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mobiles on the road driven a lot further than 50,000 miles. How do we get the automobile that isn't meeting the standard either off the road, or get them to replace it with a new catalyst? How sophisticated need the testing procedures be to determine whether or not the standard is being met?
Mr. Price. First, the method of determining whether it is controlling emissions or not will be at least as easy as the method of determining whether a stratified charge engine is still meeting the emission standards. Someone has to go in and test something. At its most complicated it could mean testing of each individual exhaust gas pollutant, the level of it. With the catalysts, actually, it would be quite a bit easier. With the catalyst it would simply be enough to determine whether or not that catalyst is still active. If that catalyst is still active it will be controlling emissions. It is easy to determine whether it is still active or not by disconnecting the spark plug and measuring whether there is any rise in temperature. If there is no rise in temperature, the catalyst is dead. If there is a rise, the catalyst is alive.
Senator Biden. I envision a whole new business springing up around this country with a lot of enterprising gas stations operators who learn how to bypass the catalyst by disconnecting it for a lot of economy-minded people, using that term loosely. I know today there is an enterprising fellow at the gas station I go to, who talks about taking care of these things for people. You know about the new cars, having all things to cause people to use more gasoline.
Mr. PRICE. There is an incentive to disconnect something that makes your car work less well. In today's systems, the gadgets do make the car work less well and people do want to get them out of the way. If catalysts are used properly, the guy has no incentive to bypass the catalyst because it won't affect his performance or economy in any way.
Mr. DePalma. It doesn't make the car run better. I have data in front of me now which show, for example, if you are driving at a 50 cruise condition you are using a given amount of horsepower, of course. With or without catalysts we have seen, and I am not sure this is the real difference, the horsepower as measured without the converter at 8.8, as measured by the dynamometer 8.7. I doubt if you would see that. I am sure I wouldn't.
Senator Biden. What you are saying is if you go the catalyst route as you suggest, there would be no appreciable difference in performance or mileage as a consequence of having to use the catalyst!
Mr. Price. The performance and mileage would be quite a bit better than would be obtained at the same emission level without catalysts. So there is an advantage.
Senator Biden. At the same emission level. But these people will not be too concerned about the emission level. In other words, to disconnect the catalyst, if in fact you disconnect your apparatus, the person's car will go further on the same amount of gasoline, won't it!
Mr. PRICE. No. A catalyst converter is just about as simple as a filter in the exhaust line. It is just a big filter through which the exhaust gases pass. Taking that filter out isn't going to improve the performance as of that point in time. It will have no effect on it what
soever. It is the things that are done around the catalyst that are the problem. If, for example, the NO, standard, the present one, were to be maintained, and if dual bed catalyst systems were the only systems found capable of meeting those standards, there would be a strong incentive to disconnect the whole system.
Senator BIDEN. Repeat that again? Mr. Price. If the existing NO, standard for 1976 were to be maintained, and if dual bed catalyst systems were the only ones found that would do that job, if the dual bed catalyst system were to be used yes, there would be performance and economy penalties, because of the EGR and the very rich tuning needs to keep a reducing atmosphere in the first reducing converter. So there would be an incentive if you force on the American public systems that make the car run worse. There will be an incentive to bypass those systems.
Senator BIDEN. You say that will only occur if we go to dual catalysts, but in the single catalyst you are talking about there are no penalties?
Mr. Price. There is no performance penalty, so why bypass the system? You will not improve performance or mileage.
Senator BIDEN. Is there a need to use low-lead gasoline? Mr. PRICE. Yes, a need to use essentially unleaded gasoline. The levels chosen by the EPA we believe are adequate, .03 to .05. It is a projected average of about 0.025.
Senator BIDEN. That is the first time I heard that, there are no penalties at all.
Mr. PRICE. It is just a filter, even in the dual bed catalyst system if all you do is pull out the catalyst it is not going to improve a thing. In that dual bed catalyst system, you can forget the catalyst. In the dual bed catalyst system if you wanted to get back performance and mileage you would just tune your vehicle to the air-fuel ratio you want, say 14 or 13, and pull out the EGR. Leave the catalyst there. It is not perfecting performance in one way or another. It is the EGR and rich tuning affecting your mileage.
