Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Car of the Future Open Content Car of the Future Open Content Watch the Program Online

interview > heywood > heywood 9

Heywood 9 (2:11)
Topic(s): Car Culture / Government
User Comments

Heywood

© WGBH Educational Foundation

Please watch the clip first. If you plan to use it, review the Rules of Use, then click on the download button.

WatchDownload

This clip is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons license: BY-NC

Video Transcript

People ask, "Well, why hasn't fuel consumption—gallons per hundred miles, the upside-down version of miles per gallon—why hasn't that got better over the last 25 years?" And that's a very important question and we're starting to understand how challenging improving on-the-road, actual driving fuel consumption is. Engines and transmissions have got steadily more efficient year by year by year by year by year. So it's better technology.

Then the question is, "What do we do with these more powerful and more efficient engines?" And some careful studies have shown that the last 25 years, we've put these technology improvements in engines, which are real and have improved the efficiency and power of engines. We've put them into increasing vehicle performance so our vehicles accelerate faster, more aggressively and we've put them into larger vehicles, heavier vehicles. We've got somewhat more accessories on board. We're using more power on board just to keep the vehicle warm, cool, other sort of audio features, etc. So the efficiency improvements have been there, engines have got more efficient, but we've used it for other things than improving actual fuel used per mile traveled.

So performance has got steadily better, higher, faster, and vehicles have got bigger and heavier. Now, we're better off because these vehicles are more efficient. Had they not been more efficient, we'd be even worse off. But we haven't gained. We've sort of stood still. Now, can we gain? Well, yes. But we've got to make some choices. If we keep investing the better technology in ever higher and higher performance, and larger and therefore heavier vehicles, we're not going to gain. We're only going to partially gain. So we got to come to terms with our lust for higher-performing vehicles.

SEARCH CLIPS

BROWSE CLIPS BY

Topic | Interview | Scene

Car of the Future Home | Send Feedback | Image Credits | Support NOVA

© | Created April 2008


Support provided by

For new content
visit the redesigned
NOVA site