European automakers request 6-month postponement of new Euro standards due to COVID-19

Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the current European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) president, has sent a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, requesting a 6-month postponement of the application dates of key upcoming EU standards,... Read more →


Navistar settles air quality violations in California for $2 million

Truck manufacturer Navistar Inc. has paid $2 million to resolve allegations that it altered heavy-duty vehicle engines from their certified design, potentially causing excess diesel emissions and negatively impacting air quality. The Illinois-based company modified its vehicle calibrations from their certified design through “running changes” in the engines of its... Read more →


EPA adds 1-bromopropane to list of hazardous air pollutants; first addition since 1990

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA. Petitioners... Read more →


The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report quantifying a county level MOVES emissions inventory in the continental US (CONUS) 48 states and subsequent air quality modeling report of a potential scenario should the US EPA Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) be finalized as a national program at... Read more →


CARB adopts electric truck rule: Advanced Clean Trucks

The California Air Resources Board has adopted a first-in-the-world rule—the Advanced Clean Trucks(earlier post)—requiring truck manufacturers to transition from diesel trucks and vans (Class 2b to Class 8) to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024. By 2045, every new truck sold in California will be zero-emission. The proposed regulation has... Read more →


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced the “Clean Cars Nevada” initiative, which will evaluate the adoption of new regulations to provide Nevadans with more choices for low and zero emission electric passenger cars and trucks at dealerships throughout the state beginning in 2024. Also referred to as “Clean Car Standards” which... Read more →


Southwest Research Institute engineers have developed the next generation of clean diesel engine technology to reduce hazardous nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide emissions while minimizing fuel consumption. Working with regulatory agencies, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, SwRI combined engine modifications with integrated aftertreatment technology and control strategies to reach near-zero... Read more →


American Honda Motor to pay $1.9M in penalties in California for small engine emissions violations

The California Air Resources Board has reached a settlement of $1,927,800 with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) to resolve clean-air violations related to the sale of small off-road engines in California. The violations involved small off-road engines used in generators and lawn and garden equipment. Through extensive tests in... Read more →


York, Empa study finds retrofitting of VW diesel engines was successful

The VW diesel scandal began on 18 September 2015. On the opening day of the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Notice of Violation: VW diesel engines with 1.6 and 2.0 liters displacement (type code EA 189) contained illegal software designed to manipulate... Read more →


New data shows that motor vehicles generate more than €440 billion in taxation per year for national governments in the major EU markets plus the UK, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reports. The taxes fall into three broad categories: vehicle acquisition (VAT, sales tax, registration tax); ownership (annual circulation... Read more →


Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →


German KBA approving hardware retrofits to reduce NOx emissions for passenger cars

Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has approved various retrofit systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. This means that Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel cars can be retrofitted and exempted from traffic restrictions in certain regions. In addition to new, low-emission vehicles and emission-reducing software solutions, hardware retrofits offer... Read more →


EPA proposes retaining current NAAQS for particulate matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10). The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set NAAQS for criteria pollutants—currently PM, ground-level ozone (O3), carbon... Read more →


FTA allocating $25B to help US public transportation systems with COVID-19 reality

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help US public transportation systems respond to shift in market reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed... Read more →


MECA: industry could exceed relaxed US efficiency standards as it has to meet tighter standards elsewhere

On 31 March, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the final rule for The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles for Model Years 2021-2026. The final rule requires a 1.5% year-over-year increase in fuel efficiency and reduction in GHG emissions standards, which... Read more →


EPA eases several gasoline-related regulations in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is easing several gasoline-related regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, EPA intends to provide additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline. Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a... Read more →


DOT and EPA release revised fuel economy and GHG emission standards for MY 2021-2026 light-duty vehicles

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule setting corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and CO2 emissions standards for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. These final rules follow... Read more →


On 20 March, GM announced a cooperation with Ventec Life Systems to increase production of Ventec’s multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Earlier post.) One week later, on 27 March, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), directing the Scretary of Health and... Read more →


A new open-access study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08% accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 55% of fatalities were individuals other than... Read more →


UCI-led study finds California’s strict air quality regulations have helped farmers

