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After reaching an agreement with the California Air Resources Board recently that would essentially see the Chevy Volt classed as an electric car, it appears GM has now also worked things out with the EPA. The automaker and the environmental protection agency have been discussing just how extended range EVs like the Volt should be tested to evaluate fuel consumption and emissions. The federal agency responsible for enforcing the emissions and fuel economy standards had wanted to treat the Volt l

Ever since the Chevrolet Volt appeared as a concept last year, debate has been hot and heavy over exactly what it is. Although many call it a hybrid because it has a battery and an engine, GM prefers to call it an extended range-electric vehicle (ER-EV). That poses a problem for GM when it comes to emissions and fuel economy testing. With its 40 mile electric only range the Volt could complete the US06 test cycle that is part of the current EPA test regimen without ever running its engine. So fa

When the time comes for government departments like the Environmental Protection Agency to produce new regulations, they have to do a cost-benefit analysis as part of the overall process. If the cost of implementing a new regulation exceeds potential benefits, the agency generally won't move forward. Over the last several years the EPA has twice lowered the value it places on a human life in its analysis. As recently as 2003, it used a figure of $7.8 million, but it now uses $6.9 million. While