Category: Fuel Economy

By on November 23, 2015

2017 Hyundai Elantra at 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show (2015 LAAS)

Shortly after the debut of its Avante brother in South Korea, the Elantra was revealed for the first time in North America last week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Going into its sixth generation, the Elantra looks offer even more in its class with the addition of new safety kit and technology that makes even class-above vehicles blush.

But, even though the new Elantra is much improved over the outgoing model in almost every conceivable way, it’s hard not to think it looks a bit, well, familiar.

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By on November 16, 2015


Kia on Monday released teaser images of its Prius-fighting hybrid, dubbed Niro, and said the car would go on sale late next year — maybe when gas prices aren’t $2 a gallon.

According to the automaker, the Niro’s hybrid powertrain and lightweight construction could help the car achieve up to 60 miles per gallon when it goes on sale. A plug-in variant will go on sale after a conventional hybrid arrives in 2016.

The car is positioned to fight directly against the next-generation Toyota Prius, which will go on sale later this year. It isn’t immediately clear whether the car is pronounced “NEE-ro” (like the Roman emperor) or “NY-ro” (rhymes with Cairo) because one of those would be an interesting choice.

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By on November 8, 2015


A number of Volkswagen engineers cheated on tests used to determine carbon dioxide emissions because goals set by former group CEO Martin Winterkorn were too demanding and difficult to achieve, reported German outlet Bild am Sonntag.

The report was “broadly confirmed” by Volkswagen, stated The New York Times. It’s believed goals set by Winterkorn, which would have made Volkswagen vehicles cleaner than required by European regulations, pressured the engineers to manipulate the tests as they were afraid to admit they could not meet those goals.

The engineers pumped up tire pressures to reduce rolling resistance and put diesel in motor oil to make the vehicles more fuel efficient, thus producing less carbon dioxide. The practice “began in 2013 and carried on until the spring of this year,” reported Automotive News.

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By on November 5, 2015

TDI Clean Diesel

According to the same source who revealed to TTAC that Volkswagen will announce next week its “TDI Goodwill Program”, the automaker will also begin to roll out fixes for affected diesel emissions cars in the U.S. in February.

The fix, which was mentioned to dealers and communicated to dealer staff, will comprise of an ECU flash. The details of the ECU flash itself and the specific vehicles to which it will apply were not provided.

It was reported previously that different generations of the affected EA189 diesel engine could receive varying levels of correction, from ECU flashes to the installation of full urea-fed SCR systems. This ECU flash could be just one of two or three fixes for Volkswagen’s dirty diesels.

Volkswagen has supposedly earmarked $4 billion to fix their diesel cars and public reputation in the U.S., which includes money the automaker will use to fund the “TDI Goodwill Program”, said the source.

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By on November 5, 2015


Officials from Volkswagen will meet Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency to explain to regulators how a “temperature conditioning” mode isn’t illegal, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).

“(Auxiliary Emission Control Device) software does not alter emissions levels, but it ensures after a cold start (of the engine) that the catalytic converters quickly reach their working temperature and emissions cleaning takes effect,” VW said, according to Reuters.

In its notification to the automaker Monday, officials from the EPA specifically outlined how a “temperature conditioning” mode, specifically timed to the length of the EPA’s initial tests, reduced emissions up to nine times in cars equipped with VW’s 3-liter diesel engine.

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By on October 29, 2015

02 Volkswagen Golf family

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey on Thursday sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the agency to re-evaluate millions of fuel economy credits awarded to the automaker by the agency for cheating diesel cars.

The letter, which was addressed to Administrator Mark Rosekind, outlined the automaker’s exceedingly fuel efficient fleet average from 2008, which now could be in jeopardy after the automaker admitted it cheated emissions tests and could impact those cars’ mileage. Read More >

By on October 20, 2015


An interesting combination of reports, compiled by the New York Times, shows that Americans saved money at the pumps from cheaper gas is mostly going to more gas and more expensive gas.

The average American should have saved roughly $41 from cheaper gas prices, according to a report by JPMorgan. Instead of taking home those savings, most people only took home $22. A separate study by Brown University and University of Chicago researchers indicated that most people were buying more expensive gas when gas prices dipped.

The phenomenon, which is called “mental accounting,” roughly translates to people spending a target amount of money — regardless of price. Read More >

By on October 15, 2015

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.

The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.

According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.

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By on September 29, 2015


The diesel versions of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon will be the first to undergo increased scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency after the recent Volkswagen scandal turned emissions reporting on its head.

According to Automotive News, a spokesman for GM said the testing could slightly delay the truck’s fourth-quarter release.

“The EPA and CARB told us they are going to do on-road testing,” Chevrolet Trucks assistant chief engineer Scott Yackley told Automotive News.

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By on September 28, 2015


Cars were banned from the city center of Paris for seven hours Sunday as that city finds ways to manage its growing pollution and congestion problems, Time reported. A group called Paris sans Voiture organized the event in an effort to bring attention to climate policy.

Buses, ambulances and other public transportation were allowed on city streets during the ban, however private vehicles were forbidden from city streets in a broad swath of neighborhoods and tourist destinations including the Champs Élysées, Place Stalingrad, Place de la Republique, the Left Bank, the Place de la Bastille, the area around the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne.

The city will be hosting a UN Climate Change conference in December.

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States