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38% of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts. They... Read more →


Washington state legislature passes ZEV mandate; expands to medium-duty vehicles

Both houses of the Washington state legislature have passed SB 5811, the ZEV mandate bill. Governor Inslee says he will sign it. This will result in the entire West Coast—from California to British Columbia—having a ZEV mandate. Washington originally adopted the California emissions standards in 2005—but without the ZEV mandate.... Read more →


Pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than a car’s exhaust emissions, Emissions Analytics has found. Emissions Analytics is an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. Harmful particulate matter... Read more →


In addition to the European car market recording tepid growth in 2019, CO2 emissions have continued to increase, despite new regulation designed to curtail this, according to JATO Dynamics. Last year, the volume-weighted average CO2 emissions for European markets were at their highest recorded levels since 2014. According to data... Read more →


In the US, Model Year (MY) 2018 vehicle fuel economy was 25.1 miles per gallon, 0.8% higher than the 24.9 miles per gallon MY 2017, according to the annual Automotive Trends Report released by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In model year 2018, the average estimated real-world CO2 emission... Read more →


California’s Lower-Emission School Bus Program (LESBP) is a grant program that provides funds to purchase new buses to replace old, high-emitting public school buses, and to equip in-use diesel school buses with retrofit devices that significantly reduce toxic particulate matter emissions. The primary goal of the Lower-Emission School Bus Program... Read more →


Consumer Reports calls for major safety improvements across auto industry after NTSB findings in Tesla investigation

In light of new findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) related to investigation of a fatal Tesla crash in 2018 related to Tesla Autopilot, Consumer Reports called for manufacturers to include key safety features in any vehicle that has an active driving assistance system and for the National... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Board held a public board meeting Tuesday during which it determined the probable cause for the fatal 23 March 2018, crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View, California. Final rest locations of the Tesla, Audi and Mazda vehicles involved in the 23 March 2018,... Read more →


[In the earlier version of this post, I mistakenly linked to and used the 2019 report rather than the current 2020 report. I apologize for the error. —Ed] The Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) released a new report—“Technology Feasibility for Heavy-Duty Diesel Trucks in Achieving 90% Lower NOx Standards... Read more →


EC approves €300M boost in state funding in Germany for electric bus subsidies; €650M total

The European Commission (EC) last week approved an increase in state funding by €300 million (US$332 million) for the purchase of electric buses in Germany in accordance with EU state aid rules. The German aid scheme will apply until the end of 2021 and is intended to cover the additional... Read more →


CARB moves forward with third-party verification for Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) has supported an innovative revolution in alternative fuels. Those fuels have replaced more than 2.5 billion gallons of petroleum fuel in the past 12 months, providing Californians with cleaner alternatives. The California Air Resources Board has released a list of CARB-certified, third-party verifiers who... Read more →


Consumer Reports calls on automakers to drop support for rollback of federal gas mileage standards

Consumer Reports sent letters and a consumer petition to the leaders of General Motors, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mitsubishi, calling on the companies to drop their legal attack against America’s Clean Air Act, and instead support Clean Car standards that help drivers save money on... Read more →


UNECE endorses stringent new vehicle emissions regulation; towards a single type approval for major markets ‎

UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) will make it easier for countries around the world to implement state-of-the-art emissions test procedures with a new UN Regulation featuring the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). The draft UN Regulation was endorsed on 17 January by the Working Party on... Read more →


NJ Governor signs legislation establishing goals and incentives for increased use of plug-ins and charging infrastructure

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2252) that establishes goals and incentives for the increased use of plug-in electric vehicles (BEV and PHEV) and infrastructure in New Jersey. (Earlier post.) The bill also codifies the Murphy Administration’s goal of 330,000 registered light-duty electric vehicles by 2025 and directs state-owned... Read more →


Ricardo testing finds DPF regeneration spikes particulate emissions, resulting in exceedance of Euro limits

Testing of two popular Euro 6d-temp diesels by Ricardo, commissioned by the environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), has found that the periodic regeneration of diesel particulate filters (DPFs) in the light-duty vehicles can generate spikes of particulate emissions of more than 1,000 times the normal rate. This results in... Read more →