Senator BIDEN. I wonder why the automobile companies are telling us this is such a drastic step that it is going to cost so much? Mr. PRICE. If you have been reading GM statements lately they say
that. I have a copy here of Ed Cole's letter to Robert Fri of EPA: “In our ongoing developments and testing programs we are finding GM catalytic converters are showing drivability and fuel economy characteristics at least as good as our 1973 models." I think one of the nice implications in the middle of the article says, "Possibly we may need to use catalysts on all of our 1975
vehicles. At this time we don't know which models may be certified pii to meet 1975 standards. Moreover, there remains a question of whether
cars that could meet these stringent nationwide levels without catalysts can provide the final economy and performance characteristics which we believe the public expects and deserves.”
He is saying that the cars in 1975 with catalysts are going to deliver better performance and better economy than cars without them. Senator Biden. What is Ford saying these days? Mr. PRICE. I haven't seen a similar statement.
Senator Bidan. The president of Ford is coming in on Wednesday morning.
Mr. PRICE. You will have a chance to get direct information from them.
Senator BIDEN. You are aware that there is a little outfit called Chrysler that takes issue with that. They have a beautiful chart here "Facts About 1975 and 1976 Emission Standards and What You Will Pay.”
Mr. Price. If you read the penalties, they are talking about the 1976 system and projecting the use of a dual bed catalyst. That is the only thing that anybody can guess at for doing the job even though it can't do the job yet. That is the vehicle that has been used, yes, in my opinion, to mislead the public. They are always talking about the 1976 system. For the past year there has been question as to whether that severe NO, standard is necessary.
Senator Biden. They do, by the way, talk about 1975 and 1976. Mr. Price. Read it carefully. Chrysler are very good friends of ours.
Senator BIDEN. Maybe it is just their ad man, and you know how ad men are. The implication here is that they are talking about 1975. It says the control system for meeting them will cost you a whopping increase in the price of your car starting in 1975. Then there is no specific reference that I see as to performance standards
, but I assume the whopping increase they are talking about is not the cost of the catalyst. It is the cost of having to use the catalyst. I should quibble with Chrysler rather than you on that.
Mr. PRICE. I couldn't presume to know what they are talking about, but there will be an increase in 1975 because the catalyst, as has been pointed out, will add about $57 to the cost of the car. There will be additional costs associated with other parts of the system, though there may be savings when the catalysts will make it possible to leave some things off.
Senator BIDEN. You make me feel much better.
Mr. DEPALMA. I would like to repeat that in many of the cases where fuel penalties are discussed, and they talk about an overall emission control system, this may include the catalyst but it always includes exhaust gases for recirculation, spark retardation, maybe value of time, maybe compression ratio. There is a whole number of things.
Senator BIDEN. And they need to be done in order to enable the catalyst to function properly?
Mr. DePalma. No, sir. I have data with me today upon which we made determinations of what we call the normal 1973 engine. one which includes the exhaust gas for recirculation as well as spark retardation. In order to look at the effect, what we did was to remove those things which it was easiest for us to do, EGR and spark advance. In so doing, we saw an increase in performance in going this way. But in either case, whether we left the engine alone, normal, or tuned, did the catalytic converter affect noble fuel economy or performance. I think that is the important thing.
Mr. Price. It further showed improvements in economy and in performance substantially.
Senator Biden. That is interesting. As friends of Chrysler, as you stated, were I you, I think they would really appreciate it were you to let them know this and save a lot of money in advertising. I am sure they would appreciate it. This was a New York Times full page ad, March 13, 1973. They could get by with half a page. It would save them literally thousands of dollars. Were I you, I would tell them.
Mr. PRICE. We would love to.
Senator Biden. The hearing will recess until Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, at which time we will hear from the Ford Motor Co.
[Whereupon, at 11:58 a.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 23, 1973.]
[Subsequent to the hearing, the following supplemental statement from the Universal Oil Co. was received :)
Automotive Products Division
July 11, 1973
The Honorable Edmund Muskie
Senate Office Building
Dear Senator Muskie:
I am writing this letter in the absence of Mr. W. Robert Price, Jr.,
On May 21, 1973, Mr. Price presented a statement before the Subcommittee
We appreciate the opportunity of allowing us to present our views.