May 2nd, 2008 at 4:37pm
If the auto industry thinks it’s going to have a hard time meeting U.S. fuel economy mandates or European CO2 limits, it ain’t seen nothing yet. Hold onto your hat with both hands folks, the regulatory push has barely begun.
I just had a fascinating discussion with three leading environmentalists in California, all with the goal of getting an idea of where the next round of CO2 regulations is headed. After all, as goes California, so goes the nation-and ultimately the world. And what the California environmental lobby wants is somewhere between 70 and 100 miles per gallon.
Automakers will wring their hands in anguish because the investment needed to hit those kinds of numbers is going to suck up much of their cash for decades to come. But they better figure out how to deal with it because I have no question the regulations are coming.
I spoke with Roland Hwang, Vehicles Policy Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council; Dr. Mark Bernstein, Managing Director of USC’s Energy Institute; and Dr. James Lents, President of the International Sustainable Systems Research Center. That interview will run soon on Autoline.