Cars and trucks represent only 20 percent of America’s annual carbon emissions, yet automakers are the only industry committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of new products by 30 percent in just five years. This reduction is the carbon equivalent of
eliminating 50 coal plants.
The EPA estimates that achieving this standard could cost automakers nearly $52 billion in research and development costs alone. Retooling, materials and manufacturing costs will also be substantial.
Already, automakers offer more than 150 new hybrids, all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Chrysler, Ford and GM alone are putting millions of flex fuel vehicles on the road each year.
Cradle-to-grave is probably not a phrase you want associated with vehicles. The environmental impacts of a product from materials acquisition through product disposal is more analytically known as life-cycle assessment. In the vehicle industry it is known as well-to-wheel, and it assesses totally energy consumption to make a car. The concept is becoming more prevalent in the minds of U.S. automakers, especially Ford.
A Transit commercial van barrels down a straightaway at Ford Motor Co.’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, careening over about a dozen curbs before stopping, spinning around, and doing it all over again.
There is no one in the van — the closest person is a few hundred yards away, monitoring the test tracks by video — and no one has a remote-control in hand to steer the van from afar.
Ford Motor Co. says it hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2025, as part of its tri-fold sustainability efforts, the automaker said Friday.