"We need solutions for the next 20 years, not just dreams," according to Axel Friedrich, and he is absolutely right. Not only do we need solutions for the future, but we need solutions for today. This goes for the United States, Europe and the entire world. According to this article on the Wall Street Journal (sub. required), Germany, a country from which some of the fastest, most powerful cars come from, is especially at odds with emissions and fuel mileage regulations. I hear a great deal of consternation happening here in the States too, but maybe it's worse in Germany. Recently, Friedrich irked Volkswagen by taking their most popular model (the Golf) and getting Universities to improve its efficiency by reducing the weight of the vehicle and making other changes. Not surprisingly, this had the effect of reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions. Volkswagen was not amused, though, and they stated that the changes to the car could compromise usability, safety and increase the price.
Many of the ideas that Friedrich is suggesting were covered in our post about the top ten easiest ways to save gas now. He also is not a hydrogen supporter, after his company looked into the fuel carrier and deemed it unfeasible. No matter, as he is certainly right about the need to make changes now, not later. Internal combustion is here to stay, probably for many years to come. Therefore, it would be unwise to sleep on making them as efficient as possible. Until the day that alternative cars are the rule and not the exception, though, we are likely to support all of the possible solutions to our oil addiction.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]