The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has come up with a Clean Vehicle Design (CVD) that could be applied more broadly to new vehicles sold in the US to reduce Global Warming Emissions. These are technologies already developed and in production and available on some vehicles. Combine them on any vehicle and UCS estimates a ~40% reduction in Global Warming gases. Cost would be hundreds of dollars per vehicle and while payback varies from 1.6 to 5 years.

The features are attractive. Look for yourself:
- Cylinder Deactivation for large displacement engines to improve cruise mileage.
- Variable Valve Lift and Timing – Would anyone say no to that?
- Direct Fuel Injection – Ditto
- Turbocharging – Ditto Ditto
- Flex Fuel technology to help use the ethanol that is coming from corn and then cellulosic sources.
- Advanced Transmissions – more gears in the automatics or automated manual transmissions
- Electric accessories such as power steering and air conditioning.
- Aerodynamics and low rolling resistance tires that retain good handling properties.

A lot of these features are performance items and they make money for the auto companies. However, UCS reports that those companies are resisting legislation in CA and 10 other states that pushes for lower greenhouse gas vehicles. Seems to me times are changing. I want my next car to perform well, to be efficient, and to be clean. Until the car companies sell cars with lifetime fuel included, I don't think I am alone.

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[Source: UCS]


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