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interview > heywood > heywood 13

Heywood 13 (1:58)
Topic(s): Auto Industry / Efficiency / Future Transport
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Heywood

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So what is the future outlook? Well, I'm a mix of optimistic and then I'm cautious, because this is not going to be easy. We're seeing signs where I think the manufacturers are working hard to compete. Given type of vehicle, is the fuel consumption of my vehicle - manufacturer X—is that fuel consumption better than my rival's? That's starting to be important.

We're seeing, with Toyota's success with this Prius hybrid, how a promising technology, marketed well, that does deliver, gets a really good public image. And Toyota's got as many big pickups, big sport utility vehicles, big vans, as anybody else. But it's got a broad range of products, and it's strongly emphasizing these hybrids. So they've got— people don't dump on them for saying, "Why have you got these giant SUVs?"—and they do. They've got positives to offset that. And that's real. So there is starting to be competition on fuel consumption in the marketplace.

We tend to want things to change by tomorrow. That's not realistic. Time scales for attitudes changing are 5 to 10 years. And then time scales for technology changing in significant ways, they're just as long and maybe even longer. So it is going to take time. That's why we really need to provide incentives to change the technology, and then provide incentives so people buy as a market develops for this more efficient technology. And then people think more carefully about sort of how they drive, how much they drive, and what they drive and so we're going to need a whole series of innovations, changes, improvements, to get somewhere.

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