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Ford's Berdish Recognized as Automotive Leader for Visionary Work in Social Sustainability and Human Rights

And after just a minute or two into our conversation, I realized why the corporation has been so successful in addressing such socio-cultural issues as child labor, discrimination, corruption and worker health and safety, not only in the U.S., but at Ford facilities across the globe.

Detroit Auto Show buzzes with green technology

A widespread trend is downsizing engines, Phelan says, while adding turbochargers or superchargers to make up for the power. Many mainstream vehicles, even trucks, are adopting this technology, he says, while retaining power and using far less fuel.

Ford Motor Company cuts energy use by 22 percent

He says Ford's success cutting energy use in its vehicle manufacturing process - and its announcement to cut another 25 percent in the next five years - comes as global energy use is being projected to soar 53 percent between 2008 and 2035.

Greening the supply chain easier said than done according to MSU expert

And while many companies are philosophically committed to a greener supply chain, Closs contends, they must always continually weigh the advantages of doing the environmentally friendly thing versus the costs.

Michael Wayland: Will higher CAFE standards lead to a greener automotive industry?

Wayland explains how the market demand began for higher fuel economy standards and consumers' request for better mileage per gallon. "The technology out right now will really help improve the fuel economy," says Wayland. "Companies just need to keep putting that technology into their vehicles."

Chevy Volt

Michigan is Plug-in ready for Chevy Volt and PEV's

Electric Vehicle roundtable on GOTGL on WJR

With the much publicized introduction of the Chevrolet Volt coming up next month, it’s a good time to learn more about Plug-in Electric Vehicles or PEVs—what are the advantages of buying plug-in electric cars—and what are the challenges we need to be aware of? 

This week we offer a special roundtable discussion on electric cars—with guests, Anthony Earley, executive chairman of the board (former chairman and CEO) of DTE Energy, David Joos, Chairman of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy Company and Kristin Zimmerman, manager of advanced vehicle infrastructure for the Chevy Volt

"Once the Volt was thought to be something of a science project but it's not," says Zimmerman. "It's very real and it’s here."

"About 80% of Americans drive less than 40 miles every day," says Joos. "But if you don't plug them in at all they can run on gasoline like any other vehicle can.

“I’m concerned that that we may be conveying to the public that this is more complicated than it really is.” 

Most single-family Michigan homes should be ready for plug-in hybrids. The Volt only requires the power of a typical wall-outlet to charge the battery, a process that takes about 8 hours for a full charge. With speed chargers or charging stations, that time can be cut down significantly.

Consumers Energy and DTE Energy are offering significant incentives for customers to switch over to plug-in hybrids.

Consumers and DTE are both offering significant discounts on electric vehicle charging rates for the first 2,500 customers. DTE says they will only charge 7 cents per killowatt hour versus the typical 11 to 12 cents usual.

"At that rate it's under a dollar per gallon equivalent to charge these electric vehicles," says Earley, "We need to make sure that when a customer buys an electric car it's as convenient as pulling up to your local gas station."

DTE and Consumers are also offering a $2,500 tariff towards installing power charging infrastructure in their home to the first 2,500 customers, an amount utilities say is generally more than enough to cover those costs.

Click on the arrow above to hear the October 8 Greening of the Great Lakes electric vehicles roundtable discussion.  Greening of the Great Lakes airs Fridays at 7 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR.

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