Lawmakers are formulating "meaningless" green vehicle regulations, according to Andy Palmer, CEO of British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin.
He said authorities were committing a fundamental misstep by stipulating what technologies should be adopted, referring to Britain's July announcement that it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The regulation was aimed at reducing air pollution.
"Policy makers should not try to be engineers," Palmer quipped, adding that the announcement was "just spin" without any practical meaning.
"In my view as an engineer, it's better to prescribe the emission, and then let the engineers figure out what the right technology is," he said.
According to Palmer, the danger in the car ban lies in authorities' lack of knowledge about which engineering solutions best suit their objectives. By refining existing technology, gasoline cars can almost double their fuel economy — a feat that is already a reality with Formula 1 speeders, which put 50 percent of the energy produced into moving the car, the CEO said.
That improvement, if applied to internal-combustion-engine passenger vehicles, would mean an almost 50 percent cut in carbon emissions for a given mileage.
In contrast, "if you take today's engine and you simply slap a hybrid on, you end up more or less in the same place," he said.