US DOT releases new automated driving systems guidance

The US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new federal guidance for the implementation of autonomous driving: Automated Driving Systems (ADS): A Vision for Safety 2.0. This is the latest guidance for automated driving systems to industry and States; it replaces the earlier guidance... Read more →


NTSB: driver errors, overreliance on automation, lack of safeguards, led to fatal Tesla crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a Tesla driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation are the probable cause of the fatal 7 May 2016, crash near Williston, Florida. (Earlier post.) The NTSB also determined the... Read more →


Groupe PSA, clean transportation NGO Transport & Environment (T&E); France Nature Environnement (FNE); and Bureau Veritas have collaborated to develop an accurate real-world fuel consumption test protocol. Unlike most other fuel economy measurements, these tests are performed on the road using a Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS). The development of... Read more →


A new study by the independent research organization International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has compiled the test results from government agencies across Europe for 541 Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel passenger cars. The study found that the average real-world level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from Euro 6... Read more →


Simon Fraser study finds no free-ride for ZEV area neighbors; regions need their own policies

In study based on a dynamic technology adoption model, a pair of researchers at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia) have concluded that even if a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) manadate drives significant ZEV adoption in the area in which the mandate is implemented, there is no “free-riding” ZEV adoption in neighboring... Read more →


WLTP and RDE tests for measuring emissions come into force in EU tomorrow

Two new tests for measuring emissions from cars and vans will come into force in the EU tomorrow. The new laboratory test, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), will introduce more realistic testing conditions for measuring pollutant and CO2 emissions than the previous, outdated lab test (NEDC). It... Read more →


On 27 October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced that beginning on 1 January 2020, the maximum sulfur content allowed in marine bunker fuel will be reduced from 3.50% mass by mass (m/m) to 0.50% m/m (35,000 ppm to 5,000 ppm)—five years earlier than many expected. (Earlier post.) The... Read more →


On 1 September 2017, new emissions regulations for passenger vehicles come into force in the EU and Switzerland. These will plug the gaps in the existing legislation and will help to ensure that diesel vehicles in particular become considerably cleaner as regards their NOx emissions. However, the new regulations also... Read more →


Continental has developed an electrified solution to further reduce hydrocarbon evaporative emissions: the Active Purge Pump (APP). The APP actively pulls HC-laden air from the canister used to control evaporative HC emissions. The pump used for this action is a very compact and light-weight radial pump, driven by a highly... Read more →


The ninth annual California Green Innovation Index—released by the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10 and prepared by Beacon Economics—finds that the state’s ambitious climate policies have allowed for considerable economic growth, with California outpacing the growth of other states during the recovery period following the Great Recession. Between 2006 and... Read more →


EMA concerned that EPA’s revisiting Phase 2 GHG rules could lead to misaligned regulatory requirements

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intent to revisit provisions of the second phase of the greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway trucks and engines that were finalized last year. (Earlier post.) The Phase 2 program builds on the Phase 1 regulations... Read more →


EPA to revisit trailer and glider provisions of Phase 2 GHG and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines, citing “concerns” raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry. In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued... Read more →


Using new PM2.5 exposure methods, researchers in China have estimated 1.30 million premature deaths in China in 2013 due to PM2.5. Their findings, presented in a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, are consistent with other estimates (1.37 million and 1.36 million) calculated using different PM2.5 exposure... Read more →


Recent on-road real-world emission testing in India highlights disparity between cycles, gasoline and diesel

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) recently contracted with the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) of India to conduct laboratory and on-road testing of three in-use passenger vehicles—two diesel and one gasoline—to investigate the real world emission performance of passenger vehicles in Indian roads. The results highlight the... Read more →


California ARB holding two workshops on developing measure to reduce emissions from TRUs

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is developing a measure to reduce emissions from Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) by transitioning to zero-emission technologies. To that end, ARB staff is holding two more workshops on the development of a regulation to limit the amount of time that internal combustion engine-driven TRUs... Read more →


California ARB fines BNSF and Union Pacific $1.25M over drayage truck violations

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) reached settlements with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR) to resolve violations of the state’s drayage truck regulation, which requires cleanup of trucks servicing the state’s busy ports and intermodal rail yards. An investigation by CARB’s Enforcement... Read more →


EPA, DOT open public comment period on reconsideration of GHG Standards for Cars and Light Trucks

In a joint Federal Register notice, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) opened the public comment period on the reconsideration of the January 2017 Final Determination for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years (MY) 2022-2025. (Earlier post.)... Read more →


