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AddFleetwide CO2 improvement in EU might not be as good as it appears

What, you expected European automakers to test their vehicle emissions levels on gravel roads in a wind storm? Charged with cutting CO2 emissions by more than 30 percent within the next seven years, automakers reduced fleetwide emissions by four percent last year. Of course, such automakers may be gaming the system by testing cars on "unrealistically" smooth road surfaces and with tires that can provide extra traction, Reuters says. No word on whether such cars wind-drafted behind semi trucks.

8EU affirms refrigerant is safe, Daimler still disagrees

R1234yf, the refrigerant jointly developed by Honeywell and Dupont that is being phased in as a replacement for R134a in Europe, is safe. So says a panel of scientists from the Joint Research Council, researching the refrigerant at the request of the European Commission. German automaker Daimler, though, disagrees with the finding, saying R1234yf can be toxic to humans when burned, according to Automotive News.

6Renault may join German effort to loosen European emissions limits

We're not sure how to translate "biting the hand that feeds you" to French, but we're pretty sure the phrase is appropriate here. See, Renault recently won funding of about $28 million from the European Commission to develop diesel-hybrid powertrains for commercial vans. The thing is, the French company may now join lobbying efforts with German automakers as they ask EC officials to loosen emissions restrictions set for the end of the decade, according to Reuters.

2Renault gets $28 million from EC to develop diesel-hybrid vans

Renault will receive 20.5 million euros (US$27.9 million) from the European Commission to develop diesel-hybrid powertrains for commercial vans, as the EC broadens its search for ways to cut emissions throughout the continent.

92Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE]

If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he'd be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting "I told you so!" at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.

14VW, Greenpeace agree on tighter emissions standards, 95 g/km of CO2 by 2020

We're not expecting the next whaling-ship ramming Greenpeace boat to have a VW logo on it, but it's nice that the two entities are finally getting together in the name of lower emissions.

32European Commission decides on Mennekes type 2 plug standard

The European Commission's recently unveiled plan for cleaner fuels and lowered dependency on imported oil is counting on huge gains from natural gas and electric vehicles. While there are about one million natural gas-powered vehicles on European roads today, the number is expected to increase ten-fold by 2020. EVs are close behind, with millions expected to roll out during that same time period.

AddCHAdeMO 'disappointed' by European Commission's fast charging decision

The association representing the world's most prevalent fast-charging standard may be based in Japan, and the region in question might be Europe, but the CHAdeMO Association made its feelings clear about the European Commission's (EC) charging-infrastructure strategy in very, very plain English.

24EU: European countries must reduce diesel emissions

Europeans drive a lot of diesel-powered vehicles. This is intentional. Since diesel is inherently more efficient than gasoline, many European countries give tax advantages to diesel fuel. In response, automakers in Europe offer several small diesel vehicles with high-torque engines, offering high mileage and practicality. Now, after decades of diesel burning, the European Commission will be publishing legislative proposals to improve air quality in the second half of this year and EU officials a

11Electric charger standardization remains question, hurdle in Europe's EV adoption

The electric vehicle charging-station standardization issue that's viewed as a major hurdle to mass EV adoption goes far beyond SAE vs. CHAdeMO, apparently. European nations are also divided about which standard the European Union should use in its effort to build out the infrastructure necessary to ease away-from-home charging of plug-in vehicles, Ward's Auto reports, citing auto industry analysts at a Brussels conference.

42IIHS considering autonomous braking, other tech as part of crash evaluations

Automakers are constantly working to make their vehicles safer than ever before, and while much of that effort is spent in areas the public will never see, recent years have welcomed a rash of more highly visible advancements. Those include autonomous-emergency braking (AEB) systems like Volvo City Safety and Mercedes-Benz Pre-Safe Braking, as well as lane departure warnings and adaptive headlights. While most of these systems still function largely as optional equipment on luxury vehicles, ther

10EC proposes 30% stricter emissions standards for 2020

As they do with fashion and culinary wonders, the Europeans are continuing to take the lead in tightening fuel-economy standards as well.

6EU to probe Porsche taxpayer grant to build new Macan

Porsche won't put its second crossover into production for another year, but the Macan is already causing some controversy. Not the Porsche-has-sold-its-soul controversy that accompanied the launch of its big brother Cayenne, but the why-is-the-German-government-subsidizing-it kind.

13European automakers irked over proposed noise standards

Ward's Auto reports the European Commission is pushing new measures that could burden automakers with stiff noise regulations for cars, buses and trucks. Under the proposed legislation, automakers would need to curb vehicle noise levels by two decibels two years after the legislation's wording is agreed upon by EC member countries. Another two decibel reduction would occur three years after the first installment. Trucks, meanwhile, would be forced to reduce noise by one decibel in the first wave

28European Commision director says remaining oil dependent would be "fatal mistake"

The European Commission's (EC) directorate general for energy and transport, Marjeta Jager, warns that it would be a "fatal mistake" for the European Union (EU) to postpone measures that reduce oil dependency. At a recent Green Party conference in the European Parliament, Jager stated:

8Opel sale on hold, GM asked to have a word with EU Commission

The EU's Directorate-General for Competition (EUDGC) is looking at the Opel deal that should have been concluded already, and is asking questions of Germany and GM. Principally it is trying to resolve the issue of state aid; it was reported before that if Opel was purchased by Magna then the German government would provide financial assistance. However, if the bidder GM is said to have preferred, Belgian investment fund RHJ, won, then there would be no money coming from the German authorities.

AddEU could effectively kill high performance cars by banning their tires

The idea of reducing the rolling resistance of tires to improve efficiency is certainly not a new one. Tire manufacturers have been making improvements in this area for years. Most electric and hybrid vehicles use extremely low rolling resistance tires in order to cut rolling drag to a bare minimum. A new proposal from the European Commission would make these types of tires mandatory beginning in 2012. The proposal would set the maximum drag for new tires limited to 12kg/tonne in 2012, and then

27Euro carmakers want billions in loans, too

This week, Detroit got its $25B bailout loan approved by Washington, and according to The Wall Street Journal, European carmakers are making like this is a game of "Simon Says." The Journal reports that Fiat has proposed the idea of hitting up the European Commission for €40 billion ($55B USD) to help the European auto industry make the move to cleaner, greener cars ahead of the strict new emissions regulations currently being bandied about. Like we said, this rationale is very similar to t

AddEU continues to backpedal on CO2 standards

Just the other day, we heard the European Union was thinking of lowering its CO2 standards for automakers. It appears that the rumors were true, as the European Parliament has indeed voted to amend the proposed standards. The details are pretty difficult to follow, as this particular issue has been going on for an excruciatingly long time, so bear with us here. The gist is that the Commission will grant automakers a longer period of time to meet the now-not-as-clean target of 130g/km of carbon e

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