I heard a great story on our local public radio station tonight about Maine car dealer Adam Lee. I've had a soft spot for Lee ever since he pulled his ads off the Sinclair Broadcasting stations who ran that spurious John Kerry "documentary" in 2004 and now admire him even more for standing up to his own industry. On his website 35mpg by 2020 Lee challenges everyone involved in the US auto industry to rise to the challenge and make fuel efficient, attractive cars.
Its a good case he makes but Detroit and their pals in DC rail against it as bad science. The industry lobbyist rolled out to pooh pooh Lee came across like Scotty from Star Trek: "they cannae run any leaner, capn: its impossible, beyond the laws o' physics!". Which leads me to my first question:
I may be thinking like a complete dunce but don't many European cars already exceed the 35mpg standard: cars manufactured not just by the Japanese or Euro-marques but by subsidiaries of GM and Ford? I know some of the engines are turbo-diesels but why is that technology in particular considered a no-no over here? Am I missing a large, obvious point?
And second more locally based question: can trains run on biodiesel?
OK, I await answers from technical types...