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  1. As expected, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have unveiled a proposal that will suspend increases in fuel economy put forth by the Obama administration, and take away California's ability regulate vehicle emissions. The new proposal is called the "Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule." Under the new proposal, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) would be capped at the 2020 level of 37 mpg through 2025. Under the rules that were created during the Obama administration, automakers would need to have a fleet average of 54 mpg in 2026. The proposal would also remove Calfornia's ability to set their own emissions state based on a 1975 federal law that prohibits states from setting their own greenhouse gas limits. It needs to be noted that two federal judges have rejected this argument when it was brought to court. "EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program," the proposal states. "In short, the agencies propose to maintain one national standard -- a standard that is set exclusively by the Federal government." What are the benefits to this new proposal? The one that has been getting the most headlines is reduced fatalities and crashes. If you're scratching your head as to how this makes sense, here is what the proposal argues. People who buy fuel-efficient vehicle will drive more, increasing the odds that they will get into a crash. Fuel-efficient vehicles will be more expensive, thus slowing down the rate people buy new cars with advanced safety features. Fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be lighter, thus are less capable of withstanding a crash. The proposal claims that this will prevent 12,700 fatalities and many more injuries on American roads. There has been a lot of disagreement on this part, especially on the weight part. While it is true that a heavier vehicle won't sustain as much damage as lighter vehicle, experts have realized that the size of vehicle is more important to overall safety. Plus, the New York Times points out this point only accounts for one percent of the estimated fatalities in the proposal. Other benefits include reduced costs for new vehicles - the proposal says the stricter emission rules add about an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. “We think we can have a win-win, if we lock in at 2020 levels. We’re not imposing undue costs on manufacturers. We’re not imposing undue costs on consumers who want affordable vehicles. And therefore we think as a result of these standards we will be able to have our cake and eat it too,” said Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a call today. Reactions to this are very mixed. “I applaud the Trump administration for proposing new standards for cars and trucks. Unless the Obama administration’s punishing standards are changed, consumer choice will be limited and the cost of vehicles will skyrocket,” said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers in a statement. "The administration's effort to roll back these standards is a denial of basic science and a denial of American automakers' engineering capabilities and ingenuity," said John M. DeCicco, research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. "This was a predictable move, as the current administration has been working hard to dismantle Obama-era regulations across the board. And while there's little demand today for smaller, more-efficient or electrified vehicles in the U.S., as gas prices remain low, these lower fuel economy targets proposed by the administration will likely spark an unwanted war between Washington and the California Air Resources Board. While few stakeholders were happy with the tough targets in the current regulations, unraveling those standards will likely be even more painful," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. Unsurprisingly, California is not pleased by this new proposal. The state along with 18 others and the District of Columbia have announced they would challenge the proposal in court. “The Trump Administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general. California “will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them.” California Governor Jerry Brown was more blunt in his reaction to this, "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.” A legal fight could mean a lot of headaches for automakers as it might result in two different emission standards they would have to meet. "With today's release of the Administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin. We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers. The next step is giving the public 60 days to comment on this proposal. Source: Bloomberg, New York Times, (2), Reuters, EPA U.S. EPA and DOT Propose Fuel Economy Standards for MY 2021-2026 Vehicles WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), to correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment. The SAFE Vehicles Rule is the next generation of the Congressionally mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 Model Year (MY) standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet. In today’s proposal, EPA and NHTSA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in MY 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering MY 2021 through 2026. “We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.” “There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public.” The current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families. Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years. Additionally, a 2018 government study by NHTSA shows new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when involved in accidents, as compared to older models. Therefore, the Administration is focused on correcting the current standards that restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits. On April 2, 2018, EPA issued the Mid-Term Evaluation Final Determination which found that the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards are not appropriate and should be revised. For more than a year, the agencies worked together to extensively analyze current automotive and fuel technologies, reviewed economic conditions and projections, and consulted with other federal agency partners to ensure the most reliable and accurate analysis possible. EPA and NHTSA are seeking public feedback to ensure that all potential impacts concerning today’s proposal are fully considered and hope to issue a final rule this winter. The public will have 60 days to provide feedback once published at the Federal Register View full article