UK launches accreditation scheme for clean vehicle retrofit technologies

In the UK, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Energy Saving Trust (EST), together with industry stakeholders, have launched the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). The UK’s DEFRA/DfT Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) is providing funding support. CVRAS provides a single validation standard for any emission technology... Read more →


German auto manufacturers will optimize the emissions systems in 5.3 million currently approved Euro 5 and 6 diesels in the country, according to the outcome of the “National Diesel Forum” held in Berlin today between the automotive industry and the German Federal and state governments. The aim is a 30%... Read more →


FCA receives EPA, California ARB approval for production and sale of MY 2017 3.0L diesels

FCA US has received a certificate of conformity from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a conditional executive order from the California Air Resources Board (ARB), permitting the production and sale of FCA US 2017 model-year light-duty Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The... Read more →


California ARB approves $200M VW zero-emission vehicle investment in California; first phase of $800M investment

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today approved the first of four plans by VW to invest $800 million over 10 years in zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, public outreach, and access to these ultra-clean vehicles for residents of disadvantaged communities. (Earlier post.) The investment is part of a multi-pronged settlement... Read more →


California ARB approves cap-and-trade amendments; linking with Ontario

Following more than 18 months of review and public comment, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved amendments to the state’s cap-and-trade program that improve its implementation and the state’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The amendments also establish a framework for the program’s annual limits on greenhouse gas... Read more →


The UK Government unveiled its new plan to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in the shortest amount of time. Among the many policy and funding details in the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, produced by Defra and the Department for Transport is the cessation of the... Read more →


NHTSA issues Environmental Impact Statement scoping notice for MY 2022-2025 CAFE standards; seeking comments on “preferred alternative”

In March, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that EPA intends to reconsider its final determination issued on 12 January 2017 which recommended no change to the greenhouse gas standards for light duty vehicles for model years 2022- 2025. (Earlier post.) EPA will reconsider... Read more →


BMW adamantly denies reports about diesel emission systems collusion and manipulation

On Sunday, the BMW Group issued a strong rejection of German media reports charging that the company had colluded with Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Daimler on the design and pricing of diesel exhaust systems and that its diesel emission systems did not function properly. On Friday, manager magazine reported that... Read more →


California to receive additional $153M in final settlement with Volkswagen

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) filed a consent decree for its final settlement with the Volkswagen Group of America (VW). The company will be required to pay an additional $153.8 million to California over the company’s use of illegal defeat devices in 2009-2016, 2.0 and 3.0 liter diesel passenger... Read more →


US House subcommittee advances autonomous driving legislation; NHTSA to drive regulations, state role diminished

The US House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, chaired by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), today held a markup to advance bipartisan self-driving legislation. This draft legislation passed out of the subcommittee by voice vote. The legislation clarifies the federal and state roles for regulating highly automated vehicles (HAVs)... Read more →


EPA proposes maintaining current NOx standards

Based on its review of scientific evidence, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes retaining the current national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen (NOx). EPA proposes that the current NAAQS don’t need to be changed because they provide the appropriate public health protection, with an adequate... Read more →


The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), one of the organizations at the root of uncovering the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal (earlier post), has published a new analysis of developments and trends in advanced diesel engine technology. The ICCT team—John German and Aaron Isenstadt—concluded that diesels have and will retain... Read more →


US charges Audi manager with conspiracy to cheat US emissions tests; sacrificing NOx control for a sound system

The US has charged a former Audi manager via criminal complaint for his role in a conspiracy to defraud US regulators and customers by implementing defeat device software in thousands of Audi diesel vehicles to cheat US emissions tests. Giovanni Pamio, 60, an Italian citizen, is charged with conspiracy to... Read more →


In a new study, a team from the University of Central Florida and MIT has found that the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards is an effective policy solution that does increase the adoption of EVs, whether it is implemented alone or in conjunction with another policy such as... Read more →


ICCT analysis finds 2025 European automotive CO2 standards can be met even if diesel share drops to 15%

Diesel has played a major role in the European Union’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from the automotive fleet; the market share of fuel-efficient new diesel cars in the European Union has remained above 50% since 2010. However, in the wake of emission control scandals, increasing concern over NOx-baed air-quality... Read more →


EPA proposes slight ease in 2018 renewable fuel volumes compared to 2017; gearing up for future reset

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule setting the minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2018 under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program. EPA will issue the final rule in the fall. Relative to the levels finalized in... Read more →


European countries struggle to meet emission limits due to emissions from agriculture and transport

Eleven EU Member States breached air pollution ceilings in 2015 mostly due to high emissions from agricultural and transport sources, according to new data and a briefing released by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The briefing includes information on countries’ 2015 emissions and national ceilings for different pollutants. Member States... Read more →


Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America last week submitted supplemental information to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) detailing its proposed charging investment in and benefit to underserved, low-income, and disadvantaged communities in the state as part of its court-mandated investment plan. (Earlier post.) The supplement also adds the Fresno metro area... Read more →


Based on its analysis of government responses to the Volkswagen diesel scandal as well as to the ongoing publication of research highlighting the adverse effects of NOx and particulate matter on public health, Lux Research has concluded that the question is when—not if—a diesel ban will happen. Lux Research compiled... Read more →


CIEH criticizes UK gov for shifting air quality problem to local authorities, CAZ strategy; wants vehicle crackdown, more ZEVs, ULEVs

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has criticized the Government’s air quality plans for unfairly shifting the burden to solve the problem to local authorities, while abdicating themselves of responsibility. The membership body for environmental health professionals released details of its submission to the Government’s consultation on plans... Read more →


Ricardo study provides insights into lean, clean and RDE-compliant gasoline engine technologies

Gasoline engines can operate lean to improve fuel economy, potentially reducing CO2 emissions significantly. Further, advances in combustion development for gasoline have led to the potential for reduced engine-out NOx emissions for homogeneous lean operation compared to stratified lean operation. However, NOx emissions control at the tailpipe remains a major... Read more →


Study finds air quality models significantly underestimate traffic as source of NOx in Europe

Traffic contributes more to NOx emissions in Europe than previously thought, according to a new study by a team at the University of Innsbruck. Using urban eddy covariance measurements, the researchers found that traffic-related NOx emissions in current operational air quality models can be significantly underestimated by up to a... Read more →


International team uncovers mechanisms of VW, Fiat software defeat device code

An international team of researchers has uncovered the mechanisms of two families of software defeat devices for diesel engines: one used by the Volkswagen Group to pass emissions tests in the US and Europe, and a second found in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. To carry out the analysis, the team developed... Read more →


Based on a three-year study of toxic and environmentally relevant pollutants from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines, Swiss researchers have concluded that some GDI engines emit just as many soot particles as unfiltered diesel cars did in the past. Further, the GDI particles carry numerous carcinogenic substances. Based on this... Read more →


US sues Fiat Chrysler over diesel emissions

The Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ-ENRD) has filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler for using software defeat devices in nearly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued... Read more →


European Commission opens infringement procedure against Italy over insufficient action on Fiat Chrysler emission control strategies

The European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Italy for failure to fulfil its obligations under EU vehicle type-approval legislation with regards to Fiat Chrysler (FCA) automobiles. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice asking Italy to respond to concerns about insufficient action taken regarding the emission control... Read more →


Federal court approves $225M settlement in VW 3.0L diesel case; California receives $66M plus two new VW ZEV models

The Volkswagen Group will pay $225 million, including $66 million to California, for harm resulting from the sale of its 3.0-liter diesel passenger cars that included emissions control “defeat devices,” under partial Consent Decrees (earlier post) approved by a Federal court. In addition, VW will contribute to California’s ZEV market... Read more →


155 businesses and industry groups send letter of support for California LCFS in current and possibly more stringent future forms

As California policymakers consider options to extend the state’s landmark climate change laws to 2030 and beyond, 155 businesses and industry groups sent a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in support of the California Low Carbon Fuel... Read more →


US EPA settles with three trucking companies over California diesel rule; $201K in penalties

The Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with three companies totaling $201,000 in penalties for violating California’s Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks or failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state... Read more →


California Assembly weighing integrating air pollution performance into GHG cap-and-trade

The California Assembly is considering a bill (AB-378) that would integrate air quality performance into the state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) cap-and- trade program. Assembly Bill 378 was proposed by by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who heads the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources. CNR passed the proposal on Monday. This bill creates a... Read more →


At the 38th International Vienna Motor Symposium this week, Continental is showcasing a 48-volt hybrid diesel vehicle which meets very stringent RDE (real driving emissions) limits on CO2 and NOx. The Continental Super-Clean Electrified Diesel combines electrification-based engine optimization and an electrically heated catalyst integrated in the exhaust aftertreatment system... Read more →


Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso to form JV to produce automotive Li-ion battery packs in India

Suzuki Motor Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and Denso Corporation have reached basic agreement on establishing a joint venture company for production of automotive lithium-ion battery packs in India, and signed the agreement. The initial capital expenditure will be ¥20 billion (US$184 million). The joint venture company will be capitalized at ¥2... Read more →


Study finds vehicles more important source of urban atmospheric ammonia than farms

Vehicle tailpipes are a more important source of ammonia’s contribution to urban air pollution than is agriculture, according to a study by researchers from the US and China. The paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) reacts with nitric and sulfuric acids to... Read more →