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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 Rukkian on 4/26/2013 11:15:23 AM , Rating: 0
Most people said they did not want unleaded gas, or seat belts or air bags, or, or ....

These same companies complained about these things as well. Most people are stupid and do not want some new fangled thing, even if it is better because it would mean change. So many people are stuck in their ways. Without push and previous cafe regs, we woul be stuck with cars that get at best 20-24mpg, cause that is all that is available.

Do the new numbers maybe push a little too far, possibly, but that is what we shall see in the future. Maserati saying this is pretty stupid, as the amount of profit they make off each car is so much more than cheaper cars, that even if they want to just ignore the regulations, they could and just pay the penalty. This guy is just trying to get attention.

RE: Truer Words
By Nutzo on 4/26/2013 4:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
Without push and previous cafe regs, we would be stuck with cars that get at best 20-24mpg, cause that is all that is available.

I detect a complete lack of faith in the free markets.
You actually think that nobody would be making high milage cars if the government didn't force them to?

I'm not looking at buying a hybrid because of government cafe standards, I'm considering it because of $4 gas.

Without the standards, some companies would have been pushing high milage cars because that is what some people want. When gas prices went up, the other companies would have lost market share and quickly started producing more efficent cars or they would go out of business.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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