BIG 3 HAD 80 MPG GAL DIESEL HYBRIDS IN 1996 BUT DROPPED THE BALL !!!!
This photo from our
Fall Winter 1996 Story in Electrifying Times on Dodge Intrepid ESX 80mpg diesel hybrid that Chrysler and the Big 3 got millions to develop but canceled their efforts once Bush came to office in 2001. Ford developed the 80mpg Ford Prodigy diesel hybrid and GM Developed the 80mpg Diesel Precept Hybrid.
By Bruce Meland
Much talk and discussion recently has been how to help the Big 3 Auto Companies survive their short sighted SUV oriented business model that has them on the brink of bankruptcy. In the 700 billion dollar bailout package recently passed by Congress and the White House for financial institutions, home owners and other troubled companies, there was 25 billion dollars earmarked for the Big 3 to get on the fast track with more fuel efficient vehicles.
In the mid nineties the Big 3 had a chance to get on board with electric and hybrid electric vehicles, HEV's. When Toyota realized the Big 3 were getting financial help to Developed HEV's they too started a crash program as well. It took about a billion dollars of Toyota's own money to develop the Prius hybrid and their Hybrid Synergy Drive and the REV4-EV and Toyota e-com EV. In 1993 federal government gave around a billion dollars to the U.S. automakers through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. It was a cooperative research program between the U.S. govt. and major American auto companies to develop 80 mpg fuel efficient vehicles. The Big 3 were able to create working concept vehicles including the 80mpg GM Precept diesel-hybrid, the 72 mpg Ford Prodigy diesel hybrid, and the 72 mpg Chrysler ESX 3 diesel hybrid.
In 2001 the PNGV program was canceled at the request of the Big 3 auto makers. Some subsidies and govt. incentives were also used to develop some electric vehicles such as the GM EV-1, Chevy S10 PU, the Ford Th!nk EV, Ford Ranger EV, Chrysler Epic Van EV, RAV4-EV, Honda EV plus. Production of electric vehicles were scrapped as well when California scaled back their California Mandate of 10% zero emission vehicles by 2003.
We need to get these programs back on track and hold the Big 3's feet to the fire. They have the technology to do it. Only give them 25 billion only if they put these programs on fast track! In our new Preview 2010 Issue Vol 11 No 1 we feature 35 electric and HEV vehicles coming to market by 2010. The ESX HEV should have been one of these vehicles.
Blast from the Past...