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Found 35 results

  1. On Friday, California regulators voted to require that automakers stick with the Obama-era emission regulations for vehicles sold in the state, no matter the efforts of the Trump administration to weaken the standards. This basically means vehicles built for through 2025 model year comply with the state’s standards and can legally be sold there. Beginning with the 2026 model year, vehicles have to meet the stricter standards if automakers want to sell vehicles in the state, along with the 12 other states and Washington D.C. that follow these regulations. This is the latest salvo in the fight between California and Trump administration over emission standards. Back in August, the administration unveiled a new proposal that would freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels through 2026. This proposal earned a large amount of criticism and a lawsuit filed by a group of states led by California. In a statement, California Air Resources Board's Chair Mary Nichols said the state would “continue to work to keep a single national program,” but that the vote “ensures that California and 12 other states will not fall victim to the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle standards should its proposal be finalized.” Source: Reuters View full article
  2. On Friday, California regulators voted to require that automakers stick with the Obama-era emission regulations for vehicles sold in the state, no matter the efforts of the Trump administration to weaken the standards. This basically means vehicles built for through 2025 model year comply with the state’s standards and can legally be sold there. Beginning with the 2026 model year, vehicles have to meet the stricter standards if automakers want to sell vehicles in the state, along with the 12 other states and Washington D.C. that follow these regulations. This is the latest salvo in the fight between California and Trump administration over emission standards. Back in August, the administration unveiled a new proposal that would freeze fuel efficiency requirements at 2020 levels through 2026. This proposal earned a large amount of criticism and a lawsuit filed by a group of states led by California. In a statement, California Air Resources Board's Chair Mary Nichols said the state would “continue to work to keep a single national program,” but that the vote “ensures that California and 12 other states will not fall victim to the Trump administration’s rollback of vehicle standards should its proposal be finalized.” Source: Reuters
  3. 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
  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 View full article
  5. The past month has been quite strenuous on the relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California. Back in April, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced they would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations set towards the end of President Obama's tenure. The EPA also announced that it was considering revoking California's waiver to set their own emission standards. A few days later, we reported that the officials from the White House, California, and automakers were trying to work out a possible emissions deal to prevent a legal fight. It seems those talks went nowhere as California along with sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have filed suit challenging the rollback. On Tuesday, the collation led by California filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the rollback. This group makes up 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. "The states joining today's lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars. This phalanx of states will defend the nation's clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution," said California Governor Jerry Brown in a statement. The suit alleges that the EPA decision to roll back the regulation lacked any scientific reason. The EPA is also accused of failing to follow its own regulations and violating the Clean Air Act. “This is California saying: You really want war? We’ll give you war. It’s a signal to the administration that they’re not going to get away with anything in this space,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign to the New York Times. According to Reuters, the Department of Transportation has a draft proposal of the changes that is expected to be released to the public later this month. The draft would freeze emission requirements for vehicles at 2020 levels through 2026. The draft also asserts that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 bars California from imposing their own rules, even with the waiver. This proposal has already earned the ire of the public and various members of the U.S. Senate. One Senator, Tom Carper, D-Delaware obtained a copy of the proposal and sent a scathing letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Pruitt. “Such a proposal, if finalized, would harm U.S. national and economic security, undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, increase the amount of gasoline consumers would have to buy, and runs counter to statements that both of you have made to Members of Congress,” wrote Carper. There is a lot riding on this suit as it could possibly cause the U.S. to have two different emission regulations and automakers having to meet both of them. "Enough is enough. We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," said Xavier Becerra, California state attorney general. Yesterday, the White House announced that it will be meeting with leaders of the major automakers next week. The meeting will be talking about the planned changes to the fuel efficiency rules. It is expected that automakers will be trying to push the Trump administration and California to agree to a national standard. Source: New York Times, Roadshow, Reuters, (2), U.S. Senate (Carper's Letter)
