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The California greenhouse gas initiative and its implications to the automotive industry

Description: CAR undertook this investigation to better understand the costs and challenges of a local (state) regulation necessitating the implementation of alternative or advanced powertrain technology. CAR will attempt to add insight into the challenges that local regulations present to the automotive industry, and to contribute further to the discussion of how advanced powertrain technology may be used to meet such regulation. Any local law that (directly or indirectly) affects light duty motor vehicle fuel economy creates what in effect is a specialty market for powertrain technology. As such these small markets present significant challenges for automotive manufacturers. First, a small market with unique standards presents significant challenges to an industry that has sustained growth by relying on large volumes to achieve scale economies and deliver products at a cost acceptable to the consumer. Further, the challenges of the additional technology make it likely that any powertrain capable of meeting the stringent emissions standards will include costly additional components, and thus will be more costly to manufacture. It is likely that manufacturers would consider the following actions as steps to deliver products to meet the pending California regulatory requirements anticipated as a result of prior California legislation: (1) Substituting more fuel efficient vehicles: Bring in more efficient vehicles from global operations, while likely dropping existing domestic products. (2) Substituting powertrains: Add existing downsized engines (i.e. turbocharged versions, etc.) into California market-bound vehicles. (3) Powertrain enhancements: Add technology to current engine and transmission offerings to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. (4) Incorporating alternative powertrains into existing vehicle platforms: Develop a hybrid or other type of powertrain for an existing vehicle. (5) New powertrains and new platforms: Develop vehicles specifically intended to incorporate new powertrain technologies, materials and/or design (e.g. the General Motors EV1 or the Toyota Prius). These five actions represent the ...
Date: May 31, 2006
Creator: Smith, B. C.; Miller, R. T. & Research, Center for Automotive
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department