  2. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg
  3. Under the current standards for vehicle emissions, automakers have a variety of ways to achieve compliance. These are known as "compliance flexibilities" which allows an automaker to sell electric vehicles to off-set gad-guzzlers like SUVs as an example. But the recent proposal by the Trump administration to ease emission standards, will remove these flexibilities. The proposal unveiled last week would freeze fuel-economy and emissions standards at their 2020 levels for several years beyond that. This would seem like a positive for automakers as trucks and SUVs/crossovers are selling like hotcakes. But the removal of this provision has automakers crying fowl, saying these help with global vehicle development. The heads of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers wrote a letter to Trump stating that the “flexible compliance pathways that pave the way for research and deployment in advanced fuel-saving technologies”. “We are global manufacturers; to compete around the world, we must continue to invest in both more efficient internal combustion engine technologies, electric-drive technologies and fuel cells,” said Mitch Bainwol of the Alliance, and John Bozzella of the Global Automakers. But there is a reason the government is removing those compliance flexibilities as it "existing fuel-economy program easier to administer and more transparent". This makes it easier for regulators and consumers to verify an automaker's claim. The current system is somewhat confusing, as thirstier automakers can buy into compliance by trading emission credits from more efficient ones. The trades and prices can be shielded from public viewing. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  4. As expected, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have unveiled a proposal that will suspend increases in fuel economy put forth by the Obama administration, and take away California's ability regulate vehicle emissions. The new proposal is called the "Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule." Under the new proposal, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) would be capped at the 2020 level of 37 mpg through 2025. Under the rules that were created during the Obama administration, automakers would need to have a fleet average of 54 mpg in 2026. The proposal would also remove Calfornia's ability to set their own emissions state based on a 1975 federal law that prohibits states from setting their own greenhouse gas limits. It needs to be noted that two federal judges have rejected this argument when it was brought to court. "EPA is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California in 2013 for the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] and ZEV [Zero Emissions Vehicles] requirements of its Advanced Clean Cars program," the proposal states. "In short, the agencies propose to maintain one national standard -- a standard that is set exclusively by the Federal government." What are the benefits to this new proposal? The one that has been getting the most headlines is reduced fatalities and crashes. If you're scratching your head as to how this makes sense, here is what the proposal argues. People who buy fuel-efficient vehicle will drive more, increasing the odds that they will get into a crash. Fuel-efficient vehicles will be more expensive, thus slowing down the rate people buy new cars with advanced safety features. Fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be lighter, thus are less capable of withstanding a crash. The proposal claims that this will prevent 12,700 fatalities and many more injuries on American roads. There has been a lot of disagreement on this part, especially on the weight part. While it is true that a heavier vehicle won't sustain as much damage as lighter vehicle, experts have realized that the size of vehicle is more important to overall safety. Plus, the New York Times points out this point only accounts for one percent of the estimated fatalities in the proposal. Other benefits include reduced costs for new vehicles - the proposal says the stricter emission rules add about an average of $2,430 to the price of new vehicles. “We think we can have a win-win, if we lock in at 2020 levels. We’re not imposing undue costs on manufacturers. We’re not imposing undue costs on consumers who want affordable vehicles. And therefore we think as a result of these standards we will be able to have our cake and eat it too,” said Bill Wehrum, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on a call today. Reactions to this are very mixed. “I applaud the Trump administration for proposing new standards for cars and trucks. Unless the Obama administration’s punishing standards are changed, consumer choice will be limited and the cost of vehicles will skyrocket,” said Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers in a statement. "The administration's effort to roll back these standards is a denial of basic science and a denial of American automakers' engineering capabilities and ingenuity," said John M. DeCicco, research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. "This was a predictable move, as the current administration has been working hard to dismantle Obama-era regulations across the board. And while there's little demand today for smaller, more-efficient or electrified vehicles in the U.S., as gas prices remain low, these