  6. Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations that were approved during the Obama administration. The agency also announced possibly revoking California's waiver that allows it to set tougher standards on vehicle emissions. The state vowed to fight this. But a new report from the New York Times says California and officials from the Trump administration are in talks about possibly reaching a deal to avoid a legal fight. Speaking to a half-dozen of sources briefed about the talks, the Times reports that the two parties, along with representatives of major automakers, "are searching for a compromise that could save a uniform set of standards for the entire country." One of the proposals on the table is to keep the Obama fuel economy standards, but allow automakers to take advantage of more generous loopholes to meet them. In turn, the Trump administration would honor California's wavier through 2030. There could be other proposals in the cards as the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the White House begin to coordinate their various strategies. There are a number of obstacles that could derail the talks. Various automakers "are in different positions” on how to proceed with the talks. According to a source, some are focused on rolling back the standards through 2025, while others want to have the discussion to reach a compromise to avoid having to build vehicles to different standards. The talks themselves seem to be spinning their wheels. Last week, William Wehrum, the EPA's senior clean air adviser met with Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. Depending on who you ask, the meeting didn't amount to anything or was considered to be productive. Source: New York Times View full article
  7. Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations that were approved during the Obama administration. The agency also announced possibly revoking California's waiver that allows it to set tougher standards on vehicle emissions. The state vowed to fight this. But a new report from the New York Times says California and officials from the Trump administration are in talks about possibly reaching a deal to avoid a legal fight. Speaking to a half-dozen of sources briefed about the talks, the Times reports that the two parties, along with representatives of major automakers, "are searching for a compromise that could save a uniform set of standards for the entire country." One of the proposals on the table is to keep the Obama fuel economy standards, but allow automakers to take advantage of more generous loopholes to meet them. In turn, the Trump administration would honor California's wavier through 2030. There could be other proposals in the cards as the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the White House begin to coordinate their various strategies. There are a number of obstacles that could derail the talks. Various automakers "are in different positions” on how to proceed with the talks. According to a source, some are focused on rolling back the standards through 2025, while others want to have the discussion to reach a compromise to avoid having to build vehicles to different standards. The talks themselves seem to be spinning their wheels. Last week, William Wehrum, the EPA's senior clean air adviser met with Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board. Depending on who you ask, the meeting didn't amount to anything or was considered to be productive. Source: New York Times
  8. The past month has been quite strenuous on the relationship between the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California. Back in April, EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced they would be rolling back the fuel-efficiency regulations set towards the end of President Obama's tenure. The EPA also announced that it was considering revoking California's waiver to set their own emission standards. A few days later, we reported that the officials from the White House, California, and automakers were trying to work out a possible emissions deal to prevent a legal fight. It seems those talks went nowhere as California along with sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have filed suit challenging the rollback. On Tuesday, the collation led by California filed a suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the rollback. This group makes up 40 percent of the U.S. auto market. "The states joining today's lawsuit represent 140 million people who simply want cleaner and more efficient cars. This phalanx of states will defend the nation's clean car standards to boost gas mileage and curb toxic air pollution," said California Governor Jerry Brown in a statement. The suit alleges that the EPA decision to roll back the regulation lacked any scientific reason. The EPA is also accused of failing to follow its own regulations and violating the Clean Air Act. “This is California saying: You really want war? We’ll give you war. It’s a signal to the administration that they’re not going to get away with anything in this space,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign to the New York Times. According to Reuters, the Department of Transportation has a draft proposal of the changes that is expected to be released to the public later this month. The draft would freeze emission requirements for vehicles at 2020 levels through 2026. The draft also asserts that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 bars California from imposing their own rules, even with the waiver. This proposal has already earned the ire of the public and various members of the U.S. Senate. One Senator, Tom Carper, D-Delaware obtained a copy of the proposal and sent a scathing letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Pruitt. “Such a proposal, if finalized, would harm U.S. national and economic security, undermine efforts to combat global