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E-M:/ Green car trade-offs

Enviro-Mich message from John Rebers <jrebers@nmu.edu>

Since Michigan is a major automobile producer, the article below analyzing 
the complexities of producing greener cars seems relevant to Enviro-Mich. 
The full article is presently available on-line at
However, once this issue of the journal Environmental Science and 
Technology is printed, the on-line access may no longer be available - so 
download soon if interested.

John Rebers

>  D. Szuromi
>The environmental impact of cars is immense, primarily due to the emissions
>as they are driven rather than their manufacture, but given our dependence
>on and preference for light-duty vehicles, can they at least be made
>"greener?" MacLean and Lave point out several of the challenges to creating
>a greener automobile fleet. One is the increasing demand, at least in the
>United States, for larger and less fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles,
>and a second is the unwillingness to pay a premium for greener cars. A
>further challenge is conflicting societal goals--for example, using
>fuel-injected diesel engines would save fuel but clash with strict
>emissions controls, and making light yet crashworthy cars would be
>expensive. A final obstacle is that the costs and benefits of materials,
>processes, and consequences can be difficult to quantify. Nevertheless,
>their analysis of different fueling and power plant options (diesel,
>ethanol, battery power, gas-electric hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cells)
>shows that no one of these options scored highly on all of the potential
>measures of greenness. -- PDS
>Environ. Sci. Technol. 10.1021/es034574q (2003).

John E. Rebers
Department of Biology
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Avenue
Marquette, MI  49855

906-227-1585; 906-227-1063 (FAX)

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