I often wonder when I hear about consumer reports and surveys how much they are driven by the government trying to drive going green. Some of the new government regulations on water usage are really starting to be ridiculous. I'd rather have my dishes get clean with a little more water than have to run the dishwasher twice because the dishes didn't get cleaned on the first run.
I hear what you are saying but I wonder if it's not more of a I'll go green when I save money. I can honestly say from my stand point I won't go green unless it gives me an advantage. I don't believe a lot in the whole green house gases, global warming, so to me if it's a wash, I want the extra power.
One of the things that Consumer Reports always says is that most consumers won't go green until the fuel cost numbers work out in their favor, jmiller. In other words, many people want to be green as long as they don't have to pay extra across the life of the vehicle.
If you take the design away from the car companies, who does the work? I sure don't want the government to design my car. Until consumers are willing to pay more and get less, it will take some step improvmenet in functionality before electric cars take off.
I think you kind of hit it on the head. It's the government that has been nudging the industry along in this direction. And I just don't see the market really driving the industry this way. I hope it works because I can see the advantages. But I just don't know if you can tell customers what they want. I know it worked for Ford for a while (You can have any color car you want as long as its black) but sooner or later people want to give the customer what they want and not what might be best for some external party.
I like that correlation. I don't know that I agree but it does bring up a good point. In the case of cell phones people were getting more and more. In the case of cars I don't know if I see what people are getting yet. It might be more green but if it's not much of a financial benefit, I don't know if it's enough motivation.
Good point, Bill, regarding why "technology appears to be driving customer demand," rather than vice versa. I do wonder if GM would have reached this point yet without all the external pressure (government/environmental/public opinion) that has bubbled up since the demise of the ill-fated EV1. In a study by KPMG two week ago, one sentence jumped out at me: "By investing in alternative, fuel-efficient technology, automotive brands have managed to improve both performance and perception." The italics in that sentence are mine.
Baby steps...remember the days when everyone thought you SHOULD have a landline. It took a few years but perception changed.
The larger trend, in the true definition of the word trend, is toward "less is more". Less things and waste; More experience and sustainability. Early adopters are really looking at their lifestyles and buying to match THAT over collecting status symbols.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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