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  • Faster, more luxurious, bigger and now greener.

  • There's a tradition at the New York Auto Show held annually around Easter, which is the US' big showcase for performance and luxury cars.

  • The area is after all rich in well-paid professionals looking to turn their bonus checks into high performance playthings.

  • And big cars, particularly sports utility vehicles have enjoyed a fast rise in sales in the last 18 months.

  • Falling fuel prices have made consumers forget about the cost of running them.

  • But this year's New York show also betrays signs of a factor that's pushing auto-makers in another direction.

  • Government rules introduced in 2012 obliged US car makers nearly to double their vehicles average fuel efficiency by 2024.

  • Vehicles unveiled in the first day of this year's New York show were consequently a strange mix.

  • There were futuristic highly efficient vehicles like a new version of Toyota's Prius Hybrid.

  • There were also vehicles that would be just as at home on a race track as in an urban street, and road hogging-behemoths.

  • It's not clear how many people will buy the greener vehicles.

  • We have not seen people buy alternative fuel vehicles, um... hybrids as much EVs(electric vehicles).

  • But there may come a turning point in that, I don't know when that will be?

  • And there may have to be more government incentives.

  • To make that work, infrastructure changes have to be made especially for EVs.

  • I don't know when that turning point is, but we certainly are seeing more electrification of vehicles and the tide's got to shift at some point.

  • The clearest example of the resurgences of the big SUV was the unveiling of a new version of the Lincoln Navigator.

  • A SUV so vast and luxurious that when it first came out, rappers like to brag about owning one.

  • Yet the chief executive of Ford, Lincoln's parent, insist even this fast beast has been put on a diet.

  • What's under the hood of this concept is a 3.5 liter V6 engine. That puts out 400 horse power.

  • So traditionally in a vehicle this size, you'd have to put V8 engines or larger.

  • So clearly we wanna make sure in all of our vehicles and their respective segments,

  • they're either the best or among the best in terms of fuel economy in the segment.

  • Car makers in the US face a conflict between what they want to do and what they need to do.

  • What they want to do is meet resurgent consumer demand for expensive profitable sports utility vehicles.

  • Like this Lincoln Navigator.

  • What they need to do is to satisfy strict new US government fuel efficiency standards.

  • And to do that, they need to sell an awful lot more highly fuel efficient vehicles like the new Toyota Prius Prime behind me here.

  • The good news is that with US auto sales running at boom levels, car makers can afford to satisfy their desires and do what they have to.

  • The bad news is that with fuel prices at such low levels,

  • the exciting green cars on display here are going to be very rare sights on the roads indeed.

  • Robert Wright, Financial Times.

  • New York International Auto Show.

Faster, more luxurious, bigger and now greener.

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B1 FinancialTimes fuel auto greener lincoln prius

Bigger, faster, flashier – and greener? | FT Business

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    Kristi Yang posted on 2016/03/31
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