With the cold wind already blowing through the car industry, it is bracing itself to see what the new US President has in store.
Barack Obama caused a stir during his election campaign when he called for consumers to properly inflate their tyres to reduce CO2 emissions and therefore cut the demand for oil.
Low tyres pressure means more rubber comes into contact with the road. This increases the force of the resistance between the tyres and the road, so more fuel is needed to keep the same speed as with firmer tyres. Therefore, from a green perspective, this also increases CO2 emissions.
President Obama has already signed two executive orders affecting the beleaguered motor industry by putting it under more pressure to reduce both carbon emissions and gasoline consumption.
He said last week that they will help the country’s “journey toward energy independence” and will “spark the innovation needed to ensure that our auto industry keeps pace with competitors around the world,” he added.
The technology does exist to make it possible, and much of it is simple. For example, low-rolling resistance tires can help make cars more efficient by reducing the amount of energy lost through waste heat.