It was ironic that virtually every manufacturer was talking about EVs in one form or another, yet the much less fashionable technology…diesel…took home the Green Car of the Year prize.
Don’t get me wrong, I think some of the electric cars and concepts are fascinating.
Chevrolet showed us a production version of the Volt and spoke about the fact that there would be no “range anxiety” because of the small motor that would generate electricity to charge the batteries. Audi showed the E-tron, an electric version of the R8 with an electric motor poweringeach wheel and delivering supercar performance. BMW’s “Vision” concept demonstrated where “Efficient Dynamics” might take the brand. Mini has been testing electric cars on America’s roads and had an example at their stand.
EVs are being talked about as if they will solve global warming, reduce our fossil fuel consumption to zero and generally save the planet. EVs are the messiah of automotive technologies.
Here’s the problem, electric cars are expected to represent maybe 10% of sales by 2020. At that sales rate it’s hard to imagine the technology as a game changer from a fuel consumption or global warming perspective.
At least we have the folks responsible for selecting the “Green Car of the Year” to provide a reality check. For the second consecutive year, a diesel-powered vehicle was selected as green car of the year. Why? Clean diesel is a practical and “green” approach to transportation. It offers 25-30% better mileage, it emits less CO2 and particulate emission is now comparable to gasoline-powered technology. Today’s clean diesels meet the most stringent pollution standards and are sold in all fifty states.
The Audi A3 TDI is a terrific example of the modern clean diesel and a worthy “Green Car of the Year.”
Modern clean diesels are readily available, offer the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by a third and emit less C02 than gasoline engines. Maybe after we’re done talking about technology that won’t make a difference for another 20 years, we’ll start to talk about one that can make a difference tomorrow.
I know it’s not fashionable, but we need to change Americans’ perception of diesel because it makes sense.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 10:16 pm and is filed under Auto manufacturers, Strategy, Technology/Product. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.