California deal interrupts White House emissions rollback effort

Southern California traffic - by flickr user David R. BlumeRancor in the White House over the move by four automakers to strike a side deal with California over emissions and fuel-economy rules looks likely to further delay President Trump's plans to roll back the Obama-era standards. That's the conclusion of a report Tuesday in The New York Times, which cited four people familiar with the talks. After...

States, Cities sue EPA over Clean Power Plan rollback

Coal power plant in ChinaThe power grid that electric vehicles plug into will get cleaner over time. But depending on where you are, the rate at which it cleans up could have a lot to do with something that’s headed to the courts. A lawsuit filed Tuesday by 22 states and seven cities, in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, aims to...

California could soon close one of the dirtiest diesel-emissions loopholes

Fitzgerald Glider Kits headquarters in Crossville, TennesseeWe’ve all seen it while following big rigs: Clouds of sooty smoke coming from a single truck, prompted by an uphill grade, a passing maneuver, or sometimes seemingly nothing at all. How can that be legal? It might not be legal, but it underscores a current loophole in U.S. emissions for larger (Class 4-8) trucks: There’s no mechanism...

Automakers rebuff EPA mpg rollbacks, cut side deal with California

TrafficSome of the largest automakers in the U.S. have banded together with California—to set an example for the EPA and its long-stalled emissions and fuel economy revamp. The agreement between Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW's U.S. division would raise fuel-economy standards by about 3.7 percent a year through 2026 to a final target of about 50...

Report: EPA delays proposed fuel economy plan until September—or later

Southern California traffic - by flickr user David R. BlumeThe EPA's plans to freeze fuel economy and emissions standards have been put on hold until at least Labor Day, sources familiar with the plans told Bloomberg earlier this week. Last August, the EPA released its long-anticipated proposal to unwind the steadily rising fuel-economy standards put in place in 2012 under President Obama, in part to...

2020 Hyundai Sonata will emit less with new valve-duration tech

2020 Hyundai SonataHyundai last week announced that it has developed what it claims is the world’s first mass-production continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) technology. The company asserted the new valve tech, headed into versions of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, will produce significant improvements in emissions, fuel efficiency, and performance. The...

Volkswagen talks through Europe’s tough new emissions tests

Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) on a Peugeot 308From the U.S., we most often encounter European WLTP standards in the context of sizing up plug-in driving range for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that haven’t yet been rated by the EPA. The Worldwide Harmonised Light-Vehicle Test Procedure, is however taking form as the most comprehensive emissions program in the world, replacing...

In spite of tougher standards, European cars get dirtier

English traffic, from European Environment Agency reportEuropean automakers need to sell many more electric cars, but their customers aren't buying. Instead, they're buying more gas powered SUVs that emit more pollution than the cars they drove before. The ramifications for automakers could be dire if they can't sell more electric cars by next year. The European Union is scheduled to introduce the...

Architect of clean-air rollbacks resigns at EPA

Bill Wehrum, EPA Office of Air and Radiation head (CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons)EPA Office of Air and Radiation Administrator Bill Wehrum, an attorney who formerly represented power companies in their effort to roll back clean-air regulations, has resigned. The biggest air-quality issues that the Office of Air and Radiation oversees are tailpipe emissions from cars, and emissions from power plants that increasingly provide...