- In response to the 1970s OPEC crisis,
GMhastily rolls out diesel engines.
- Badly engineered diesel technology produces a horrid stench and a lot of noise.
- Nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions cause dense smog in major cities.
- Diesels get better mileage (25 mpg) but have low horsepower and feel puny.
- Modern diesel engines achieve up to 40% better fuel efficiency than gas, with 20% lower CO2 emissions.
- Mercedes's BlueTec technology—together with modern, low-sulfur diesel—removes virtually all smog-producing emissions.
- High performance: 388 foot-pounds of torque take the E320 Benz, for example, from zero to 60 in 6.6 seconds.
- "Diesel smell" is gone, and engines are quieter than gas-powered counterparts.
- Biodiesel engines burn renewable fuel grown domestically, yet produce a stunning 800 hp.
- Hydrogen-injection system cuts biodiesel use by 50%, doubling already killer mpgs.
- Electric-hybrid technology brings fuel consumption still lower.
- End result: an SUV-class vehicle that gets well over 100 mpg and pushes C02 emissions down 95% or even more.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.