warming pollution, create regulatory and manufacturing uncertainty for the automobile industry and unnecessary litigation, increase the amount of gasoline consumers would have to buy, and runs counter to statements that both of you have made to Members of Congress,” wrote Carper. There is a lot riding on this suit as it could possibly cause the U.S. to have two different emission regulations and automakers having to meet both of them. "Enough is enough. We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," said Xavier Becerra, California state attorney general. Yesterday, the White House announced that it will be meeting with leaders of the major automakers next week. The meeting will be talking about the planned changes to the fuel efficiency rules. It is expected that automakers will be trying to push the Trump administration and California to agree to a national standard. Source: New York Times, Roadshow, Reuters, (2), U.S. Senate (Carper's Letter) View full article
  9. California is considering joining France and Great Britain in banning the sale of gas and diesel-powered vehicles. Governor Jerry Brown has been expressing an interest in banning the sale of internal-combustion engines according to Mary Nichols, chariman of the California Air Resources Board. “I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’ The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California,” she said to Bloomberg. As we reported earlier this month, China is also considering a ban on internal combustion engines. California has set an ambitious goal reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. “To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050. We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward,” said Nichols. If California was to go forward with this, it would send massive shockwaves in the automotive industry due to the size of state's auto market. Last year, more than 2 million new passenger vehicles were registered, topping countries like France and Spain. Automakers would be under new pressure on making EVs the standard. But that doesn't mean California will have an easy time with this. While the state has the authority of writing its own pollution rules thanks to the 1970 Clean Air Act, they cannot be enacted with getting waivers from the EPA. With the Trump administration going on record that it would challenge California on any new environmental act, the state is looking for alternative ways to get what they want. “We certainly wouldn’t expect to get a waiver for that from EPA. I think we would be looking at using some of our other authorities to get to that result,” said Nichols. Nichols did say it will be a long time before something like this is implemented. “There are people who believe, including who work for me, that you could stop all sales of new internal-combustion cars by 2030. Some people say 2035, some people say 2040. It’s awfully hard to predict any of that with precision, but it doesn’t appear to be out of the question.” Source: Bloomberg View full article
  10. California is considering joining France and Great Britain in banning the sale of gas and diesel-powered vehicles. Governor Jerry Brown has been expressing an interest in banning the sale of internal-combustion engines according to Mary Nichols, chariman of the California Air Resources Board. “I’ve gotten messages from the governor asking, ‘Why haven’t we done something already?’ The governor has certainly indicated an interest in why China can do this and not California,” she said to Bloomberg. As we reported earlier this month, China is also considering a ban on internal combustion engines. California has set an ambitious goal reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. “To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050. We’re looking at that as a method of moving this discussion forward,” said Nichols. If California was to go forward with this, it would send massive shockwaves in the automotive industry due to the size of state's auto market. Last year, more than 2 million new passenger vehicles were registered, topping countries like France and Spain. Automakers would be under new pressure on making EVs the standard. But that doesn't mean California will have an easy time with this. While the state has the authority of writing its own pollution rules thanks to the 1970 Clean Air Act, they cannot be enacted with getting waivers from the EPA. With the Trump administration going on record that it would challenge California on any new environmental act, the state is looking for alternative ways to get what they want. “We certainly wouldn’t expect to get a waiver for that from EPA. I think we would be looking at using some of our other authorities to get to that result,” said Nichols. Nichols did say it will be a long time before something like this is implemented. “There are people who believe, including who work for me, that you could stop all sales of new internal-combustion cars by 2030. Some people say 2035, some people say 2040. It’s awfully hard to predict any of that with precision, but it doesn’t appear to be out of the question.” Source: Bloomberg
  11. According to Channel 3 KCRA news as reported on msn.com, California has pushed through their first gas tax raise in 23 years to address their $130 Billion plus backlog of road repairs / upgrades. This will be covered by the following increases: Gas tax $.12 per gallon Diesel $.20 per gallon Auto Registration $25 - $175 per auto. They say this will add about $10 per month to the average driver's monthly cost. While many people say it is more expensive and will be tougher, they also say the roads are needed to be repaired. Interesting is while this got pushed through by the Governor, republicans in the state which are a minority in both houses say this is a contest between the house and senate of California to see how expensive they can make it to drive and live in California.
  12. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com 2017 Chevy BOLT's First Allocation hitting California Yesterday at hybridcars.com they reported and confirmed a posting at the GM-Volt.com forum by Keyes Chevrolet general manager who stated he has a confirmed 78 initial Bolts being delivered in December. They have taken 35 deposits and have 43 left available. Keyes Chevrolet of Southern California Reports 78 confirmed BOLT deliveries According to this report California and Oregon are the first two states to take delivery of BOLTs in December with others following shortly afterwards. The dealership confirmed that while they have 78 confirmed BOLTs that will be delivered in December, they still do not know what the specific trims / options are. The Dealership says that the deposits they are taking at this time is for a place in line to buy from the existing inventory. This dealership is one of the top 5 largest in california and GM is giving allocation to their top tier dealers first. Ordering Guide as posted by InsideEVs
  13. The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to fix the 3.0L TDI V6. "VW's and Audi's submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration," CARB wrote in a letter to the German automaker. This comes as a bit of a surprise as last month, Volkswagen's lawyer Robert Giuffra said the company was close to a fix for this engine and it wouldn't affect overall performance. Volkswagen apparently did not learn its lesson when its proposed fix for the 2.0L TDI four-cylinder was rejected by CARB earlier this year for the same reasons. Complicating matters further is CARB saying that certain test data would not be available until December. They need this data to help make a determination if a fix would work for the all of the affected models or if Volkswagen needs to set up a buyback program similar to the one for the 2.0 TDI. Source: Reuters, California Air Resources Board View full article
  14. The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to fix the 3.0L TDI V6. "VW's and Audi's submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration," CARB wrote in a letter to the German automaker. This comes as a bit of a surprise as last month, Volkswagen's lawyer Robert Giuffra said the company was close to a fix for this engine and it wouldn't affect overall performance. Volkswagen apparently did not learn its lesson when its proposed fix for the 2.0L TDI four-cylinder was rejected by CARB earlier this year for the same reasons. Complicating matters further is CARB saying that certain test data would not be available until December. They need this data to help make a determination if a fix would work for the all of the affected models or if Volkswagen needs to set up a buyback program similar to the one for the 2.0 TDI. Source: Reuters, California Air Resources Board
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Whenever someone brings up hybrid and GM's pickups, we're reminded of the two-mode hybrid system GM installed on the last-generation Silverado and Sierra that only delivered negligible gains in fuel economy. But GM is giving the hybrid truck another go with the introduction of an eAssist powertrain on the Silverado and Sierra. The eAssist system comprises of a small electric motor (13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque) and 0.45-kWh battery pack. This is paired with the 5.3L V8. Power figures stand at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (no increase in horsepower, but an increase of 3 pound-feet). The system only adds an additional 100 pounds to the overall weight. In terms of overall fuel economy, GM says the eAssist boosts fuel economy from 16 City/22 Highway/20 Combined mpg to 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined mpg. Other pluses for the eAssist include a stop-start system, the ability to run the engine on four-cylinders for a longer time, and regenerative brakes that can feed power to various accessories. The eAssist powertrain only adds $500 to the price of a Silverado or Sierra. All good news? Not exactly. The only way you can get the eAssist system is by either ordering a two-wheel drive version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1LT crew cab or GMC Sierra SLT crew cab with the SLT Premium Plus package. Also, GM is only offering this in California. Finally, GM is only building 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras with the eAssist. GM says this is test and "will monitor the market closely... and adjust as appropriate moving forward." Source: Chevrolet, GMC Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Silverado With eAssist New mild-hybrid system delivers 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, based on EPA city estimates DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that a select number of 2016 Chevrolet Silverados will be offered with eAssist technology. The new mild-hybrid electrical system leverages many of the technologies and components from Chevrolet’s lineup of innovative electric vehicles – including battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software controls developed for the Volt. As a result, Chevrolet can deliver a low-volume, affordably priced hybrid pickup that delivers uncompromised capability and up to 13 percent better fuel economy in city driving. “Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks. “For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck.” The compact, lightweight system increases curb weight by approximately 100 pounds, and delivers an additional 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor. The eAssist propulsion system, including the 8-speed automatic transmission, will be a $500 premium over a comparably equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim. Initially, Chevrolet will offer approximately 500 Silverado eAssist trucks for the 2016 model year, exclusively through California dealers. Based on feedback from these initial customers, Chevrolet will adjust production for 2017 model year. The eAssist Silverado adds another piece to Chevrolet’s growing electrification portfolio - from all-electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Bolt EV (slated to begin production in late 2016), to extended-range electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, to full-hybrids like Malibu Hybrid, and mild-hybrids like Silverado eAssist. Technology developed from new Malibu Hybrid and Volt The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the Silverado’s 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission to provide: Electric Power Boost: The on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of supplemental power during acceleration and passing. The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the 5.3L V-8 engine to operate in 4-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits. Stop/Start capability: Added fuel savings are achieved by seamlessly turning the engine off when stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic and turning the engine back on when the accelerator is pressed. Regenerative Braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system. These features deliver a 13 percent improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg. Power for the eAssist system is supplied by a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console (or front bench seat) that uses the same battery cells as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It weighs nearly 15 percent less than the previous generation eAssist system, yet provides up to 15 kW of power to the electric motor. A reengineered power inverter module is now liquid cooled and moved underhood for improved packaging and performance. The software used to control the battery system is based off a modified version of the software for the Chevrolet Volt. The compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides peak regen capability of 15kW resulting from advanced software controls based off those used in the Volt. The motor, which features a stator design leveraged from the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, acts like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb.-ft. (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high-load situations. This new generation of eAssist is also more modular than the previous system, meaning it could be more easily used in front-wheel or rear-wheel drive drivetrain configurations and it’s capable of using more or fewer cells, based on power needs for each vehicle application. GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist Technologically advanced premium truck offers greater efficiency, capability DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency. Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward. “Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.” Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine. The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features: High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone) IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen Bose premium audio system Wireless phone charging Heated and vented leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert IntelliBeam headlamps Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Vision camera. The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces. eAssist details The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through: Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption. The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight. A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood. View full article
  18. Whenever someone brings up hybrid and GM's pickups, we're reminded of the two-mode hybrid system GM installed on the last-generation Silverado and Sierra that only delivered negligible gains in fuel economy. But GM is giving the hybrid truck another go with the introduction of an eAssist powertrain on the Silverado and Sierra. The eAssist system comprises of a small electric motor (13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque) and 0.45-kWh battery pack. This is paired with the 5.3L V8. Power figures stand at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque (no increase in horsepower, but an increase of 3 pound-feet). The system only adds an additional 100 pounds to the overall weight. In terms of overall fuel economy, GM says the eAssist boosts fuel economy from 16 City/22 Highway/20 Combined mpg to 18 City/24 Highway/20 Combined mpg. Other pluses for the eAssist include a stop-start system, the ability to run the engine on four-cylinders for a longer time, and regenerative brakes that can feed power to various accessories. The eAssist powertrain only adds $500 to the price of a Silverado or Sierra. All good news? Not exactly. The only way you can get the eAssist system is by either ordering a two-wheel drive version of the Chevrolet Silverado 1LT crew cab or GMC Sierra SLT crew cab with the SLT Premium Plus package. Also, GM is only offering this in California. Finally, GM is only building 500 Silverados and 200 Sierras with the eAssist. GM says this is test and "will monitor the market closely... and adjust as appropriate moving