Technologies and policies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from the U. S. automobile and light truck fleet.

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The message conveyed by the above discussion is that there are no shortages of technologies available to improve the fuel efficiency of the U.S. fleet of autos and light trucks. It clearly is technically feasible to improve greatly the fuel economy of the average new light-duty vehicle. Many of these technologies require tradeoffs, however, that manufacturers are unwilling or (as yet) unable to make in today's market and regulatory environment. These tradeoffs involve higher costs (that might be reduced substantially over time with learning and economies of scale), technical risk and added complexity, emissions concerns (especially for direct injection engines, ... continued below

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Plotkin, S. January 1, 1999.

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The message conveyed by the above discussion is that there are no shortages of technologies available to improve the fuel efficiency of the U.S. fleet of autos and light trucks. It clearly is technically feasible to improve greatly the fuel economy of the average new light-duty vehicle. Many of these technologies require tradeoffs, however, that manufacturers are unwilling or (as yet) unable to make in today's market and regulatory environment. These tradeoffs involve higher costs (that might be reduced substantially over time with learning and economies of scale), technical risk and added complexity, emissions concerns (especially for direct injection engines, and especially with respect to diesel engine technology), and customer acceptance issues. Even with current low U.S. oil prices, however, many of these technologies may find their way into the U.S. market, or increase their market share, as a consequence of their penetration of European and Japanese markets with their high gasoline prices. Automotive technology is ''fungible'' that is, it can be easily transported from one market to another. Nevertheless, it probably is unrealistic to expect substantial increases in the average fuel economy of the U.S. light-duty fleet without significant changes in the market. Without such changes, the technologies that do penetrate the U.S. market are more likely to be used to increase acceleration performance or vehicle structures or enable four wheel drive to be included in vehicles without a net mpg penalty. In other words, technology by itself is not likely to be enough to raise fleet fuel economy levels - this was the conclusion of the 1995 Ailomar Conference on Energy and Sustainable Transportation, organized by the Transportation Research Board's Committees on Energy and Alternative Fuels, and it is one I share.

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Medium: P; Size: 7-30

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OSTI as DE00011221

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  • Journal Name: Transp. Q.; Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: 2; Conference: ENO Transportation Foundation 77th Annual Joint Conference, Washington, DC (US), 12/09/1998

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  • Report No.: ANL/ES/CP-98199
  • Grant Number: W-31-109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 11221
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc623998

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  • January 1, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • March 28, 2016, 9:30 p.m.

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Plotkin, S. Technologies and policies for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from the U. S. automobile and light truck fleet., article, January 1, 1999; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc623998/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.