US automakers wake up to clean cars

Clean cars create jobs. The Big Three automakers, addicted to the profits they made off big SUVs, saw economic ruin in subcompacts, hybrids and battery-powered electric vehicles. But now they're all building them.

In the first half of 2012, the U.S. had the most fuel-efficient fleet of new passenger vehicles ever, averaging 23.8 mpg, compared with 22.7 in 2011. The has had some setbacks), but mostly it's recovered from 2009 and is on track to sell 14.1 million cars this year, 1.4 million more than in 2011).

It's working. The American automakers are profitable again. They managed to hold their noses and produce compacts, hybrids and tech breakthroughs like the plug-in hybrid.

The Council is out with a new report noting that the American auto industry has added 236,600 jobs since it hit bottom in June 2009. About 165,100 jobs were in manufacturing, and 71,500 were at dealerships.

-Michigan: The $2.4 billion Department of Energy advanced battery program made a disproportionate number of its awards to Michigan-based companies, or those willing to put factories there.

-Indiana: 19,800 jobs in the auto industry have been added since 2009. Honda's $40 million investment at its plant in Greensburg, Ind. That alone counts for 300 new hires. They are making the Civic Hybrid.

-Ohio. The Honda plant in Marysville recently built its 10 millionth Honda. The state also has General Motors' Lordstown in Warren, which is making the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Cruze,. Lordstown is running three shifts, added 1,200 workers and now employs 4,200.

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Aug 28, 2012
funny this comes out on the day the chevy volt was discontinued..

Aug 28, 2012
Everybody else has been doing clean cars for ages. To wake up now must means Detroit has been in a coma or self-denial. But, Another war in the ME is in order, and all will be fine. Americans detest driving anything smaller than 8 pots. Wait for it. Syria is going well.

Aug 28, 2012
Skepticus: your political statement changed the way I look at my life.

Aug 28, 2012
I'm getting ready to buy a new car. Most likely going to be a Ford F150. There are other trucks I might look at, but I don't want to support Government Motors.

As for anyone saying that the Volt is a environmentally sound car, do your research instead of reading government or progressive environmentalist propaganda. It is one of the least environementally sound cars out there.

For Progressives, IF a car company cannot make a profit, they cannot hire a person.

Aug 28, 2012
In the first half of 2012, the U.S. had the most fuel-efficient fleet of new passenger vehicles ever, averaging 23.8 mpg, compared with 22.7.

At what economic cost i wonder. Government Motors has payed off its small pure loan but hasn't paid of the 50 billion worth in common stock purchases from the government. To make things worse, their stock is half the price it was 2 years ago. So i ask again, at what cost? Government Motors is making political instead of economic decisions with its line up of cars.

Aug 28, 2012
hey managed to hold their noses and produce compacts,
And then spent all their energy to engineer them as poorly as possible. They used barely large enough battery to power the undersized motor and then made them about as ugly as they can get. Of course they had to jack the price to make it uncompetitive with gasoline models, even though it cost half as much to make. Then they marketed it as some garbage they were forced to make and touted it was only affordable because of large government rebates.

Yep. Hook, line and sinker. They didn't do a poor enough job with the EV1, so now they'll do an even better job and making a garbage car with the Volt. No wonder it's been discontinued.

Aug 28, 2012
Yes, the Volt is badly designed, over-engineered, and gets mileage on the highway that any diesel car outside the USA would laugh at, but that isn't cause for suspending production. The fact that people can see it's a hideous kludge is.

Aug 28, 2012
Last quarter, GM sold 4 times as many volts as they did the same quarter last year. - About 10,000 units.

Wow! That's a lot if you only think about the 10,000 $7,500 tax rebates attached to each sale! Sounds cost competitive to me if they're only 45k a unit...*sarcasm*.

Aug 29, 2012
"averaging 23.8 mpg" is a ludicrous figure

Even Europe's luxury car manufacturers, except some sports cars manufacturers, hardly have a worse fleet average!
In European countries the average is much lower. For instance the Swiss fleet average in 2007 was 7.43l/100km which is approx. 31.25 mpg

Aug 29, 2012
Unicorn Farts are The Ultimate Flex Fuel.

" You can think of the Volt as the ultimate in flex-fuel. It runs 30% on coal, 40% on natural gas, 9% each for nuclear and hydropower.

Of course, the overhead losses in generation, distribution, conversion, and storage are immense. It is also worth noting that the current Administration is against coal, natural gas, nuclear power and dams."

Aug 29, 2012
Shootist, you put quotes around your post, but don't say who/where the quote is from. I mention it only because I'm curious about the source.

Yes, American plug-in electrics do run off of all of those power sources, including increasing numbers of 'clean' sources(http://www.eia.go...t_1_01), but studies show that even when charged from the dirtiest coal power plants, electric vehicles produce less of most pollutants than gasoline vehicles(

What I have yet to find is why no hybrids have been built with modular power plants, allowing the owner to change how they receive backup power. As these are/should be sophisticated electric vehicles with generators to provide electricity when the batteries are emptied, there's no reason one shouldn't be able to swap that generator out to use other fuels, or an additional battery instead.

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