lower fuel economy targets proposed by the administration will likely spark an unwanted war between Washington and the California Air Resources Board. While few stakeholders were happy with the tough targets in the current regulations, unraveling those standards will likely be even more painful," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. Unsurprisingly, California is not pleased by this new proposal. The state along with 18 others and the District of Columbia have announced they would challenge the proposal in court. “The Trump Administration has launched a brazen attack, no matter how it is cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards,” said Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general. California “will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the facts and science behind them.” California Governor Jerry Brown was more blunt in his reaction to this, "California will fight this stupidity in every conceivable way possible.” A legal fight could mean a lot of headaches for automakers as it might result in two different emission standards they would have to meet. "With today's release of the Administration's proposals, it's time for substantive negotiations to begin. We urge California and the federal government to find a common sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America's drivers," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and and the Association of Global Automakers. The next step is giving the public 60 days to comment on this proposal. Source: Bloomberg, New York Times, (2), Reuters, EPA U.S. EPA and DOT Propose Fuel Economy Standards for MY 2021-2026 Vehicles WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), to correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment. The SAFE Vehicles Rule is the next generation of the Congressionally mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 Model Year (MY) standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet. In today’s proposal, EPA and NHTSA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in MY 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering MY 2021 through 2026. “We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less. More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner.” “There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public.” The current standards have been a factor in the rising cost of new automobiles to an average of $35,000 or more—out of reach for many American families. Indeed, compared to the preferred alternative in the proposal, keeping in place the standards finalized in 2012 would add $2,340 to the cost of owning a new car, and impose more than $500 billion in societal costs on the U.S. economy over the next 50 years. Additionally, a 2018 government study by NHTSA shows new model year vehicles are safer, resulting in fewer deaths and injuries when involved in accidents, as compared to older models. Therefore, the Administration is focused on correcting the current standards that restrict the American people from being able to afford newer vehicles with more advanced safety features, better fuel economy, and associated environmental benefits. On April 2, 2018, EPA issued the Mid-Term Evaluation Final Determination which found that the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards are not appropriate and should be revised. For more than a year, the agencies worked together to extensively analyze current automotive and fuel technologies, reviewed economic conditions and projections, and consulted with other federal agency partners to ensure the most reliable and accurate analysis possible. EPA and NHTSA are seeking public feedback to ensure that all potential impacts concerning today’s proposal are fully considered and hope to issue a final rule this winter. The public will have 60 days to provide feedback once published at the Federal Register
  5. G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com Study Suggests VW Emissions will lead to 1200 premature deaths in Europe alone! This study covers the effects around the Globe that VW diesel emissions scandal will cause. The US is equally affected but on a lower number of 60 expected deaths. This is based on the number of autos old sold, 482,000 TDI in the US versusus 2.6 millions. Plenty of interesting information but end result is an increase in the emissions from VW TDi directly affects health and the length of life world wide. Pretty amazing read at MIT News. Study Here
  6. It seems any auto manufacturer that has built a diesel in recent years is getting hit with a lawsuit. The latest one to hit the courts involves Ford and their Super Duty pickups. According to Bloomberg, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford and supplier Bosch for using emissions-cheating software on the 2011 to 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. The suit alleges that Ford conspired with Bosch on developing software that would allow the company to alter engine parameters to help emission standards during EPA testing. In the real world, the engines would spew out as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants. The suit alleges 58 violations of state consumer law, false advertising and racketeering claims. “The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emission control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” said Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman in the complaint. “All Ford vehicles, including those with diesel engines, comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations. Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” said Daniel Barbosa, a spokesman for Ford to Bloomberg. This comes only a day after Ford announced the specifications for the upcoming F-150 Power Stroke diesel. Source: Bloomberg
