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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: Truer Words
By Reclaimer77 on 4/25/2013 10:59:08 PM , Rating: 3
It's just that every major car maker is either hedging themselves with hybrid tech or EV tech or a combination.

Because they're being forced to. So what? I bet if I put a gun to your head I could make you do lots of stuff against your will. But you probably wouldn't like it.

Basically the entire industry except for obvious shills like GM, said doing this was crazy, would hurt the industry, and jack up vehicle costs. Of course our benevolent know-it-all Messiah, having such extensive experience in the automotive industry, knew better. But alas, here we are.

A company that outright refuses to do what everyone else is doing, I dunno, that just seems bad.

I dunno, I think I like living in a world where people can do their own thing. How is that "bad"? You think it's good if everyone does the same thing?

Maserati might have a small customer base, but those customers know what they want. And that is NOT EV's and hybrids. I feel Maserati, as well as everyone, has a right to provide the products the consumers want.

RE: Truer Words
By Nutzo on 4/26/2013 4:35:58 PM , Rating: 3
I feel Maserati, as well as everyone, has a right to provide the products the consumers want.

How politically un-correct of you :)

People who disagree with this and want these goverment mandates have a general distrust of the free markets.

Central planning (mandates are just a slightly less offensive form of this) always leads to less choice higher prices, and a lower standard of living.

Yes, we do need some regulations, specifically safty and polution controls, but we are so far past basic regulation.

RE: Truer Words
By Kazinji on 4/27/2013 9:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
EPA, and the DoE MPGe varies drastically. DoE makes it seem more realist.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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