Argonne National Laboratory Engineer makes better diesel engine but states there will be no demand without regulation

Northwestern University – Steve Ciatti, a mechanical engineer at Argonne National Laboratory west of Chicago, modifies diesel engines. By the time he finishes, emissions are reduced 66 to 95 percent and gas mileage improves.

Q: Why hasn’t there been more progress in fuel economy for cars sold in the U.S. despite the high price of gas?

A: It’s very simple. There isn’t much demand for fuel efficiency. Most people are not willing to pay extra for fuel-efficient technologies. Some people are, but in general the answer is “no.” So, short of mandating that people buy fuel-efficient vehicles — which traditionally Americans don’t like; they don’t like being told what to buy — don’t hold your breath.

The only way you’re going to get people serious about cutting carbon-based emissions is if it’s regulation imposed.

Even at $4 a gallon, you don’t see a flood of consumers going into the showroom demanding clean-diesel, hybrid or plug-in.

Related Toyota has sold 4.6 million Hybrids since 1997 out of about 150 million Toyota cars from 1997 to 2012

Toyota announced that cumulative sales in Japan of its hybrid vehicles have reached 2.04 million units as of October 31 of this year. Globally, cumulative sales of TMC-produced hybrid vehicles—since the first was launched in 1997—have now topped 4.60 million units, with 1.02 million1 selling from January 1 through October 31 this year.

Globally, Toyota plans to launch 20 new hybrid models by the end of 2015 and will make further efforts to expand its hybrid vehicle product lineup and sales territories. In Japan, the launch of the “Aqua” hybrid compact hatchback and rising awareness of hybrid vehicles have pushed the percentage of hybrid vehicles sold higher each year. Approximately 40 percent of Toyota’s sales in Japan and 14 percent of global sales are hybrid vehicles.

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