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GM Dinner Part 1: Lutz Talks About Diesels

While I was in LA, I took some footage at a "blogger's dinner" with a bunch of GM mucky-mucks. The star of the evening was GM's vice chair, Bob Lutz, who answered a bunch of questions after we finished our rather posh dinner (and while we did our best to price of viagra in canada ignore the huge slab of cheesecake in front of us).

Yes, I am aware that it looks very much like I'm being bribed with cheesecake and wine, and I'll tell you, that's kinda what it felt like, too. Which is why I'm sharing with you the words exactly as they came out of Bob's mouth (with some subtitles and editing.)

In this first of three videos, Lutz talks about the problems and possibilities (from GM's perspective) for diesel cars in America. In the next two videos (which will be online later today) he'll be talking about the Chevy Volt "range extended electric vehicle" and GM's commitment to big-ass hybrids.

GM underwrote my trip to LA...their only requirement was that I let people know that they did so whenever I wrote about it...which is what I am doing now.

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Comments (9)Add Comment
written by Magnulus, December 07, 2007
I'm sorry, what? You lost me.
We're in the distant future now! We should be in flying deLoreans that run off non-recyclable garbage!
Thank you Hank
written by weee, December 07, 2007
I'd never worked out why Europe and the levitra online canadian pharmacy US had different views about diesel and your explanation about smog makes sense.
In fact it explains why within the US different states view diesels differently ie California and Oregon.
I wonder how biodiesel will shift opinions...
written by stands2reason, December 07, 2007
I heard about the HCCI technology a while back. Nice to see that they're going to start working with it.

But about diesels--can't they just add a catalytic converter with most of its surface area dedicated to NOx converting and viagra gel slap on a PM filter?
Diesel and cooking oil
written by celainea, December 07, 2007
Diesels were originally designed to overnight tramadol online run on cooking oil from animal fat, or seed and peanut oil. Moreover, the oil doesn't have to be new, it can be used. So why doesn't GM sign contracts with McDonalds, BurgerKing, Wendys, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and other grease cooking resturants to distribute cooking oil to their diesel truck, SUV, and van owners? The oil not only runs clean, but it also smells better.
written by Mark @ TalkClimateChange, December 07, 2007
I'm a big fan of modern diesels. Quiet, smooth, torque-ey, and massively economical.

As I understand it, the majority of R&D work has gone into diesel engines rather than petrol in the last 10 years and you can see the results.
written by Mark R., December 07, 2007
I'm still trying to figure out what modern diesel Bob Lutz and Mark at talk climate change is talking about? Marcedes? what? I'd really like to see some comparative decibel numbers for old vs. new Diesels

Because, in my opinion, every modern diesel I've been in or around is just the same as the old ones. (the new ones I've been in and around, most of all the domestic GM's, Fords, Dodge and Jeep cars and buy levitra from china trucks) In my opinion they are all still Loud, clank and obnoxious to smell. Ok, I'll admit thy probably don't smell quite as bad, but they do smell. No better than their predecessor. And the fuel for them here in Texas has about a .30 cent premium, and thats not even bio-D.

Diesel is not the generic mexico pharmacy viagra future of original levitra passenger automobiles, rather a historical marker on the side of the road.

But thanks for the update hank,
re: Diesel and cooking oil
written by tchamp, December 07, 2007

Well, first, there's not enough WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) to really make a dent in diesel usage. Second, WVO has a much higher gel temperature than Diesel. That means in the winter (in northern US, where its COLD) it would have to be blended with mostly Diesel, or heated up first. There's a company out there called Golden Fuel Systems that will add a tank to your diesel vehicle to run WVO or SVO (Strait Vegetable Oil). The process involves running your vehicle on regular diesel until the WVO warms up enough to become sufficiently viscus, and then you flip a switch and run your S/WVO. Don't forget to switch back to Diesel before you turn it off, or your injectors will gel, and it won't start again.

The other thing you could do is convert your WVO to Biodiesel, which is a different conversation alltogether. Just in case anybody's confused, Veggie Oil !- Biodiesel.
written by GNiessen, December 07, 2007
I am still a sceptic of GM's commitment to selling electric cars. I feel they are talking big to scare away the competition. They are looking to make the entry level high enough that small players will have trouble getting funding when they are compared to GM. Microsoft is famous for this kind of tactic.
Skewed info
written by kballs, December 10, 2007
While Bob complains about it being hard and expensive to meet the emissions regulations you have to look at it from a slightly different angle...

The tier 2 bin 5 emissions regulations in the US (including CARB states) require the average of all vehicles sold to be under the tier 2 bin 5 NOx levels.

It's not that hard or expensive to meet the emissions regulations when building 2.0 liter and smaller diesel motors (like the Asian and European automakers). GM however, with their bigger average vehicle size/weight, want to use a larger average motor size (3.0 liter and up), so it's definitely more of a challenge, including the bigger emissions control equipment having a larger negative effect on performance and fuel economy.

So while Bob's info about diesels holds true for GM's current average vehicle size, the problems he describes aren't as difficult when working with smaller motors.

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