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
Last spring, the EPA ruled that it could regulate CO2 and five other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act because they are could be harmful to the health of humans. Automakers quickly responded by saying they hoped the finding wouldn't stop efforts to find a nationwide regulatory environment for emissions. In December, the EPA announced that, indeed:
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.
Now that the U.S. has officially concluded that greenhouse gasses are harmful to human health, it's time to do something about them. One major hurdle standing in the way of the U.S. implementing carbon cap and trade legislation appears to have been cleared as both the domestic automakers and Michigan's legislature have lifted their opposition and now support for the bill. Why? The Detroit News reports that an agreement has been reached that could see up to $15 billion paid out to the Detroit-bas
Following a directive first created back in 2006, the European Union has passed down a ruling that would force European automakers to find a new refrigerant to use in their vehicle's air conditioners. There's some debate as to the timing of this mandate, as it's no secret that most automakers are in a fight to just remain in business.
Today's EPA's decision to put CO2 on the list of greenhouse gases that endanger human health sets up a totally predictable confrontation with the Auto Alliance. The reason is that if CO2 can be regulated, then there is the potential for individual states (i.e., California) to enact their own greenhouse gas regulations. This, of course, could result in the Alliance's dreaded "patchwork" situation. So, it's no surprise that the Alliance would want to chime in on the decision, and we just got a sta
With just weeks to go before the Bush administration cedes power, executive orders and regulatory decisions gutting all sorts of federal rules are flying out from Washington. One of the most recent has come from the office of EPA administrator Stephen Johnson. Johnson has decreed that the agency CANNOT consider greenhouse gas emissions in determining whether to grant permits for new power plants. This goes well beyond the Agency's previous neglect of the issue and actively prevents considering t
My, how the tables have turned. First, it was Germany that was in opposition to stringent emissions standards in the European Union which would have regulated the amount of carbon dioxide a vehicle can emit, beginning in 2012. German automakers tend to make large, luxurious vehicles with big, powerful engines. France, though, did not want to see changes made to the regulations, as its automakers already were close to meeting the proposals and thought it would be unfair to make concessions just f
It wasn't all that long ago that the auto industry was under fire for its use of ozone-depleting chemicals in its air conditioning systems. To curb those fears, the older R-12 refrigerant was replaced with R-134a refrigerant. Interestingly enough, CO2, long associated with harmful automobile emissions, is being touted as a desirable natural replacement for the chemical substances used today. In fact, the German Automotive Association has already chosen to use CO2 as the next source for automotiv
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
Britain's Automobile Association has found another bump in the road to environmental kindness: speed bumps and really low speed limits. They took a car that got 58-mpg running a constant 30-MPH, and ran it over speedbumps at the Millbrook Proving Ground, slowing down and speeding up for each bump. What they discovered was that mileage dropped to 31-mpg and carbon dioxide emissions went up. The findings correlate with those of the country's Transport Research Laboratory, which reported that "carb
EPA standards govern vehicle emissions such as NOx and hydrocarbons. They are byproducts of combustion that can be balanced with engine tuning, such as ignition timing and fuel delivery. They can also be reduced through devices such as catalytic converters. Catalytic converters cause a chemical reaction that converts carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water. However, earlier this year the EPA won a Supreme Court ruling adding carbon dioxide to the list o
Automakers and legislators in Europe are tightening the screws on CO2 emissions, and Porsche may turn to hybrid powertrains for the Cayenne and Panamera to meet a proposed 130 gram per kilometer limit. Bosch and Audi are reported partners in the effort to bring a gasoline/electric system to the Cayenne before 2010, with the Panamera falling in line, as well. While hybrid technology is typically used to boost fuel economy, the V8 and large vehicle size of the Porsche models are anathema to the st
A new provisional policy has been announced by the progressive Canadian state of British Columbia to clean up coal-fired power stations; the same state that the GLOBE Foundation believes could be energy self-sufficient by 2025. The new policy requires that new coal-fired power plants must emit no carbon dioxide, but instead capture and sequester their carbon dioxide emissions using technology that is currently available today according to local politicians. The cost to build such a plant are est
Considering the rate at which China is industrializing, the thought of just how much oil they'll consume in future years is staggeringly high. With that in mind, Feng Fei, director of the industrial economics research department with the Development Research Center of China's State Council, announced that by 2025, 50 percent of China's cars will run on fuels other than gasoline. At this point, the alternatives appear to include diesel, biofuels and hydrogen.
The Golden State once again makes a bold move acting as a leader in environmental legislation. On Wednesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reached a deal with California Democrats to implement reductions on all greenhouse gas emissions including those from industrial plants by about 25 percent by 2020.
Over the 9 year span from 1995 to 2004, European, Japanese and Korean automakers have reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by, on average, 12.4 percent in Europe. However, they still run the risk of falling short of meeting their voluntary target of reducing emissions 25 percent by 2008 for the European manufacturers and 2009 for the Asian car makers.
Thinking in renewable energy terms, New Mexico just screams solar energy. But a report released today by the New Mexico Public Interest Research Group (NMPIRG) Education Fund shows that the state can and will do a lot more to reach the goals set by Governor Richardson last June to seriously reduce emissions throughout the state in the coming decades. By 2050, the goal is to emit 75 percent less than in 2000.
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