The green car rhetoric of President Obama's State Of The Union speech last night was much, much softer than it was three years ago. That was when he spoke about a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. It was even less vociferous than last year, when Obama said we could take money given to oil and gas companies and put it into an "Energy Security Trust." So, what is the state of the green car union for 2014? In a word: renewable. In two more words: natural gas.
The PDF rules for the just-made-official new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for model year 2017-2025 vehicles that was officially finalized at 54.5 miles per gallon recently are, as previously noted, over 1,200 pages long. We've been reading through them, and found some interesting tidbits regarding the fate of better, cleaner trucks.
If you're not sure why today's announcement from the Obama Administration about the first-ever fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses is important, read this.
Scania, a Swedish producer of commercial-duty trucks and buses, is testing a rear-mounted spoiler that the company claims can boost fuel economy by as much as two percent on long-haul tractor-trailers. Dubbed the "boat-tail" spoiler, Scania believes that the simple addition of some permanently affixed metal extensions mounted to the rear of a trailer can increase the economy of semis without significant cost.