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Auto exec admits his company may have to develop a hybrid powertrain in the U.S.

Harald Wester -- CEO of Fiat S.p.A.'s (BIT:F) high-end subsidiaries Alfa Romeo and Maserati -- admits his performance luxury car firm may be forced to make a hybrid powertrain to satisfy U.S. CAFE standard regulations.  But while his peers like Ferrari S.p.A.Porsche Automobil Holdings SE (ETR:PAH3), Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) AG (ETR:BMW), and McLaren Automotive are at least feigning genuine enthusiasm about their upcoming hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) sports cars, Mr. Wester didn't candy-coat his opinions: he thinks that EVs are "nonsense".

At the Shanghai Auto Show he said in a keynote:

It looks like something we will have to, but the only reason to do it is to meet regulations. We don't see it as a significant business.

All this discussion about zero emissions is nonsense. Nobody talks about the efficiency of how the battery is charged. It varies strongly from region to region, depending on how the energy is produced, nuclear, coal and so on, but even the best is not ahead of the internal combustion engine.

Diesel and CNG are the more obvious answers if CO2 is the focus. Both are more viable answers than hybrid. If they gave us a CO2 target instead of imposing technology then we would go that way.

If we want a realistic solution to emissions then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer.

2014 Maserati Ghibli
The 2014 Maserati Ghibli -- not an EV

By his estimates electric vehicles have a plant-to-road lifecycle output of 86g of CO2/km in Europe, 110g/km in the USA, and 191g/km in China.  In other words, he's arguing that EVs are far from zero emissions -- and he's right.

To be fair, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency tasked with CAFE regulation, does somewhat take this into effect via its mpg-e (electric vehicle mpg) numbers.  That said, the numbers do seem a bit skewed -- EVs are scoring 100 MPGe or more.  To put that in context the 1.4L engine Chevy CRUZE from General Motors Comp. (GM) puts off only about 161 g/km, meaning that it may produce less emissions in regions like China where much of the power comes from "dirty" sources.

Source: Autocar



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RE: progress is never easy....
By wookie1 on 4/25/2013 8:32:25 PM , Rating: 3
Of course, the governments know waaay better than the consumers what is best for them. Consumers could never figure out what types of vehicles meet their needs the best without the gentle guiding hand of our benevolent masters!

The reason that governments push for EV's is to funnel money back to their donors and buddies in that industry. Automakers compete to provide the technologies that best align with their customers needs and desires. The government has no incentive to do this. You say better sooner than later, but I don't see anything to support this. Why is sooner better?


RE: progress is never easy....
By fteoath64 on 4/26/2013 7:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Of course, the governments know waaay better than the consumers what is best for them. Consumers could never figure out what types of vehicles meet their needs the best without the gentle guiding hand of our benevolent masters!"

Huh ?!!!. Governments know squat!. They rely on thinktanks, consultants, academia and private industries to advise them on things!. Because of self interests large corporations ended up controlling all of these!. And we get the mess we now have yet most people are BLIND to this. It has been decades since there are real innovations in the world of transportation. EVs were shun decades ago while the world focus on telecoms and computers, yet gas is king as an energy source. Instead of gas being cheaper, it rises and rises being controlled by a cartel (yeah, those banksters). Battery and materials technology crawl in a snail's pace for reasons that universities are not seriously looking at them. There is no unified effort to really sole the battery issue and getting renewable energy sources going in a big way. Your science has FAILED you!.


RE: progress is never easy....
By Paj on 4/26/2013 8:35:02 AM , Rating: 3
I think you need to learn about sarcasm!!!!!!!!

(exclamation marks added for sarcasm)


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher














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