EPA issues ANPR on Clean Trucks Initiative, seeking input from public and stakeholders

The US EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for the Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI). The eventual CTI rulemaking will establish new, more stringent emission standards for NOx and other pollutants for highway heavy-duty engines. EPA is seeking input from the public and interested stakeholders. This rulemaking will... Read more →


U of T researcher suggests decline in dementia may be due to differences in lifetime exposure to lead; role of clean fuel regs

Several studies from the US, Canada, and Europe suggest a promising downward trend in the incidence and prevalence of dementia. However, important risk factors for dementia—such as mid-life obesity and mid-life diabetes—have been increasing rapidly, so the decline in dementia incidence is perplexing to researchers. A new hypothesis by University... Read more →


Sweden launches inquiry on how to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and phase-out fossil fuels

The Government of Sweden has launched a study to offer proposals on how to implement a ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, and the timeline for the phase-out of fossil fuels. The final report is to be presented by 1 February 2021. Sven Hunhammar will chair the... Read more →


CARB holding public meeting to consider policy options to increase ZEV use

The California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) will conduct a public meeting 23 January 2020 to consider policy recommendations to increase the use of Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV) per Senate Bill (SB) 498. CARB staff will present the policy recommendations identified in the draft report “Assessment of CARB’s Zero-Emission Vehicle... Read more →


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2020, and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021. The EPA is committed to ensuring a net of 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel is blended in 2020.... Read more →


California Air Resources Board settles with COSCO Container Lines for $965,000; >2,600 air quality violations from 2014-2017

The California Air Resources Board announced that COSCO Container Lines Co., Ltd., has paid $965,000 in penalties for violating the Ocean-Going At-Berth Regulation. The violations were discovered during routine audits of the Shanghai-based company’s 2014-2017 fleet visits to the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach and the Port of Oakland. CARB’s... Read more →


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to approve an updated plan for the South Coast Air Basin aimed at further cutting smog-forming emissions to attain the federal 8-hour ozone standard. The air quality plan is the most stringent in the nation. In order to address some of the country’s... Read more →


California Energy Commission approves first local energy efficiency standards that go beyond 2019 statewide requirements

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved six applications for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. There is a clear mandate to decarbonize our energy systems and our economy. At the state level, we should partner with, learn from, and support local jurisdictions... Read more →


Concentrations of the harmful NO2 pollutant across 30 major European cities could be reduced by up to 40% with the correct traffic policy measures, according to EU Joint Research Center (JRC) scientists. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe.... Read more →


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing taking the 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 Ghz band currently allocated for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) for the transportation and automotive industries and to reallocate it for different services. Under his Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which will be considered at the 12... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called upon federal regulators to create a review process before allowing automated test vehicles to operate on public roads, based upon the agency’s investigation of a fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. During a board meeting held to determine... Read more →


California prohibits state purchase of ICE sedans, effective now; to stop buying from GM, Toyota, FCA and others over emissions fight

On Friday, the California Department of General Services (DGS) that, effective immediately, it is prohibiting purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles. A second policy, currently being developed by DGS, will require state agencies, starting on... Read more →


CARB issues product alert for fuel additives under alternative diesel fuels regulation

The California Air Resources Board has issued a Product Alert for Fuel Additives under the Alternative Diesel Fuels (ADF) Regulation. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has conducted emissions testing that showed that tested additives failed to effectively mitigate to the regulatory standard. These results raise significant questions both as... Read more →


Ford is extending its European plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) trial to Cologne. The study, which is also testing Ford PHEVs on the streets of London and Valencia, Spain, aims to better analyse and show the real-world benefits of such vehicles for the environment and for commercial vehicle owners and... Read more →


European Commission opens investigation into proposed public support for Samsung SDI battery plant in Hungary

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether Hungary's plans to grant €108 million of public support to Samsung SDI for investing in the expansion of its battery cell production facility in Göd (Hungary) is in line with EU rules on regional State aid. Public investment is... Read more →


EPA issues supplemental proposal for renewable fuels volumes

On Tuesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)... Read more →