Valuable Experience for University of Waterloo Graduates
There is a very interesting article from the Kitchener Waterloo Record. It is called “Mac and Waterloo teams are electrifying the muscle car” and you can read it here.
In essence, both the University of Waterloo and McMaster University have entered a North American competition to see who can make a Chevrolet Camaro the most environmentally responsible without compromising on its performance.
At first, this competition seems odd. The Chevrolet is the not the best platform to make environmentally responsible vehicles. Other vehicles are lighter, more aerodynamic and already have more fuel efficient drive-trains.
There are two problems with focusing in on fuel-efficient platforms only, however. The first is that North American consumers, particularly those in the United States, prefer larger vehicles. You can see evidence of this in the vehicle sales rankings posted frequently on the website www.goodcarbadcar.
The related issue is that the North American auto industry’s profits are skewed towards larger vehicles. You can see a list of the most profitable vehicles of 2011 in an article from CNN found here.
As you can see, the most profitable vehicles are North American Pick-Up Trucks.
Any government wishing to impose aggressive fuel standards on North American manufacturers will face considerable resistance from consumers and the North American Auto industry. This makes reaching climate change goals even more difficult.
In contrast, if North American governments succeed in imposing more stringent fuel regulations, there is considerable evidence that this will devastate the North American Automotive Industry.
There is, therefore, considerable pressure on the North American Automotive industry to provide fuel-efficient larger vehicles. Engineering these vehicles is very much in demand. The University of Waterloo’s participation in this program is giving are local graduates job skills that are in demand.