• Apr 4, 2007

GM Vice Chairman and blogger extraordinaire Bob Lutz used the spotlight of the New York Auto show to talk about the Bush Administration's plan to raise fuel economy standards four-percent per year through 2017. Mr. Lutz placed a tab of $5,000 per vehicle for the fuel economy initiative, which is a heavy price to pay for an OEM in Aerospace, much less the auto industry. Lutz' comments came in response to a recent Supreme Court decision that the EPA has the express right to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

A Bush administration analysis of the initiative placed an industry cost of $117 billion between 2010 and 2017, with over $40 billion coming from GM alone. The plan, which aims to decrease US oil dependency by 20% by 2017, is focused on several industries, but the car and light truck market could be hit extremely hard. Lutz and other industry leaders are keen to the idea of better-utilizing E85 instead of what Blogger Bob calls an "unaffordable solution". Currently, there are only 1,100 E85-capable gas stations out of 170,000 in the US.

We'd be more than happy to get 20% better fuel economy on our cars, but we probably wouldn't be happy paying an extra $5,000 for it.

[Source: Detroit News]



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  • 66 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Increasing the gas guzzling tax is probably the best way to deal with mpg issue, because it "feels" politically correct, and it avoids the political suicide of increasing the gas tax.

      But the guzzle tax must be prohibitively high. There should be tax breaks on the depreciation of the vehicle for people who use their gas guzzler for commercial purposes, but the tax should be doubled for the resale of the vehicle.


      Heck.... just tax 20" bling rims out the wazoo. And you nearly eliminate half the population (male) that use gas guzzlers unnecessarily, without affecting those who use suv's/pickups for commercial purposes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #43, naggs YES YES YES

      people on this blog telling bob lutz he is lying or full of shit is like w bush telling climate scientists global warming isnt real. or born again christians telling biologists they aint related to no monkey. or a 3 year old telling newton that the heavier ball will fall faster.


      • 7 Years Ago
      your wrong, a 505 hp corvette gets over 25 mpg. engine size and hp are not the problem, weight is. it all comes down to weight.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Julius:
      "I can't imagine towing a two-horse trailer with a 140hp 4-cylinder Astra."
      I'm from a rural area in Germany, and I have yet to see a single V8 pick-up pull a two-horse trailer. The most people with horses seem to use Mercedes station wagons with 6-cylinder diesels. Some use SUVs. M-class diesel, X5 diesel, even a RAV4 diesel seems to be quite capable.
      Number of gas powered work trucks I've seen in europe: 0.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it's going to cost GM $5000/car to innovate and pollute less then they should go out of business. European and Japanese manufacturers are already working hard at improved engine efficiency. Check out the VW TSI engine (1.4 litre, 170hp, 177lb ft) for innovation: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/21/volkswagen-sells-over-41-000-tsi-engines-in-one-year-on-the-mark/.
      Or the myriad of really good diesel engines out there already. GM is a dinosaur and should be buried now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dear Lutz,

      Innovate, you idiot. It's what GM/Ford used to be good at.
      • 7 Years Ago
      America doesn't need their big dumb SUV's.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I smell the familiar smell of US auto industry BS...

      Get rid of those gas-guzzling dinosaurs you build and follow the Euro/Japanese example. No-one needs 5, 6 or 8 litres of V8 anymore.

      There's no reason why any passenger/SUV/pick-up truck needs a motor any bigger than 3.5 litres. Go turbo-diesel and you'll beat any fuel consumption requirements.
      • 7 Years Ago
      1. Take out the electric windows/seats/sunroofs (make them manual)
      2. Get rid of overpowered stereos (magnets are heavy)
      3. Get rid of electric/heated/cooled seats
      4. Get rid of power everything...
      5. Get rid of SAT/NAV systems
      6. Get rid of overstuffed NVH material (I like to feel the road anyway)

      There. I think I just decontented $5000. Plus, the car weighs less now!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't understand why all the SUV and pickup drivers have their panties in a knot over an extra $5K. At 15 mpg and 12,000 miles a year and gas at $2.75/gallon, you would save $440 per annum. With interest at 5%, it would take 17 years to pay off, which happens to be the average life of a vehicle.

      So economically you are just as well off, and do something good for the environment, not to mention we won't have to keep sending soldiers to die in the Middle East.

      So what exactly is the problem?
      • 7 Years Ago
      like many have said before, its all about tradeoffs

      a car is a comprimise between dozens of factors like, safty, efficency, interior room, towing and payload capacity, comfort, NVH, 8 speaker sound systems, power everything, heated and cooled everything, aerodynamics, power/trq, price, weight distrubution, fwd/rwd/awd, center of gravity, low speed ride and handeling, high speed ride and handeling...

      i could go on and on, there is no magic in engineering, its IMPOSSIBLE(not just difficult)to increase any one area without making comprimises in others. if you want better MPG, your going to have to give some things up or pay more.

      or you can just be an idiot and rant about THE CORPORATIONS!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Emissions regulations are ridiculous. When air quality gets bad enough, people will buy cleaner burning cars.

      Seriously, 14., why waste gas when we don't have to?
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