An ever-increasing number of fuel efficient vehicles combined with changes in driving habits have contributed to reduced petroleum consumption in recent years in both North America and Europe. Despite this, global petroleum consumption is on the rise, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Global consumption of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil and other petroleum products reached a record high 88.9 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2012. Growth in Asia and other regions m
BMW has joined Daimler and, potentially, Audi in quitting an automotive industry research program studying a proposed new air conditioning refrigerant, the simply named HFO-1234yf. BMW disagrees with the test methods being used. "We do not want to say the test results are wrong, but we are not convinced the methods applied are sufficient to achieve a definitive conclusion that guarantees our high safety standards," a spokesman for BMW told Reuters.
Federal judge Lawrence J. O'Neill of the U.S. District Court in Fresno has stopped implementation of a California law that favors fuel producers with lower greenhouse gas emissions as part of the production process. The New York Times reports the judge has ruled that the regulation is an over-reach on California's part, one that attempts to regulate what goes on outside the borders of the state (it "unconstitutionally discriminates against out-of-state producers").
In January, we wrote about the Lindell family as they embarked on their 'One Tonne Life' challenge outside of Stockholm, Sweden. Now, a little over three months into the project, the family has reduced its carbon emissions by a whopping 64 percent, dropping from 7.29 tons of CO2 emissions per person per year to 2.7 tons. Transportation and electricity consumption were the two areas in which the Lindells made the most progress. This is thanks in large part to the home, equipped with energy effici
How clean can one modern, European family go? Swedish auto maker Volvo, wooden house experts A-hus and energy company Vattenfall are helping one family cut its carbon emissions by 85 percent in a quest to live the "One Tonne Life." The challenge the familiy is taking on is to live within a limit of one metric ton of carbon emissions per person per year (the average Swede's emissions is seven metric tons per year). Thus, for the next six months, the Lindell family (mom, dad and two teenagers) wil
Now this is clever. Designer and artist Karolina Sobecka has worked up an interesting project for the World Maker Faire in New York City aimed at making motorists more aware of their carbon emissions. The system is made up of two devices – a cartoon-like cloud that attaches to the vehicle's exhaust pipe and an iPhone app that monitors the vehicle's emissions. The more carbon the car spews, the more the cloud changes color so that both the driver and everyone in the nearby vicinity knows ex
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) wants to cut cut its total carbon emissions by 15 percent within three years and double the efficiency of its race engines within five years. FOTA commissioned an analysis by Trucost to determine its total life-cycle emissions from all operations. As it turns out, the race cars actually only account for about one percent of F1 carbon emissions, with half coming from materials the teams purchase. Other significant sources of energy consumption include tran
BMW and Mercedes are leading the way in using carbon fiber to reduce weight in future passenger vehicles. Losing pounds can also be key to meet upcoming CAFE regulations and can also help increase the range electric vehicles can travel. The shift towards carbon fiber will probably become more widespread throughout the automotive industry as companies realize the weight-saving benefits of this product versus steel. Though carbon fiber is touted for its low weight, a new report by Toyota and repor
A common attack on electric vehicles is to claim that all Americans switching their cars from gasoline to electric would be counterproductive in the effort to reduce carbon emissions. The reason is that we'd simply need more polluting coal plants pumping out more carbon dioxide and get collapsed electric grids as a result. Well, we know there are emerging solutions to the grid problem but how about calculating the actual carbon numbers that result from gasoline vs. electricity from coal?
According to The Aspen Institute, members of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists, along with the California Air Resources Board, have met to hash out their differences with representatives from Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota. The topic is the proposed carbon emissions standards . We don't know much about how the talks are proceeding because all parties have decided to keep the discussions confidential. They have only released the f
In an announcement that should come as little surprise to anyone paying close attention, Lisa Jackson, President-elect Obama's newly-nominated EPA administrator, has said that she will immediately revisit the topic of whether individual states have the right to enact laws governing carbon emissions. Any laws made by individual states would have the effect of jacking up the national fuel economy requirements, which are themselves currently up in the air, since carbon dioxide is a natural byproduc
The European Union has been working on new legislation with the goal of reducing overall carbon emissions to just 130 g/km by 2015. Many believe that electric vehicles are the best way to achieve this ultimate goal, but internal reports may not agree with this assessment, according to the Financial Times. In fact, Jean Syrota, the former French energy industry regulator, is said to have authored a 129-page document that promotes the continued use of the internal combustion engine, albeit ICEs co
Ford, along with every automaker selling cars in Europe, is hard at work reducing the carbon emissions of its most popular people movers. Europeans are taxed based on the CO2 emissions from their car's tailpipes, and anything that scores less than 119g/km is subject to big savings. For this reason, Ford's understandably happy to announce that its C-Max now gets a 119g/km rating when equipped with either of the 1.6-liter diesel engine options. Fuel efficiency is also a strong point, with the comb
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the average new car is producing 3.8-percent fewer carbon emissions so far this year than last. Since 1997, the first year that the SMMT began reporting the figure, the overall CO2 emissions are down an amazing 16.4-percent. It's not just the vehicles themselves that are getting cleaner, as the entire manufacturing process is cleaning up its act. According to the report, the "energy needed to produce each vehicle is down 12%, water use
The negotiations regarding proposed European Union CO2 emissions regulations are ongoing, it seems. Even after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy agreed to push the starting date from the year 2012 to the year 2015, Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne is still unhappy.
Automotive research and analysis firm JATO does an annual assessment of vehicle carbon dioxide emissions in the European Market. For several years, Fiat and Peugeot/Citroen have been going back and forth as the leader. For 2007, JATO's analysis based on sales put Fiat at the top of the heap among the ten biggest manufacturers that do business in Europe. Fiat's 2007 fleet averaged CO2 emissions of only 137.3g/km while second place was a draw between Peugeot and Toyota at 141.9g/km. Peugeot and Fi
China will pass the United States as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world earlier than had been initially anticipated. Earlier forecasts predicted that this wouldn't happen until the year 2010, but China's rapid economic growth has had a direct effect on its emissions, as the country is burning coal at a prodigious rate. According to an International Energy Agency representative, the state of affairs is such that China's emissions levels are high enough that they'll likely cou
Since the early nineties, big German car-makers DaimlerChrysler, BMW and Volkswagen Group have had an informal agreement in place to limit the top speed of their cars to 250 km/h (155 mph). Of course, that electronically limited, artificial cap has done nothing to thwart the horsepower wars among these three companies. Every successive generation of their cars has gotten faster, particularly the AMG, Audi S /RS and BMW M models. Of course, in order to make these prodigious power figures, more fu