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interview > heywood > heywood 10

Heywood 10 (2:11)
Topic(s): Auto Industry / Car Culture / Government
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Heywood

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Video Transcript

We often use—what's the acceleration time? Zero to— Zero to 60 miles an hour. It used to be 11 or 12 seconds, a few years back. Now it's 9 to 10 seconds. Some vehicles are 7 seconds, 8 seconds. We project into the future, it could go down to 6 seconds. Now, that's twice as fast as what it was 5 to 10 years ago. Do we need vehicles that are that fast? Well, we like them; they feel more responsive. We can get away from a stoplight quicker. We can beat our neighbor. We move fast. I'm driving to work. I'm running late. Let's move fast. We stop at the next stoplight, and everybody catches up. So this higher performance is pulled by each of us.

And then of course the car companies, they're trying to sell cars. So they give us what we want. And they compete. How would you bring out a new model if it— if it performed poorer? How would you bring out a new model if it performed poorer than the one you're competing against? You can't. It's got to perform better.

So there's a built-in incentive, both from the consumer perspective and the industry perspective, just to carry on down this ever-higher performance path and the last 25 years have seen it chew up the order of a 30% improvement in real-world fuel consumption. We have not seen that because of the choices that we in the industry have made. So it's a very important issue for us to come to terms with. Do we need these ever more, ever faster, higher-performing vehicles? If we're honest, no. Do we like them? Yeah. So what are we going to do? We've got to provide some incentives that say, well, if you really want that, you're going to have to pay extra for it, because in a broader social sense, it's detrimental. It's not helping with these bigger issues that we've got to deal with.

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