  7. It seems any auto manufacturer that has built a diesel in recent years is getting hit with a lawsuit. The latest one to hit the courts involves Ford and their Super Duty pickups. According to Bloomberg, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Ford and supplier Bosch for using emissions-cheating software on the 2011 to 2017 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks. The suit alleges that Ford conspired with Bosch on developing software that would allow the company to alter engine parameters to help emission standards during EPA testing. In the real world, the engines would spew out as much as 50 times the legal limit for nitrogen oxide pollutants. The suit alleges 58 violations of state consumer law, false advertising and racketeering claims. “The vehicle’s own on-board diagnostic software indicates emission control system to be operating as Ford intended, even though its real world performance grossly exceeds the standard,” said Steve Berman, a managing partner at Hagens Berman in the complaint. “All Ford vehicles, including those with diesel engines, comply with all U.S. EPA and CARB emissions regulations. Ford vehicles do not have defeat devices. We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” said Daniel Barbosa, a spokesman for Ford to Bloomberg. This comes only a day after Ford announced the specifications for the upcoming F-150 Power Stroke diesel. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  8. PSA Group is demanding a refund from General Motors of between $711 million and $948 million stemming from the purchase of Opel by PSA. PSA is claiming that GM misrepresented Opel's emissions reduction strategy during the due diligence negotiations. EU Emissions regulations for 2021 set a target reduction of 130 g/km to 95 g/km. Regulators can fine manufacturers $113 per vehicle per gram over the limit. Any vehicle at the 130 g/km limit today would see fines of $3,955 per car sold. PSA claims that GM's plan for reaching that target relied on unrealistically high sales of the Opel Ampera-E, the European model of the US built Chevrolet Bolt EV, and extra rosy forecasts of diesel sales. Opel loses $11,850 per Ampera-E sold. PSA has already cut sales of the Ampera-E in Norway and raised its price at least $6,700 for the rest of Europe. Adding to the trouble are falling diesel sales in Europe as consumers move to less efficient gasoline engines. Even during the sale negotiations, PSA was was aware that GM was forecasting Opel to miss the 95 g/km target by 3.7 grams. Take the Ampera-E forecast of 20,000 vehicles out out of the picture and that number jumps to 6 g/km. Adjusting for falling diesel sales and Opel will miss its target by 10 grams. Such a large miss could result in fines approaching the entire purchase price of Opel ($1.54 billion). PSA is now speeding into production electric or plug-in hybrid variants of Opel's mainstay cars, with the entire lineup being converted to PSA platform architecture by 2024. PSA must now go through GM lawyers and arbitration to determine if they will get any refund from GM. View full article
  9. PSA Group is demanding a refund from General Motors of between $711 million and $948 million stemming from the purchase of Opel by PSA. PSA is claiming that GM misrepresented Opel's emissions reduction strategy during the due diligence negotiations. EU Emissions regulations for 2021 set a target reduction of 130 g/km to 95 g/km. Regulators can fine manufacturers $113 per vehicle per gram over the limit. Any vehicle at the 130 g/km limit today would see fines of $3,955 per car sold. PSA claims that GM's plan for reaching that target relied on unrealistically high sales of the Opel Ampera-E, the European model of the US built Chevrolet Bolt EV, and extra rosy forecasts of diesel sales. Opel loses $11,850 per Ampera-E sold. PSA has already cut sales of the Ampera-E in Norway and raised its price at least $6,700 for the rest of Europe. Adding to the trouble are falling diesel sales in Europe as consumers move to less efficient gasoline engines. Even during the sale negotiations, PSA was was aware that GM was forecasting Opel to miss the 95 g/km target by 3.7 grams. Take the Ampera-E forecast of 20,000 vehicles out out of the picture and that number jumps to 6 g/km. Adjusting for falling diesel sales and Opel will miss its target by 10 grams. Such a large miss could result in fines approaching the entire purchase price of Opel ($1.54 billion). PSA is now speeding into production electric or plug-in hybrid variants of Opel's mainstay cars, with the entire lineup being converted to PSA platform architecture by 2024. PSA must now go through GM lawyers and arbitration to determine if they will get any refund from GM.
  10. Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. Emissions Analytics, an independent U.K.-based company has been investigating what technologies actually make a difference in reducing emissions and fuel consumption. For the past four years, the company has tested over 500 vehicles in the U.S. since 2013 in real-world driving situations. Globally, it has tested over 1,000 vehicles. Next month, the company will be releasing a study showing which of those technologies help and hurt. "You can only decide if you have the right information. The EPA sticker is — I would say — good up to a point, but we can give a lot more information," said Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics' founder and CEO. Their data shows that over four years of testing in the U.S., there is "no actual improvement in overall fuel economy and no decrease in CO2 emissions," despite new technologies and complex powertrains. EA's data also revealed that downsized turbo engines show huge discrepancies between the EPA's findings and the real world. In the lab, the engines aren't put under stress and can produce high fuel economy figures. But it is a different story out in the real world when the turbos are engaged to keep up with traffic and becomes less efficient than a non-turbocharged engine. "Downsizing is a good thing up to a point. You go past a certain inflection point and actually you can find that the real-world mpg will actually get worse if you go too small," said Molden. "As soon as you start going below 2 liters, that's where we start seeing the gaps open up between EPA sticker and real world." The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. Emissions Analytics, an independent U.K.