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BMW to get Toyota Hybrid and Hydrogen Technologies: Report 26
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, BMW, Fuel Efficiency Standards, hybrid, News, TOYOTA on 06 26th, 2012

In the ever-growing efforts for automotive manufacturers to satisfy upcoming CAFE standards and make more efficient vehicles over-all, joint efforts have been considered to synergize efficient technology. BMW plans to be on the forefront of ‘all things efficient’ as reports have uncovered plans for Toyota to supply BMW with hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

In most situations, collaborative efforts from automotive manufacturers assist with reduction in development costs. This seems to be the ultimate plan, according to reports on Automotive News, where BMW will continue to better their relationship with Toyota. They already announced future plans to share diesel engines and co-develop lithium-ion batteries. Now the two automakers, from Germany and Japan, could spark a new relationship for alternative energy vehicles ultimately drive up production volumes while reducing production costs. Toyota already plans to start selling a new fuel cell vehicle in 2015, so sharing such technology and development costs with others (BMW) could be a win-win.

Feds Want CAFE Of 56.2 MPG In 14 Years 27
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, CAFE Standards, Fuel Efficiency Standards, Kurt, News on 06 27th, 2011

Meet the affordable car of the future.

This much is certain: the cars we’ll be driving in 2025 will bear little resemblance to the cars we’re driving today, especially if the current administration moves forward with their proposed fleetwide fuel economy standard of 56.2 mpg. That’s not just for cars (which would have to achieve an even higher standard), but an average for both cars and light trucks. Put another way, Americans will have to forget their love of pickups, SUVs and full size sedans, since downsizing appears to be the order of the day.

Expect that downsizing to impact horsepower as well. We’re already seeing it on vehicles from various manufacturers; in 2010, GM offered a 2.4 liter, four cylinder engine as the standard powerplant for the Buick LaCrosse. To call the car “underpowered” was a gross understatement; in fact, “horrifically slow” was a much better description. In fairness, their new “mild hybrid” eAssist engine design should make the car more drivable, but the writing is on the wall: it’s not likely that we’ll ever again see cars producing the same horsepower as they do today.

Automakers, of course, oppose the proposed numbers and have requested some leniency in achieving them (like “back-loading” higher efficiency into the regulations instead of making the gains linear). Automakers dispute government claims that the monumental fuel efficiency gains will only add $2,100 to $2,600 to the cost of a new car, since technologies required to achieve higher fuel economy (supplemental electric drivetrains, lightweight materials, etc.) are expensive. Worse, they’re projecting significant job losses as new car sales tank; if Detroit learned nothing else in the 1970s, they learned this: if you don’t build the cars Americans want, you won’t capture their business.

Fourteen years is still a long way off, and the NHTSA will have to conduct a full-scale review of the standard in 2017 to determine if it’s really achievable. That seems a bit backwards to me; instead of regulating product based on technology that doesn’t exist (or is too expensive to implement) today, why not work with existing technology to improve the product. Does the dog wag its tail, or is the tail wagging the dog?

Source: Detroit News