Urban Fold

Detroit is Losing the Race for Cleaner Cars

While it is hard to imagine the 20th Century without the automobile, it is equally hard to imagine the 21st Century with it - at least as is. A look at what the international automobile industry is doing to clean up their products.

"Like junkies hooked on SUV profits, Detroit's automakers continue to fight stronger fuel economy standards. Meanwhile, Japanese policymakers have bet on hybrids, and in Europe a generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient diesel engines accounts for half of new car sales. Toyota's trendy hybrid, the Prius, has given the company a head start not only in hybrid technology but in navigating new business realities. "Toyota is lapping the field," says Roland Hwang, vehicles policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "It must be scary for Detroit to think about how many real-world miles these guys have on their technology."

Thanks to Michael Dudley

Full Story: Stuck in Reverse

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