-based company has been investigating what technologies actually make a difference in reducing emissions and fuel consumption. For the past four years, the company has tested over 500 vehicles in the U.S. since 2013 in real-world driving situations. Globally, it has tested over 1,000 vehicles. Next month, the company will be releasing a study showing which of those technologies help and hurt. "You can only decide if you have the right information. The EPA sticker is — I would say — good up to a point, but we can give a lot more information," said Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics' founder and CEO. Their data shows that over four years of testing in the U.S., there is "no actual improvement in overall fuel economy and no decrease in CO2 emissions," despite new technologies and complex powertrains. EA's data also revealed that downsized turbo engines show huge discrepancies between the EPA's findings and the real world. In the lab, the engines aren't put under stress and can produce high fuel economy figures. But it is a different story out in the real world when the turbos are engaged to keep up with traffic and becomes less efficient than a non-turbocharged engine. "Downsizing is a good thing up to a point. You go past a certain inflection point and actually you can find that the real-world mpg will actually get worse if you go too small," said Molden. "As soon as you start going below 2 liters, that's where we start seeing the gaps open up between EPA sticker and real world." The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. The diesel emission scandal has once again flared up as Audi stands accused of using illegal software on certain A7 and A8 TDI models. Yesterday, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt announced that Audi employed illegal software to cheat emission tests on certain A7 and A8 models built between 2009 to 2013. The affected models are said to emit twice the legal limit of nitrogen oxides when the steering wheel is turned more than 15 degrees - a condition that would happen in the real world and not in the lab. German tabloid Bild reported that Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller was summoned to the transport ministry. A ministry spokesman confirmed Muller's visit to Reuters. The ministry has requested the company to issue a recall on the two models - 24,000 in total with 14,000 of those registered in Germany - and set a deadline for June 12 for a plan to retrofit the vehicles with legal software. Audi did issue the recall last night and said it has a fix coming in July. According to a source, the issue deals with the interaction between transmission and engine control units and that a fix has been submitted to Germany's transportation watchdog, the KBA. Source: Deutsche Welle, Reuters
  13. The diesel emission scandal has once again flared up as Audi stands accused of using illegal software on certain A7 and A8 TDI models. Yesterday, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt announced that Audi employed illegal software to cheat emission tests on certain A7 and A8 models built between 2009 to 2013. The affected models are said to emit twice the legal limit of nitrogen oxides when the steering wheel is turned more than 15 degrees - a condition that would happen in the real world and not in the lab. German tabloid Bild reported that Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller was summoned to the transport ministry. A ministry spokesman confirmed Muller's visit to Reuters. The ministry has requested the company to issue a recall on the two models - 24,000 in total with 14,000 of those registered in Germany - and set a deadline for June 12 for a plan to retrofit the vehicles with legal software. Audi did issue the recall last night and said it has a fix coming in July. According to a source, the issue deals with the interaction between transmission and engine control units and that a fix has been submitted to Germany's transportation watchdog, the KBA. Source: Deutsche Welle, Reuters View full article
  14. Volkswagen isn't the only automaker that has the attention of German prosecutors. Yesterday, prosecutors carried out raids at various Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) buildings. This is part of an investigation into fraud related to false advertising and the possible manipulation of emissions with diesel powered vehicles. The Stuttgart public prosecutor's office told Reuters the raids were carried out "against known and unknown employees at Daimler, who are suspected of fraud and misleading advertising connected to manipulated emissions treatment of diesel passenger cars." 23 prosecutors and around 230 staff, including police and state criminal authorities, searched 11 sites to look for evidence to help build a case. Diamler confirmed the raids to Reuters and said it was "cooperating with authorities." The company is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for emission discrepancies with diesel vehicles. Source: Reuters
  15. Volkswagen isn't the only automaker that has the attention of German prosecutors. Yesterday, prosecutors carried out raids at various Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) buildings. This is part of an investigation into fraud related to false advertising and the possible manipulation of emissions with diesel powered vehicles. The Stuttgart public prosecutor's office told Reuters the raids were carried out "against known and unknown employees at Daimler, who are suspected of fraud and misleading advertising connected to manipulated emissions treatment of diesel passenger cars." 23 prosecutors and around 230 staff, including police and state criminal authorities, searched 11 sites to look for evidence to help build a case. Diamler confirmed the raids to Reuters and said it was "cooperating with authorities." The company is also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for emission discrepancies with diesel vehicles. Source: Reuters View full article
