Fuel economy and emissions levels for the nation's automakers showed no improvement year over year, according to the latest numbers released by the Environmental Protection Agency. But that doesn't mean manufacturer's are doing a bad job.
The air in Los Angeles is better than it has been in the past, but that isn't stopping four environmental and health groups from suing the EPA to do a better job. Two national groups (the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council) are filing the lawsuit with two local groups (Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles and Communities for a Better Environment) in the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals against the EPA's "deficient smog plan," as Earth justice attorney Adrian Marti
Even as electric vehicles gain in popularity, we're told again and again that internal combustion engines aren't going away. While that may be true, it would still be nice to kick our addiction to gasoline. Pollution, international turmoil and energy insecurity are getting a bit tiresome. It's good news, then that Navigant Research is predicting a decline in the amount of gasoline we use.
An increasing number of people are starting to consider the potential downsides of a transition to autonomous cars. The FBI is already looking at them for the potential ill effects on law enforcement, and a scientist for Toyota is raising the possibility that driverless vehicles could actually be detrimental to the environment over the long term.
People rightfully dislike wireless signals being transmitted from the person behind the wheel when they text while drive, but there are times when a car's wireless signals can be good news. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to use wireless signals under the hood to help cut pollution from heavy-duty vehicles such as diesel-powered trucks. That's something we can get behind.
News about China and cars isn't in short supply these days. With several of the world's largest cities, millions of cars on the road and huge problems with air pollution, it's no wonder that the nation is trying to make some changes. Along with decommissioning many of its aging vehicles, China is also expected to see huge growth in its electric vehicle market. BMW, as other automakers already have done, sees this as an opportunity to sell more cars.
Some of the world's most notoriously smoggy cities are hoping for relief in a new plan taking aim at what's coming out of their tailpipes. In response to serious air pollution problems and an attempt to meet emissions standards, China plans to decommission more than 5 million aging vehicles by the end of 2014. 330,000 of the cars being retired will come from Beijing, which sees some 31 percent of its PM2.5 particulate matter coming from vehicle emissions. In all, 20 percent of the vehicles being
Airborne particulate matter can really do a number on us humans, particularly with regard to our cardiovascular systems. It seems reasonable for air pollution, then, to be a major concern when calculating the environmental and health costs of the way we do business. Diesel-powered transport has come under particularly scrutiny and particulate matter from diesel exhaust has been widely blamed for diseases such as lung cancer in humans. Perhaps, though, commercial diesel has gotten too tough of a