Consumer complaints led EPA to audit Korean automakers
An investigation conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia had overstated the fuel efficiency of several of their cars by as much as 6 miles per gallon.
Last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit, we spoke with Dr. Pete Savagian of General Motors about what the Chevrolet Volt's fuel economy sticker would look like. Last summer, former GM CEO Fritz Henderson made a big splash when he announced that the Volt was getting approximately 230 miles per gallon combined. However, that number was based on a draft proposal by the EPA for a testing methodology for plug-in vehicles.
Ethanol is widely regarded as a clean fuel source, but producing the biofuel can be an entirely different story. Plenty of guidelines exist to keep track of environmental concerns associated with ethanol production and, if those regulations aren't followed, you better be prepared for some stiff fines.
We knew it was coming. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly released new Federal CAFE fuel mileage and greenhouse gas emissions requirements that will cover the 2012 through 2016 model years. The estimated fleet-wide fuel economy standard has been set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, though improvements in air conditioning systems will bring that number up to around 35 mpg. That equals a standard of roughly 250 grams of carbon
To the surprise of many, the vast majority of the automakers that sell their wares here in the United States welcomed the EPA's decision earlier in the year that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are damaging to the environment and should therefore be regulated. That has plenty to do with the desire for a single national fuel mileage standard. But transportation certainly isn't the only way we generate greenhouse gases as a society.
When the original national speed limit came into effect in 1974 after the first Arab oil embargo, it was designed to cut back on gasoline usage. Even though the national limit was repealed in 1995, the old double nickel is a perennial topic and it reared its head again after the EPA announced yesterday that greenhouse gases are hurting us.
It's official: the cars we drive are hurting us. The EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that "greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat."
There is some ethanol in almost all of the gasoline sold in the U.S. Usually, this amount is no more than 10 percent of the total and, if it's more than that, it jumps all the way to 85 percent and is sold as E85. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was supposed to come down on one side or the other today of a possible increase across the board to 15 percent that Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers asked for, but instead announced that it needs more time.
Green pavement? What's so exciting about that? If I wanted to test out some green pavement, all I'd need to do is make a run to the local Home Depot, pick up a can of green paint and dump it outside my driveway, right? Well, that's not exactly what we're talking about here, of course. But just what is "green pavement" anyway?
What the heck is HFO-1234yf? That's the name of a new refrigerant that's reportedly 350-times less damaging to the atmosphere than the current HFC-134a (or 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane, if you prefer). You may recall that today's refrigerant was actually put into widespread use back in the early 1990s as a replacement for the long-running R12 that was found to be collecting in and damaging our delicate ozone layer.
In a rare move that probably won't attract the level of controversy or public comments that seem to be standard for EPA announcements these days (e.g.: California waiver), administrator Lisa Jackson will be in Ohio on Wednesday to talk about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grants for auto manufacturing communities, specifically clean diesel grants.