Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not So Fast Hybrids, Mazda Says We Have Improved Fuel Economy Plans Of Our Own...

An announcement has been made today by Mazda Motor Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) that it is developing clean diesel technology that is cheaper and about as fuel efficient as hybrid technology. The diesel engines could make it to market by 2011 all without the aid of costlier electrical systems.

The company expects to provide the marketplace a vehicle that will raise it's global fuel economy standards across it's line up by 30% by 2015. The plans rely heavily on many advances that have been made in internal combustion engines, automatic transmissions and vehicle weight reductions that it says will enable the company to achieve it's fuel economy objectives.

Mazda opponents are stating that tougher emissions standards would force the automaker to abandon it's plans because the cost to clean the exhaust from the diesel engines would cost as much or more than gasoline-electric hybrid technology. However Seita Kanai has informed the press that Mazda's new diesel technology would cost less in part because of it's proprietary single-nanotechnology, which reduces the use of precious metals in emission-cleaning catalysts and a new diesel particulate filter that negates the need for expensive after treatment parts.

The company says it can achieve it's weight reduction goals but not resorting to the industry standard of paying a heavy cost to "buy" weight down, Mazda states that it will not do that. The company did say that it would start installing electric devices and motors in hybrid vehicles during a second stage of mileage improvements between 2015 to 2020.

I find it most interesting how certain technologies have been around for years yet unimproved, direct fuel injection, engines that run on vegetable oil and the list goes on, I say this because there is a big rush to jump start a electric and hybrid auto industry, but clearly the infrastructure is not in place. It will take another decade if we start now to put electric recharging stations around the country, Americans are still in love with the open road and traveling down the highways in comfort, I do not foresee the open road filled with Smart cars and Prius's traveling from St. Louis to California anytime soon. Our major cities are still not densely populated enough to make a strong case to downsize vehicles.

I firmly believe that until fuel prices increase and sustain a level above $3.75 per gallon and until a quick refueling infrastructure is in place, hybrid and electric technology will not gain enough traction in the American economy. In the current market place Toyota is having to incentivize Prius's and other small vehicles that should have strong demand, automakers will continue to make vehicles that have a stronger demand and will make them the most money, that is capitalism at it's best.

Enjoy Today!

That Car Guy

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: