Posts Tagged ‘fuel economy rules’

Automakers Supporting Revision of Fuel Efficiency Standards

Move comes despite public support for tougher mandates.

by on Oct.09, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reopened the review of tougher CAFE standards going into effect for 2025.

Automakers want federal regulators to revise fuel efficiency mandates because meeting the standard for 2025 of 54.5 mpg would be cost prohibitive and, perhaps more importantly, U.S. consumers do not care about the mandate anyway, according to two trade association groups representing automakers.

The revelation, which comes two months after automakers said they were onboard with the tougher rules, was unveiled in testimony submitted in advance of meetings being held by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the topic.

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The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and other companies, also points out that EPA understated the costs of technologies needed to meet the 2025 requirements. (more…)

Advocates for Current CAFE Rules Speaking Up

Groups supporting rules range from automakers to environmentalists.

by on Oct.06, 2017

Chris Grundler, EPA director of air quality, is now in favor of easing CAFE rules to improve the working relationship with automakers.

With an eye on the environment, consumer pocket books and the United States’ reputation for innovation, several groups lined up to support the fuel-economy standards now in place and resist the Trump administration’s efforts to revise them.

Savings from lower gas spending along with lower cost estimates for fuel efficiency technologies require the Environmental Protection Agency to determine that its greenhouse gas standards for model years 2021–25 remain appropriate, according to comments submitted by Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports, as the Environmental Protection Agency closed out the comment period

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The dispute over the fuel-economy standards comes as major car makers, including General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Hyundai, are all pledging to increase dramatically the number of electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2025. (more…)

End of Economic Councils Pose Trouble for Auto Industry

by on Aug.18, 2017

GM CEO Barra enjoyed a laugh with Trump during an automotive summit earlier this year.

Members of another White House advisory council resigned Friday, two days after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “ending” a pair of economic advisory boards formed after his inauguration. In fact, the CEOs on those boards had voted to disband hours earlier in response to  the controversy over the president’s comments about the rioting in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

“General Motors is about unity and inclusion and so am I,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said, in a statement. “Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath, require that we come together as a country and reinforce values and ideals that unite us – tolerance, inclusion and diversity – and speak against those which divide us – racism, bigotry and any politics based on ethnicity.”

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GM declined to comment when asked whether Barra would have joined the fast-growing list of executives who were quitting in response to the Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, but several company sources said the industry’s first female CEO was caught in a difficult position: needing to publicly express GM’s position on racism and the desire to maintain the close ear of the president. That’s especially significant considering the White House is addressing a wide range of issues that will have serious impact on the auto industry, including federal fuel economy standards and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Auto CEOs Ask Trump for a CAFE Break

Top execs send letter to Trump pushing for easing fuel economy rules.

by on Feb.13, 2017

President Donald Trump, center, met with the CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler to discuss jobs.

Change can come quickly with a new Presidential administration. At least that’s what Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and others are banking on when it comes fuel economy rules.

The group of makers all signed their corporate names to a letter asking President Donald Trump to revise tougher fuel efficiency standards coming in 2025, according to Reuters. The tougher standards may not be achievable and could cost thousands of jobs, the makers warn.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in early January finalized fuel efficiency rules instituted by then-President Barack Obama should be locked in through 2025. (more…)

EPA Finalizes 54.5 MPG Standard

Move hands issue off to Trump Administration.

by on Jan.13, 2017

President Barack Obama pushed to keep tougher fuel economy standards expected to phase in 2022 over automaker objections.

After an extensive midterm review, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has locked in place the strict, 54.5 mile per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard set to phase in between 2022 and 2025.

The decision, which regulators had signaled was likely in late November, could set up second-guessing and a reversal by the regulation-averse Trump Administration coming into office later this month. The tough new standard had been strongly opposed by the auto industry and its supporters that claimed it could price vehicles out of reach of many American motorists.

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EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy dismissed such concerns, in a statement noting, “My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input.” (more…)

Cheap Gas, Strong Truck Sales Could Force Review of EPA Mileage Mandate

But “mid-term” review of 2025 standard could come too late for change.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Even in the luxury market, SUVs like the new Cadillac XT5 are gaining market share.

Booming sales of pickups, SUVs and other light trucks may be fueling a surge in auto industry profits, but the shift is also creating at least one potentially serious problem, making it more difficult for manufacturers to meet increase tough U.S. fuel economy standards.

That is fueling industry interest in the planned “mid-term review” of upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards set to reach an average 54.5 mpg by 2025. Scheduled to occur in 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees mileage mandates, could be pressed to roll back the target to reflect shifting market demand – or a lack of the technology needed to get to 54.5 mpg.

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“We’re still making great strides in fuel economy,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of the Americas, told TheDetroitBureau.com. But that may not be enough to offset shifting market realities, especially with the unexpected collapse of fuel prices, Hinrichs said.