  16. Since President Donald Trump was elected, automakers have been pushing for him to relax the stricter fuel economy and emission regulations coming into effect by 2025. Now there is another group calling for this. At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual conference, dealers voiced support for the new president ease the upcoming regulations. "You inflate the price of the vehicle and a car that was maybe within reach of being affordable now may not be," said NADA's new chairman, Mark Scarpelli to Reuters. Scarpelli argues that the tech needed to improve fuel economy adds $1,500 to $3,000 to the price of a vehicle. He also says that a "different phase-in period" for the regulations would be welcomed. The big argument dealers are using is the regulations would cause automakers to build vehicles that buyers aren't interested in. "They've got to make regulation more in line with consumer demand so (the automakers) can build what people want and not what the government’s telling them they have to build," said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of Group 1 Automotive Inc. Source: Reuters View full article
  17. Since President Donald Trump was elected, automakers have been pushing for him to relax the stricter fuel economy and emission regulations coming into effect by 2025. Now there is another group calling for this. At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual conference, dealers voiced support for the new president ease the upcoming regulations. "You inflate the price of the vehicle and a car that was maybe within reach of being affordable now may not be," said NADA's new chairman, Mark Scarpelli to Reuters. Scarpelli argues that the tech needed to improve fuel economy adds $1,500 to $3,000 to the price of a vehicle. He also says that a "different phase-in period" for the regulations would be welcomed. The big argument dealers are using is the regulations would cause automakers to build vehicles that buyers aren't interested in. "They've got to make regulation more in line with consumer demand so (the automakers) can build what people want and not what the government’s telling them they have to build," said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of Group 1 Automotive Inc. Source: Reuters
  18. Porsche now finds itself under the spotlight of German regulators for possibly using a defeat device on their gas models. German publication Wirtschafts Woche reports that Germany’s Transport Ministry and Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) were tipped off by people close to Porsche about possible cheating on emissions tests. According to the story, some Porsche vehicles have software that can detect when they are on a dynamometer (or rolling road) based on whether or not there the steering wheel was turned. If this sounds familiar, that's because Audi is accused using something similar on some of their models. Porsche has responded to the questions about this and said the software is used detect steering movements is to improve the overall driving experience and not to fool emission tests. In a statement to Bloomberg, Porsche said it is cooperating with the investigation. Source: Wirtschafts Woche, Bloomberg View full article
  19. Porsche now finds itself under the spotlight of German regulators for possibly using a defeat device on their gas models. German publication Wirtschafts Woche reports that Germany’s Transport Ministry and Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) were tipped off by people close to Porsche about possible cheating on emissions tests. According to the story, some Porsche vehicles have software that can detect when they are on a dynamometer (or rolling road) based on whether or not there the steering wheel was turned. If this sounds familiar, that's because Audi is accused using something similar on some of their models. Porsche has responded to the questions about this and said the software is used detect steering movements is to improve the overall driving experience and not to fool emission tests. In a statement to Bloomberg, Porsche said it is cooperating with the investigation. Source: Wirtschafts Woche, Bloomberg
  20. In addition to $14.7 billion settlement reached with the U.S. Government, Volkswagen will pay an additional $86 million in civil penalties to California over the diesel emission scandal. "We must conserve and protect our environment for future generations and deliver swift and certain consequences to those who break the law and pollute our air," said California's Attorney General Kamala Harris in a statement. Harris explained the civil penalties resolved certain claims made by state officials against Volkswagen dealing with the state's unfair competition law, along with certain violations of federal law. The majority of $86 million will go to the Attorney General's office to "defray costs relating to investigation and litigation of the emissions scandal," according to court documents. The remainder will be used for grants given to government agencies and universities to study technology that can detect 'defeat devices'. Source: Reuters View full article
  21. In addition to $14.7 billion settlement reached with the U.S. Government, Volkswagen will pay an additional $86 million in civil penalties to California over the diesel emission scandal. "We must conserve and protect our environment for future generations and deliver swift and certain consequences to those who break the law and pollute our air," said California's Attorney General Kamala Harris in a statement. Harris explained the civil penalties resolved certain claims made by state officials against Volkswagen dealing with the state's unfair competition law, along with certain violations of federal law. The majority of $86 million will go to the Attorney General's office to "defray costs relating to investigation and litigation of the emissions scandal," according to court documents. The remainder will be used for grants given to government agencies and universities to study technology that can detect 'defeat devices'. Source: Reuters
  22. It seems a week can't go by without another automaker being embroiled in either a fuel economy or emission mess. This week, the German Government has requested Opel to provide more information on a piece of software that turns off the emission controls in the Zafira. The issue at hand is whether or not this software violates regulations. "Shut-off devices are fundamentally illegal, unless it is truly necessary to safeguard the engine," said Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's transport minister after a meeting with Opel to discuss this issue. "Therefore it's clear that in this situation, we have our doubts." This meeting comes after a joint investigation between Spiegel magazine, ARD television's Monitor program and the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmentalist group. The investigation found software used in the Insignia and Zafira that would turn off emission controls under various conditions such as going above 90 mph. Opel went on the defensive, saying the conclusion was wrong. "We at Opel don't have any illegal software," said Opel president Karl-Thomas Neumann in a statement on Tuesday. Opel explained they do have software that can turn off the emission controls at high speeds, but this was only done to protect the engine. The automaker says this software is legal. But the committee who is looking into this issue has their doubts. "The investigating committee has doubts about whether this practice is completely justified by the protection of the engine," said Dobrindt. Opel has promised to cooperate with the investigation. The committee gave the automaker 14 days to provide technical information on the software. Dobrindt said he would ask other automakers if they use something similar to Opel's software. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
  23. It seems a week can't go by without another automaker being embroiled in either a fuel economy or emission mess. This week, the German Government has requested Opel to provide more information on a piece of software that turns off the emission controls in the Zafira. The issue at hand is whether or not this software violates regulations. "Shut-off devices are fundamentally illegal, unless it is truly necessary to safeguard the engine," said Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's transport minister after a meeting with Opel to discuss this issue. "Therefore it's clear that in this situation, we have our doubts." This meeting comes after a joint investigation between Spiegel magazine, ARD television's Monitor program and the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmentalist group. The investigation found software used in the Insignia and Zafira that would turn off emission controls under various conditions such as going above 90 mph. Opel went on the defensive, saying the conclusion was wrong. "We at Opel don't have any illegal software," said Opel president Karl-Thomas Neumann in a statement on Tuesday. Opel explained they do have software that can turn off the emission controls at high speeds, but this was only done to protect the engine. The automaker says this software is legal. But the committee who is looking into this issue has their doubts. "The investigating committee has doubts about whether this practice is completely justified by the protection of the engine," said Dobrindt. Opel has promised to cooperate with the investigation. The committee gave the automaker 14 days to provide technical information on the software. Dobrindt said he would ask other automakers if they use something similar to Opel's software. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters View full article
  24. The most famous boulevard in Paris, the Champs-Élysées will not see any vehicles for one Sunday every month. The Agence France-Presse reports that the Paris city government will ban vehicles from the Champs-Élysées the first Sunday of every month. The ban will go into effect on May 8th, not the 1st. The reason it is a week later is May 1st is a national holiday and many workers who will be needed to run the scheme will have the day off. This is part of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's plan to improve the overall environment in the city. Since she was elected back in 2014, Hidalgo has backed plans to create more pedestrian zones in the city and ban diesel cars by 2020. She also implemented the first "day without cars" last September. Vehicles were banned from some major boulevards in the city. According to Airparif, the agency that monitors air quality for the region said nitrogen oxide levels declined by between 20 and 40 percent during that day. Of course, this is a temporary decrease. Source: Agence France-Presse via The Guardian, The Verge Pic Credit: Citroën
  25. The most famous boulevard in Paris, the Champs-Élysées will not see any vehicles for one Sunday every month. The Agence France-Presse reports that the Paris city government will ban vehicles from the Champs-Élysées the first Sunday of every month. The ban will go into effect on May 8th, not the 1st. The reason it is a week later is May 1st is a national holiday and many workers who will be needed to run the scheme will have the day off. This is part of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo's plan to improve the overall environment in the city. Since she was elected back in 2014, Hidalgo has backed plans to create more pedestrian zones in the city and ban diesel cars by 2020. She also implemented the first "day without cars" last September. Vehicles were banned from some major boulevards in the city. According to Airparif, the agency that monitors air quality for the region said nitrogen oxide levels declined by between 20 and 40 percent during that day. Of course, this is a temporary decrease. Source: Agence France-Presse via The Guardian, The Verge Pic Credit: Citroën View full article

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