Four recreational vehicle companies in Texas have settled with the EPA over illegal import and sale of off-road vehicles. The 4,000-plus Hammerhead brand vehicles in question were imported without the proper certification, a violation of the Clean Air Act. Some vehicles lacked proper emission control equipment or were manufactured by a company not listed on the certificate application. The settlement totals $560,000 in civil penalties for the companies involved. Read more from the EPA.
The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the state's natural gas tax, which was challenged by the ethanol industry. Ethanol producers, which use natural gas to make ethanol, argued the complicated tax was unconstitutional, as it forced certain plants to pay more than their competitors. Taxes vary by location, and some plants have to tap into interstate pipelines at much higher tax rates rather than get it from a local utility. Now, ethanol producers will work to change the law. "My hope is that people understand that, something may be constitutional but that doesn't make it good public policy," says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. Read more at Manufacturing.Net.
Audi will use Valeo's electric superchargers to improve fuel economy and acceleration. Valeo says Audi will launch a vehicle using its electric supercharger next year, with other reports suggesting that car will be the Audi Q7. The company says other unspecified automakers will also use the technology in their vehicles. While the electric supercharger adds to the vehicle's cost and electric energy use, it can improve fuel economy by as much as 20 percent. Read more at Automotive News Europe.