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Paris banned vehicles with even-numbered license plates yesterday to reduce record smog levels.

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Volvo, Audi Already Taking Plug-In Diesel Plunge

Adding electric motors to diesel engines may help cut air pollution, and that could save the technology in a now-critical Europe.

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New On-Road Test Could Arrive In 2017

The European Union is working on legislation to scrap the 25-year-old laboratory tests in the New European Driving Cycle that measure vehicle emissions, replacing NEDC with Real Emissions Driving tests.

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CARB, SCAQMD Signed Off On New Rules

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

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In UK, Exhaust Emissions Kill More Than Crashes Do

That dirty look parents (OK, some parents) give a cigarette smoker blowing smoke towards their kids? Maybe those should extend to drivers of cars using conventional internal-combustion engines. Which would make for a whole lot of stink-eye.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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It isn't just governments and automakers working on reducing air pollution. Creating surface coatings that can absorb nitrogen oxides, usually titanium dioxide, has been a focus of several companies in several countries, and their products have been used on architectural tile, roofing tile and paving in England and The Netherlands.

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Peak Car is the theory that one day soon, the global auto industry will reach its sales maximum and numbers will only decrease from then on. Increase in the number of city dwellers, concerns over pollution and crippling gridlock (all of which are conveniently shown above, in Beijing) could all contribute to the auto industry reaching peak car.

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Dalian will become the fifth China city to restrict new car sales, reflecting the country's growing emissions and traffic issues and the government's efforts to deal with them, Automotive News reports. Beijing, Shanghai, Guiyana and Guangzhou already have sales restrictions, and Hangzhou and Chengdu may soon join the list. The new laws are part of a broader effort that includes charging an air pollution tax and scrapping older vehicles and has caused vehicle sales to plummet by as much as 50 per

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The US will soon work with China as the world's most populous nation works to draft stricter emissions standards. The two countries certainly know how to put pollution into the air – China is the world's biggest emitter polluter, followed by the US.

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With notoriously bad traffic and pollution, Shanghai may institute a congestion charge, similar to what's been seen in London and Singapore (and considered in San Francisco). The gist of congestion charging is that drivers are charged a small amount for entering a certain part of the city - in the UK, entering central London between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday, costs drivers 10 pounds ($16.16).

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The California dream is becoming a bit more of a nightmare, at least according to some truckers there. With the California Air Resources Board (CARB) mandating that older trucks be equipped with a special diesel soot filter in order to reduce pollution, trucking advocates are arguing that the device is not only cost-prohibitive but dangerous as well, says Forbes.

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53,000 early deaths are attributed to exhaust from cars and trucks, annually.

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Stick your head too close to an old car's exhaust, and we're willing to be dollars to donuts that you'll start coughing. It turns out that vehicle exhaust isn't just bad for you until the air clears. All that nastiness has a serious long-term effect, and can even cause asthma in children.

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Isn't bicycling supposed to reduce carbon emissions and free up traffic jam congestion? Well, it's actually making matters worse, argues a state representative from Washington. "You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," claims Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama, WA).

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France's environment minister says diesel fuel, which powers about 80 percent of the country's light-duty vehicles, should be taxed at higher levels for the sake of public health, Bloomberg News reports.

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