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 →


Study: California will hit climate targets >100 years too late at current pace of reductions; transportation, wildfires & landfills

California will meet its 2030 climate targets more than three decades late, in 2061, and could be more than 100 years late in meeting its 2050 target if the average rate of emissions reductions from the past year hold steady, according to a new study tracking more than a decade... Read more →


NYC Comptroller Stringer and investors with $1.1T urge GM to get on board with the California compromise agreement on vehicle standards

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and a coalition of 25 major investors with $1.1 trillion in collective assets under management called on General Motors (GM) to join other OEMs in the compromise agreement with California and other states on clean vehicle standards. In a letter sent to GM’s... Read more →


Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws that regulate engine idling, but each of these states has different applications of idle reduction and various exemptions. Some states regulate only certain vehicle types, such as school buses, state vehicles, commercial vehicles, diesel vehicles, or vehicles over a certain weight... Read more →


UK researchers show 20mph zones effective in reducing road casualties

A review of published evidence by a team of researchers in the UK has found 20mph zones to be effective in reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions and casualties. The research, published in the Journal of Transport and Health provides important evidence to support the implementation of 20mph... Read more →


The European Commission has begun work aimed at post-Euro 6 emission standards for on-road vehicles. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)—an independent nonprofit organization founded to provide unbiased research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators—has pitched a paper into the pre-regulations mix. The paper highlights issues and... Read more →


An analysis of the early impacts of London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) found that in the first four months of its operation (March – July 2019) there was a reduction of 12,524 older, more polluting, non-compliant vehicles detected in the zone—a reduction of more than one-third. There was... Read more →


Bloom Energy and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), a part of Samsung Group, today are collaborating to design and develop ships powered by Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology. Bloom Energy is the world’s leading provider of stationary fuel cells and SHI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding companies.... Read more →


24 states, LA and NYC file suit against Trump Administration over One National Program Rule

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, with Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Air Resources Board, led a coalition of 24 state attorneys general and the cities of Los Angeles and New York in filing a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The lawsuit challenges the Trump... Read more →


EPA, NHTSA issue One National Program Rule; EPA withdraws CA waiver for GHG and fuel economy

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action entitled the “One National Program Rule,” which will enable the federal government to provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles and light duty... Read more →


EPA Administrator broadly outlines Trump Administration thinking on fuel economy standards and California

In a speech on Tuesday at the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Washington, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler outlined the Trump Administration’s thinking on national fuel economy standards and California. Wheeler said that the Administration will begin taking steps in the very near future to establish... Read more →


Trump Administration revocation of California waiver reprises US denial of California waiver in 2007

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Trump said that his administration “is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions”—a reference to the waiver of preemption under the federal Clean Air Act granted California by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Obama Administration in 2012. However, the revocation—if... Read more →


California ARB hosting public workshop to discuss regulatory concepts for the Heavy-Duty “omnibus” Low NOx rulemaking

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will host a public workshop to discuss regulatory concepts to reduce NOx emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating. A key measure in ARB’s Mobile Source Strategy is the establishment of low oxides of nitrogen (NOx) engine... Read more →


Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopts zero-emission vehicle standard

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standard for Colorado early today in an 8-1 decision. The new zero-emission standard adopts California ZEV requirements, with automakers to sell more than 5% zero-emission vehicles by 2023 and more than 6% zero-emission vehicles by 2025. Eleven states now... Read more →