Kilroy Was Here
February 05, 2003
Hydrogen Car Bomb
"In this century, the greatest environmental progress will come about, not through endless lawsuits or command and control regulations, but through technology and innovation. Tonight I am proposing $1.2 billion in research funding so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles." GWB, State of the Union, 1/29/2003
At first glance, you might think that Bush is showing some environmental vision, for a change. Fuel-cell cars seem to be the most likely replacement for our current internal combusion engines, and for Bush to make this one of the centerpieces of his State of the Union... Well, let's just say, Bully for him.
Unfortunately, this proposal is all cotton candy and no steak.
First of all, the $1.2 billion dollar funding for fuel cell cars is not new funding. According to the LA Times, 500 million dollars of this proposal was already approved in last year in the Freedom Car program.
But $720 million over five years is still a good chunk of change, right?
Well, not really. Ford spent over $2 billion dollars to design the Ford Taurus. And that was primarily a body redesign and didn't touch the powertrain issue. To create a car with a new powertrain would be far more expensive.
More importantly, in order to create the fuel delivery network (think of all those hydrogen stations necessary to fill up your new hydrogen car) is estimated to cost over $500 billion dollars.
In fact, there are proposals that could dramtically decrease our reliance on foreign oil and benefit the environment using technology that is already available. All that would need to be done is to hold SUVs to the same standard for fuel-efficiency as cars. In 1975, the congress implemented the CAFE standards for cars and light-trucks. Since at that time light trucks were used primarily for business and represented a fairly small portion of the entire automotive market, different standards for light-trucks were put in place.
Today, light trucks are only required to meet an average MPG standard of 20.7 mpg while passenger cars must meet a standard of 27.5 mpg.
With the boom of SUVs and the classification of SUVs as light trucks, a much larger percentage of our automotive population falls under the light-truck standard. Currently, nearly 50% of the entire fleet is built on truck chassis. By removing the light-truck loophole, we could dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil as well as help the environment. By using technology that exists today to increase that standard, we could do even more.
But why doesn't the Bush administration propose this simiple common-sense approach to improve our national security and our environment? Well, as Jeff Greenblum pointed out on the Daily Show, this type of initiative runs the risk of angering the powerful oil lobby as well as the automaker lobby. An insignificant and uneffective $720 million dollars for hydrogen car lobby is just a defensive move on Bush's weak environmental flank while he continues to pander to the corporations that put him in office.
Fuel is the adrenaline of any car, truck or engine. Thus, it is every vehicle owner's wish to enhance the fuel of their car and save more of it as well. With this in mind, the most innovative fuel-saving tool in the automotive industry was conceptualized and created: the Tornado Fuel saver. An automotive air channeling tool that creates a swirling air motion, the Tornado Fuel Saver allows the air to move in a faster and more efficient way by whirling air around corners and bends. Hence, more fuel is saved.Post a Comment