forward." Source: Chevrolet, GMC Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Silverado With eAssist New mild-hybrid system delivers 13 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, based on EPA city estimates DETROIT – Chevrolet announced today that a select number of 2016 Chevrolet Silverados will be offered with eAssist technology. The new mild-hybrid electrical system leverages many of the technologies and components from Chevrolet’s lineup of innovative electric vehicles – including battery cells from the Malibu Hybrid and software controls developed for the Volt. As a result, Chevrolet can deliver a low-volume, affordably priced hybrid pickup that delivers uncompromised capability and up to 13 percent better fuel economy in city driving. “Silverado already leads the full-size truck segment in V8 fuel economy,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevrolet Trucks. “For customers and small-business owners who use their trucks for more urban driving, the addition of eAssist can further reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing the utility they expect in a full-size truck.” The compact, lightweight system increases curb weight by approximately 100 pounds, and delivers an additional 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from the electric motor. The eAssist propulsion system, including the 8-speed automatic transmission, will be a $500 premium over a comparably equipped two-wheel drive Silverado 1500 crew cab in 1LT trim. Initially, Chevrolet will offer approximately 500 Silverado eAssist trucks for the 2016 model year, exclusively through California dealers. Based on feedback from these initial customers, Chevrolet will adjust production for 2017 model year. The eAssist Silverado adds another piece to Chevrolet’s growing electrification portfolio - from all-electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV and Bolt EV (slated to begin production in late 2016), to extended-range electrics like the Chevrolet Volt, to full-hybrids like Malibu Hybrid, and mild-hybrids like Silverado eAssist. Technology developed from new Malibu Hybrid and Volt The eAssist system pairs a compact lithium-ion battery pack with the Silverado’s 5.3L EcoTech V-8 and 8-speed automatic transmission to provide: Electric Power Boost: The on-board electric motor provides up to 13 hp and 44 lb-ft of supplemental power during acceleration and passing. The electric motor also enables the Active Fuel Management system on the 5.3L V-8 engine to operate in 4-cylinder mode for longer periods, resulting in additional fuel economy benefits. Stop/Start capability: Added fuel savings are achieved by seamlessly turning the engine off when stopped at a traffic light or in congested traffic and turning the engine back on when the accelerator is pressed. Regenerative Braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system. These features deliver a 13 percent improvement in city fuel economy, based on EPA estimates. The 2016 Silverado eAssist will have an EPA estimated 18 mpg city, a 2 mpg improvement over the equivalent Silverado 1500 with the 5.3L V-8 and 8-speed automatic. EPA estimated highway fuel economy for the Silverado eAssist is 24 mpg, while the combined rating is 20 mpg. Power for the eAssist system is supplied by a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the center console (or front bench seat) that uses the same battery cells as the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. It weighs nearly 15 percent less than the previous generation eAssist system, yet provides up to 15 kW of power to the electric motor. A reengineered power inverter module is now liquid cooled and moved underhood for improved packaging and performance. The software used to control the battery system is based off a modified version of the software for the Chevrolet Volt. The compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides peak regen capability of 15kW resulting from advanced software controls based off those used in the Volt. The motor, which features a stator design leveraged from the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, acts like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb.-ft. (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high-load situations. This new generation of eAssist is also more modular than the previous system, meaning it could be more easily used in front-wheel or rear-wheel drive drivetrain configurations and it’s capable of using more or fewer cells, based on power needs for each vehicle application. GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist Technologically advanced premium truck offers greater efficiency, capability DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency. Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward. “Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.” Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine. The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features: High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone) IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen Bose premium audio system Wireless phone charging Heated and vented leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert IntelliBeam headlamps Front and Rear Park Assist Rear Vision camera. The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces. eAssist details The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through: Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption. The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight. A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood.
