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Old 08-11-2022, 07:10 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
President Clinton's Program for a New Generation Vehicle ( PNGV ) was about 80-mpg passenger cars. The rumor is that the automakers figured that they could defeat the law, and only HONDA and Toyota took it serious enough to construct a commercial product and put it on the market.
The technology ( TRW ) had been on the shelf since 1972.
No one spoke of pickups.
I had a 39.9-mpg truck in 2017 and it didn't ignite anyone's imagination. That would be 45.8-mpg with GDI. As a turbo-diesel TDI, we'd be looking at 50.7-mpg HWY (actual ).
The pickup truck capital of the world still loved their trucks with $5/gallon gas.
Again, I don't really disagree with any of the major points you bring up, but do regard the details as hyperbolic.

NiMh batteries weren't even on the market until 1989, so that technology wasn't "on the shelf since 1972".

The high petrol prices of the '80s would have been the impetus to introduce super fuel efficient technology if such stuff were just sitting on a shelf. Instead they just made small vehicles with weaker motors.

Clinton's program as described by you sounds dumb. There's no point in 80 MPG (ICE) cars as it's impractical. If manufacturers didn't take it seriously, it's because they shouldn't. If the target was 30 MPG, that would be more realistic. The Insight only achieved 60 MPG, and that's not been beaten yet.

Still, your theory that government threat may have been the reason hybrid technology started with the most fuel efficient vehicle segment makes sense. My point is that hybrid tech stands the highest chance of non-coercive adoption in the larger vehicle segments. It's where the fuel savings is greatest. It's where the extra power boost from electric motors makes sense. It's where adding a 4x4 drive option becomes more practical. It's where the already large platform size can more easily accommodate all the EV bits.
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