage compared to gasoline electric hybrids depending on driving habits. Volkswagen AG suggests developing synthetic fuels instead, which they say, could prove more effective in cleaning tail-pipe emissions, especially when used to power diesel engines. “We need alternative energy sources, not just improvement in powertrain,” they declared.
Meanwhile, for the part of the Americans – GM is set to develop a functional and affordable fuel-cell propulsion system by 2010. At the Tokyo show, the word’s biggest carmaker is displaying its Sequel concept, the only fuel-cell car in the world that can run 300 miles (483 km) between refueling.

“It’s going to take collaboration to transform the industry,”
Larry Burns, VP of GM’s research and development said.

You can say that again, Larry. It’s really going to take a lot of helping each other out to make things better. While most of us here worry about where our dwindling gas money will take us and make do with keeping our old cars working properly, clicking over to Auto Parts Online to replace our worn wheels so we could have better fuel economy on our three year old cars, you guys there sip your expensive coffee and think about how to make things better for us.

Personally, I don’t understand why these automakers cannot move fast enough to get their bright ideas done – instead they dump more and more and bigger SUVs in our shores. What are they doing with their resources?

Oh. Right. I remember. What’s that news about 3rd Q loss again?
Categories: Uncategorized
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