Monday, June 06, 2005
An article in the Detroit News tells us that in the current energy bill making its way through the House, there is a provision that allows "[automakers] to take credit for producing vehicles that run on ethanol even if owners are using regular gas." This will raise the average fuel mileage of an automaker's fleet, which allows the automaker to avoid fines that they incur if their fleet is below a certain level.
I'm actually for this provision. Yes, on the face of it, it allows automakers to make more gas guzzling vehicles. But guess what? People aren't going to buy those gas guzzling vehicles when they can't afford to fill them up. The demographic of the v6 Explorer described in the article is hardly a rich man's demographic. Allowing car companies this incentive will convince them to make most or all of their vehicles ethanol ready. An enthanol engine is very similar to a regular gasoline burning engine.
Many believe, and I am one of them, that an intermediate fuel the country uses before we jump to hyrdrogen will be ethanol. Or at least ethanol will be an option for consumers, along with battery powered cars, and super fuel efficient small cars. This option enables car companies to be more prepared for the future, especially with the future holding a volatile change in fuel usage.