Dave Leggett | 28 November 2005
I can see why people may be a bit cynical over Bill Ford’s plea for government assistance in the effort to get US citizens into more fuel-efficient vehicles. It does rather beg the obvious response – how about Ford making more and better fuel-efficient vehicles? That would be a start.
But when it comes to new and alternative fuels, the European experience does suggest that some form of government incentive can be a way to kick-start things when initial take-up volumes are low and individual companies could never bear all the costs alone (eg biofuel in Sweden). If there is an identifiable and strong collective interest then it is certainly arguable that everyone - governments, companies, consumers - needs to be involved.
The sort of summit that Bill Ford is talking about couldn’t do any harm could it? It might even be a good forum to strategically map out US vehicular energy needs in the future and the realistic role of different fuels and emerging powertrain technologies, as well as examining thorny issues like fuelling infrastructure provision. It maybe can’t all simply be left to the market to decide.
But, Bill, what about making a start with Ford’s model range to get a little bit of credibility when making such pronouncements?
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