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Stop “Crying Wolf,” Over 54.5 mpg Standard, Says “Queen of Cleaner Cars”

by on Apr.27, 2015

Margo Oge retired in 2012 after 32 years with the EPA.

With fuel prices down by as much as 30% from their 2014 peak, millions of Americans have been migrating to pickups and SUVs and abandoning compact passenger cars and alternative fuel vehicles. That’s leading some industry executives to questions whether the federal government should re-think the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard set to take effect in 2025.

Such a move would be a critical mistake, warns Margo Ogo, a former official with the EPA who helped put together the compromise fuel economy rules and who has been dubbed by some “the Queen of Cleaner Cars.” If anything, she says, the tough mandate targeted for a decade from now doesn’t go nearly far enough.

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“2025 is the first down-payment to the planet for the need to get away from fossil fuels,” Oge told TheDetroitBureau.com during a lengthy interview marking the release of her new book, Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars. “We, as a society, need to move to zero-emission vehicles by 2050…if we are to meet goals of reducing carbon emissions.”

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Automakers Charged Up About Electric Turbochargers

Audi, Peugeot, Acura among those reportedly considering the new technology.

by on Jun.25, 2014

Audi used an electric supercharger in the R18 race car that recently won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With stiff new emissions and mileage mandates looming over the auto industry, manufacturers are desperately looking for ways to increase fuel economy without sacrificing performance, and one of the most promising approaches is to go with downsized engines while bolting on turbos or superchargers to recover lost horsepower and torque.

But “blowers” have their own problems. Superchargers actually rob power during less aggressive driving, while turbos typically have a problem with lag at low RPMs. That’s led a number of manufacturers and suppliers to consider high-tech alternatives, electrically powered blowers that wouldn’t waste power or make you wait for them to kick in.

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Long in development but short in production, we may soon see finally see electric turbochargers or, if you prefer, electric superchargers land in showrooms in the next couple of years. French supplier Valeo says it has a contract with a “major” European automaker that would put one into production by 2016. And while Audi is short on specifics, a senior exec is suggesting it’s working on its own “e-boost” system. (more…)

“Champion of the Auto Industry” Rep John Dingell Retiring After Nearly Six Decades

A powerful, if sometimes controversial, legacy.

by on Feb.25, 2014

Cong. Dingell shown during his years as head of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee that often played a key role in automotive regulation.

He’s been called the “champion of the auto industry,” but also been derided as a roadblock in the push for safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles.  But one thing is clear, John Dingell spent nearly six decades in Congress as the rock-steady supporter of the U.S. auto industry, with his primary emphasis on the Detroit Big Three.

First taking a seat in Congress in 1955, the now 87-year-old Dingell succeeded his father who had held the safely Democrat district on the south side of Detroit for the 20 years before.  Dingell rose to become one of the most powerful members in the House of Representatives – even during those years when the often fractious body was controlled by the GOP.

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But he ultimately ran afoul of members of his own party who stripped him of a key committee chairmanship from which Dingell dominated any discussion on issues automotive.

“As a champion of the auto industry, John Dingell had no peer,” said GM spokesman Greg Martin.

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Massive Fines Proposed by EPA to Force 35.5 MPG Fuel Economy by 2016

Natural U.S. small car demand is too little without market intervention. EPA can impose a $37,500 per car fine.

by on Dec.08, 2009

Howdy pardner, want to share my ride?

That's a mighty small ride kid...

There’s a huge disconnect between natural small car demand in the U.S. and the number of small cars that makers will actually have to sell by 2016  to meet the proposed 35.5 mpg standard, according to Charles Chesbrough of CSM Worldwide consultancy.

The senior economist, in a data packed presentation today to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, explained that to meet the standard by 2016, American new car sales of tiny A, B, and C-segment cars would have to be the same as they are in Europe today. This to me is an almost inconceivable shift, given previous behaviors from politicians and consumers. C-cars are Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic in size.

In Europe, these small cars account for more than 40% of the 2009 market. While in the U.S., they represent about 5%.

How a eightfold increase in tiny car sales will be forthcoming, when U.S. gasoline prices are currently averaging $2.50 a gallon, down from a record $4 in the summer of 2008, is a huge political issue.

In Europe, of course, heavily taxed gasoline is in the $6.50-$7.50 a per gallon range. Would the Obama Administration dare to impose a $4 a gallon tax? This is only one of the nettlesome policy issues facing politicians.

U.S. energy policy – rather, the lack of the political will to impose one, we observe, going back to the first fuel crisis in 1973 — has left us as dependent today on a disruption in oil supplies as then. This remains a clear national security threat, as well as an economic one given the current fragile state of the economy.

The startling CSM sales analysis comes as a U.N. Climate Change conference in Copenhagen opened, which begins a year-long process that will likely result in rules eventually calling for an 80% reduction in CO2 gases by 2050.  G8 countries have already endorsed this.

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