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EPA Says Fuel Economy at Record High, CO2 at Record Low

One giant caveat here: The EPA window sticker rating is not the same as the EPA CAFE rating used by automakers. As a general rule window sticker ratings are 25% lower than the numbers used for CAFE compliance. Moreover, the sticker ratings have been adjusted downward in recent years after drivers complained they were too optimistic. Continue reading

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Alcoa Expanding to Make More Lightweight Aluminum Alloys

With the auto industry now pursuing composites to reduce weight to meet increasingly stringent emission and fuel economy standards, the increased supply of lightweight aluminum alloys could find its way onto production automobiles. The question is at what rate? Continue reading

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General Motors and LG to Jointly Develop Electric Vehicles

The high cost of developing new technologies to meet increasingly stringent CO2 and fuel economy regulations prompted the deal. Earlier this week Ford Motor and Toyota announced a collaboration on new hybrid trucks. Continue reading

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Ford and Toyota to Develop a New Hybrid System for Light Trucks and SUVs as well as Future Telematics Standards

Both companies of course are heavily invested in fuel thirsty larger trucks, with Ford’s best selling vehicle the F-Series pickup rated at 16 mpg on the EPA city test cycle. The F-Series has been the U.S.’s best selling truck for the past 34 years with year-to-date sales of 313,000 units. Toyota before the Great Recession invested billions in full-size trucks and SUVs. Both the Tundra pickup and Sequoia full-size SUV have been sales disasters. Continue reading

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Steel and Aluminum Industries in Fuel Economy Design Fight

At first glance it appears to be a battle of the press releases as the steel and aluminum industries vie for contracts on new vehicles to reduce weight. Since virtually all cars and trucks right up to Class 8 big rigs will need to get lighter under increasingly stringent fuel economy rules, decade’s old sourcing patterns – and billions of dollars in future steel and aluminum contracts – are at stake. Continue reading

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President Obama to Announce First Fuel Economy Regulations for Heavy Trucks, Buses. $50 Billion in Fuel Savings Claimed

President Obama will meet with trucking industry officials to discuss the first fuel economy and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles. The proposed rules to be published today create a heavy-duty national program … Continue reading

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President Obama Unveils 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Regulation for 2017-25. It will Alter Vehicle Choices and Increase Costs

In a thirteen minute speech in Washington this morning, President Obama revealed his proposal for doubling the fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2025. This proposal, which will apply to cars and light trucks sold during model years 2017 to 2025, establishes a global warming pollution standard of 163 grams of CO2 per mile per new vehicle by 2025—the equivalent of 54.5 mpg if – big if – all the improvements are met through actual increases in fuel-efficiency. Continue reading

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Volvo Shows Electric Vehicle Range Extender – a Gas Engine!

If engineers keep this up, they could arrive at a lightweight, front-drive gasoline (or diesel powered) car that would be much less expensive by eliminating the electric motor, power controls, recharging gear, battery cooling, battery back and sundry other EV components. However, it wouldn’t qualify for taxpayer subsidies or meet increasingly stringent government standards for reducing CO2 emissions, which correlate with increased fuel economy. Continue reading

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Muscle Hybrids Decried for Performance in Hybrid Scorecard

The pressure group criticized the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, the new Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and BMW’s X6 and 750i Active Hybrids as among the worst-rated hybrids for environmental improvement because they emphasize power over economy in their design. UCS is apparently unaware of the long standing performance marketing positioning of German brands. Continue reading

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$10,000 Increase per Auto Under Fuel Economy Proposal?

Some of the proposed changes to increase fuel economy and decrease greenhouse gases starting in 2017 could cost new car buyers from $3,700 to more than $9,000 per vehicle if they are adopted, and that’s before another $1,500 or so is added for additional safety equipment.

The new fuel economy mandates under consideration by the government are based on reducing emissions ranging from 3% to 6% per year, the same as increasing fuel mileage equivalent amounts. The highest increase, 6% per year, will raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) from 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 62 mpg in 2025. Continue reading

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EPA, DOT Unveil New, “More Useful” Fuel Economy Labels

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 passed under Republican President Bush specifically said that EPA and DOT must rate available vehicles according to fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions and smog forming pollutants, which the new labels do.
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Survey Finds Most Buyers Won’t Downsize With Next Vehicle Purchase. Trouble for Automakers facing 35.5 mpg CAFE?

Offsetting the downsizing trend are 19% of respondents who said they plan to buy a larger vehicle. How this all sorts out in the marketplace is a complicated issue for automakers, who need to average 35.5 mpg by 2016, with cars needing to average 42 mpg. Continue reading

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Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class Debuts at New York Show

The release of these A-class photos and confirmation that it will be shown in New York is the result of increasingly stringent U.S. fuel economy laws and a possible shift in buying preferences, which will make the car available in the United States for the first time. Continue reading

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TRW and Fallbrook Sign MOU to Develop Continuously Variable Accessory Drive for Commercial Vehicles

TRW Automotive and Fallbrook Technologies today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop applications for Fallbrook’s continuously variable accessory drive (CVAD) technology for commercial vehicles.

The specific applications covered by the MOU were not disclosed, but are designed to improve both performance and efficiency of vehicle accessories, which could directly increase vehicle fuel efficiency. Continue reading

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Fuel Economy Regulations Risk Huge Job Losses, While Increasing Environmental Damage, CAR Study Predicts

Government fuel economy regulations under development at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board could severely hurt the U.S. economy by causing the loss of another 1.3 million manufacturing jobs.

As a result, the auto market may never recover its production and employment levels that helped create the now shrinking middle class.
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