A lot of interesting conversation takes place annually at the SAE World Congress. The conference brings together heads of companies, scientists, engineers and people from many other walks of life. With so much diversity present at a single event, it's only a matter of time before some off-the-wall idea got bounced around for adamant attendees to duke it out.
This year's "say what?" moment came when Union of Concerned Scientists member Dave Friedman stated that automakers should be responsible for the methods used to generate power for electric vehicles. Apparently, Friedman feels that the mighty automakers can also take control of the electrical grid running through this nation. Unfortunately, it's not that simple – automakers make cars and energy companies generate electricity. Last time we checked, the two industries are not run by the same companies nor do they focus on the same things.

Which probably explains why Toyota's director of environmental technology, Tom Stricker, was shocked by what Friedman said. Stricker responded in disbelief with, "Are you saying auto companies should be held responsible for electricity generation?" Friedman replied stating that new policies need to account for the entire energy use of a vehicle.

For some reason, Friedman stopped shy of suggesting that automakers should be held accountable for how gasoline is extracted, refined and distributed throughout the U.S., but thought it fair game to suggest that automakers can control electricity instead. Um, say what?

[Source: Ward's Auto | Image: Vaxomatic - C.C. License 2.0]

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