With the new 35.5MPG standard coming into play by 2016, most automakers are looking to low-tech changes to boost mileage in the short term – wsj.com. These include low rolling resistance tires, six speed transmissions to allow for lower engine speeds, and hydraulic controlled power steering to reduce engine strain. We at Earthgarage have been a proponent of these and other lower tech changes to cars because they are less expensive and still boost mileage. More extensive changes will have to be made by 2016 for fleets to comply with the new standards, but for now low-tech is the way to go.
On another note, in true Wall Street Journal form it of course questioned the cost for automakers to comply with such regulation. Cry me a river. How much money did we give them for the bailout? Market forces will eventually force automakers to make their cars more efficient anyway, so why not do it now? Plus, with higher fuel efficiency consumers will be saving on fuel costs. For all the glorification of American ingenuity, businesses (including automakers) seem to be behind the times in green(er) technologies. Media like the WSJ let them get away with it. It is about time they are forced to change. Especially since they are funded by us.