  19. California and Michigan are currently fighting a chunk of close to $4 billion in federal funding that President Barack Obama proposed last month to develop autonomous vehicles. Both are proposing World War II military sites as the place to test autonomous technologies. But Michigan has an interesting trump card; potholes. Anyone who has driven the roads in Michigan knows they are quite terrible (and that's being somewhat kind). Due to the harsh weather conditions and difficulty in keeping the roads maintained, potholes spring up and can grow into very frightening sizes. “California is not the real world -- they don’t have four seasons. We’ve got real potholes. It’s a much more real-world scenario,” said Debbie Dingell, the Democratic congresswoman representing Ypsilanti, MI. Michigan is proposing to use the run down Willow Run factory site - a former bomber and GM transmission plant - as the test site. Not only does the site offer a wide range of potholes, it is also quite large - 330 acres to be exact. The state has put up $20 million to buy and develop the site from Racer Trust, a holding company set up by GM during the 2009 bankruptcy. California's proposal is the former Navy base in Concord, California (near San Francisco) that offers 2,100 acres and 20 miles of roads. It is also the home to GoMentum Station, a facility that tests autonomous vehicles. Both locations have their advantages. California's location is nearby Silicon Valley. Michigan's location is nearby a number auto manufacturer testing and engineering facilities. Who will take the prize? Supporters believe with pothole-laden roads and the harsh winters could give Michigan the edge. We'll be watching this fight. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  20. California and Michigan are currently fighting a chunk of close to $4 billion in federal funding that President Barack Obama proposed last month to develop autonomous vehicles. Both are proposing World War II military sites as the place to test autonomous technologies. But Michigan has an interesting trump card; potholes. Anyone who has driven the roads in Michigan knows they are quite terrible (and that's being somewhat kind). Due to the harsh weather conditions and difficulty in keeping the roads maintained, potholes spring up and can grow into very frightening sizes. “California is not the real world -- they don’t have four seasons. We’ve got real potholes. It’s a much more real-world scenario,” said Debbie Dingell, the Democratic congresswoman representing Ypsilanti, MI. Michigan is proposing to use the run down Willow Run factory site - a former bomber and GM transmission plant - as the test site. Not only does the site offer a wide range of potholes, it is also quite large - 330 acres to be exact. The state has put up $20 million to buy and develop the site from Racer Trust, a holding company set up by GM during the 2009 bankruptcy. California's proposal is the former Navy base in Concord, California (near San Francisco) that offers 2,100 acres and 20 miles of roads. It is also the home to GoMentum Station, a facility that tests autonomous vehicles. Both locations have their advantages. California's location is nearby Silicon Valley. Michigan's location is nearby a number auto manufacturer testing and engineering facilities. Who will take the prize? Supporters believe with pothole-laden roads and the harsh winters could give Michigan the edge. We'll be watching this fight. Source: Bloomberg
  21. California's affinity for technology, style and perceived environmental consciousness appears to have earned it some Karma. China's Wanxiang Group has announced plans to build the Fisker Karma luxury sports sedan in Moreno Valley. The 555,670 square foot Greater Los Angeles Area manufacturing facility is slated to create 150 jobs. “California's natural beauty, trend setting, technology, and environmental focus are perfectly aligned with our Karma re-launch,” said Fisker's chief marketing officer, James Taylor, adding that the company "believes in the quality, work ethic and competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States.” The plug-in hybrid Karma won accolades for styling, but financial difficulties caused the company to file for bankruptcy in November 2013, only to be purchased by Wanxiang in February 2014. The Hangzhou-based automotive parts giant also acquired battery manufacturer A123Systems in late 2012. Fisker's move comes on the heels of another Asian automaker's decision to build vehicles Stateside. Geely-owned Volvo has just announced a $500 million manufacturing facility in South Carolina, and several states are vying for Land Rover's business, a brand which has been owned by Tata Motors since 2008. Source: Autofile.ca View full article
  22. California's affinity for technology, style and perceived environmental consciousness appears to have earned it some Karma. China's Wanxiang Group has announced plans to build the Fisker Karma luxury sports sedan in Moreno Valley. The 555,670 square foot Greater Los Angeles Area manufacturing facility is slated to create 150 jobs. “California's natural beauty, trend setting, technology, and environmental focus are perfectly aligned with our Karma re-launch,” said Fisker's chief marketing officer, James Taylor, adding that the company "believes in the quality, work ethic and competitiveness of manufacturing in the United States.” The plug-in hybrid Karma won accolades for styling, but financial difficulties caused the company to file for bankruptcy in November 2013, only to be purchased by Wanxiang in February 2014. The Hangzhou-based automotive parts giant also acquired battery manufacturer A123Systems in late 2012. Fisker's move comes on the heels of another Asian automaker's decision to build vehicles Stateside. Geely-owned Volvo has just announced a $500 million manufacturing facility in South Carolina, and several states are vying for Land Rover's business, a brand which has been owned by Tata Motors since 2008. Source: Autofile.ca
