It's debatable whether or not now is the right time to make changes in the way our cars are made, with some believing that Detroit should follow the path it's already on and others claiming there couldn't be a better time to make major sweeping changes. Count DuPont head Chad Holliday among the latter. Holliday's so-called "Detroit Project" would challenge American automakers to introduce a new "Car of the Future" that would achieve 75 miles per gallon and run on butanol – an alcohol fuel that DuPont just so happens to market itself.

Regardless of whether DuPont stands to benefit from this project, there are a few major hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is an initial $5 billion investment at a time when the Detroit 3 are asking for many times that from the government just to stay in business. We also see problems getting proposed collaborators such as Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Boeing and Google all working on the same page. Schools such as MIT, the Georgia Tech, and the University of Michigan could also be involved, according to Holliday. No problem, right?

Getting an automobile to run on butanol isn't a problem, it's been done over and over again. Yes, it is a cleaner fuel that may be a better choice overall than ethanol, but coming from the head of a company with a vested interest comes off as a bit disingenuous. It also reminds us of something we heard the other day...

[Source: Detroit News]