  23. California is one of most stringent states when it comes emissions in vehicles. Case in point is a law that says an estimated 15 percent of vehicles sold in the state must be a zero emission vehicle (ZEV). But this law has created a rift between regulators and automakers. Regulators want automakers to build ZEVs, but automakers worry that if customers aren't willing to buy them, they'll need to offer big incentives. Four automakers - Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota have issued a complaint to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking them to rewrite the formula to allow more credit for plug-in hybrid models. They argue these models address range anxiety with EVs at the moment and are more likely to be accepted by buyers. The four introduced a new formula based on electric vehicle miles traveled, or e-miles. This would allow the formula to be much fairer as it would rely on real-world performance, not underlying technology. During the hearing, a member of CARB liked the idea of e-miles. "I'm willing to make a bet with you. If we provided a more flexible approach, we are likely to get far more e-miles in 2030 than we would with pure EVs. I really don't believe by 2030 we're going to be able to get a really large market penetration with pure EVs," said Dan Sperling, a CARB member and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis However, CARB chairman Mary Nichols disagreed with Sperling, stating that if California was to reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the fleet would have to be fully electric. But even Nichols admits that figuring out the best way is tough. "I don't know where you would find a better example anywhere in the world of a public deliberating body struggling with a really big issue," said Nichols. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  24. California is one of most stringent states when it comes emissions in vehicles. Case in point is a law that says an estimated 15 percent of vehicles sold in the state must be a zero emission vehicle (ZEV). But this law has created a rift between regulators and automakers. Regulators want automakers to build ZEVs, but automakers worry that if customers aren't willing to buy them, they'll need to offer big incentives. Four automakers - Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota have issued a complaint to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking them to rewrite the formula to allow more credit for plug-in hybrid models. They argue these models address range anxiety with EVs at the moment and are more likely to be accepted by buyers. The four introduced a new formula based on electric vehicle miles traveled, or e-miles. This would allow the formula to be much fairer as it would rely on real-world performance, not underlying technology. During the hearing, a member of CARB liked the idea of e-miles. "I'm willing to make a bet with you. If we provided a more flexible approach, we are likely to get far more e-miles in 2030 than we would with pure EVs. I really don't believe by 2030 we're going to be able to get a really large market penetration with pure EVs," said Dan Sperling, a CARB member and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis However, CARB chairman Mary Nichols disagreed with Sperling, stating that if California was to reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the fleet would have to be fully electric. But even Nichols admits that figuring out the best way is tough. "I don't know where you would find a better example anywhere in the world of a public deliberating body struggling with a really big issue," said Nichols. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  25. The Ford Flex is loved by automotive writers, their owners, and Consumer Reports which recommends the model. But with all of this good news, you would think the Flex would be a big seller. Not at all. Ford Flex Sales in December 2014 totaled 1,786 units, a 24.9 percent decrease when compared to December 2013 and well behind Ford's other three-row crossover, the Explorer. Automotive News says that the average Flex sales totaled around eight models. Pair this with no hint of a next-generation Flex anywhere, it seems the model will be heading into the sunset. Possibly not. Automotive News says there are two key reasons for why the Flex is still around. Ford makes a nice profit on every Flex sold. Flex is very popular in California. About a quarter of Flex models (around 446) were sold in the state. "You either love it or you hate it. It's one of our top sellers. Lease loyalty on it is very high. People lease it and then come back and get another one," said Lee Dibble, a sales manager at Vista Ford-Lincoln of Oxnard - a city near LA. "It's becoming a regional product that we're embracing as such," said Matt Zuehlk, marketing manager for the Flex and Explorer. Helping the Flex is the sister model, the Explorer. With monthly sales around 20,000 mark, this helps reduce the costs and margins on both models. As for why we haven't heard any hint of a next-generation, Zuehlk explained that the refresh done in 2013, "was progressive enough to carry us forward for the interim." Editor's Update: The original version of this article incorrectly cited December 2014 sales as full year sales. Full year 2014 sales of the Flex are 23,882, down 8.2% I have corrected this. -DD Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article

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