Category: Government

By on November 16, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Politicians walk back policy promises as frequently as Ram announces special edition 1500s, so it’s not unwise to take campaign pronouncements with a big grain of salt.

Environmentalists and those close to the electric car sphere aren’t happy right now, as Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Oval Office could put the kibosh on green ambitions. There’s talk of a rollback of fuel economy targets, of California no longer being allowed to be “special” (at least, when it comes to auto industry regulation) — basically, the sky could be falling, but they aren’t sure if it is yet.

Let’s take that frenzied speculation to its natural conclusion. Say the sky falls, environmental regulations are left gutted like tuna on a wharf, and the government incentives to buy an electric vehicle dry up.

Can EVs stand on their own? Read More >

By on November 15, 2016

2014 audi a6 tdi engine

Volkswagen’s disastrous diesel debacle could nearly be over in the U.S.

Bloomberg has reported that sources close to the issue claim VW and U.S. regulators have agreed on a plan for the roughly 80,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles equipped with emissions-cheating 3.0-liter engines. Those sources have also revealed how many vehicles will be bought back and scrapped, and how many will live to see another day. Read More >

By on November 14, 2016

dealership

Barring those pesky instances where automakers were forced to hand cash to buyers as a make-nice gesture, the Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy labels found on window stickers are actually pretty accurate.

That’s the verdict from Consumer Reports’ just-released study on the real-world mileage of 2009-2016 model year vehicles, but it comes with an asterisk. Don’t break out the champagne just yet, EPA. Read More >

By on November 10, 2016

Ford Chihuahua Plant in Mexico

Not knowing what to expect from President-elect Donald Trump once he moves into the White House, automakers spend yesterday issuing nice-sounding congratulatory messages that masked an industry-wide concern over what happens next.

Formal pleasantries aside, one automaker feels that Trump’s policies could stand to benefit its bottom line. Read More >

By on November 10, 2016

Donald Trump, Image: Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Threatening to move isn’t new.

16 years ago, legions of American citizens promised to leave the United States if Republican George W. Bush beat Democrat Al Gore. While there’s evidence that suggests emigration from the United States to Canada occurred at an accelerated rate during Bush’s two terms in the White House, it was more likely tied to the state of the economy overall than differences in personal politics.

But that didn’t stop Americans — not just celebrities, but Americans en masse — from shutting down Citizen And Immigration Canada’s website with excessive traffic on the night of 2016’s Trump electoral victory earlier this week.

Had the website operated normally, you would have discovered that moving to Canada isn’t easy. Yet your desire to relocate will not be sated by a move to sunny SoCal or the Florida Keys. You’re determined to live in Cape Breton, or Portage la Prairie, or Trois-Rivières. And in the automotive sphere, there are some things you really need to know. Read More >

By on November 9, 2016

Ford F150 assembly line

That sound you hear — besides that of pollsters hastily preparing new career paths — is the American automobile industry collectively holding its breath.

Donald Trump’s move from presidential candidate to president-elect, largely the result of disaffected voters in traditional manufacturing hot spots (though a nationwide movement to shake up D.C. can’t be ignored), could spell a tumultuous near future for automakers.

“May you live in interesting times,” the saying goes. How interesting remains to be seen. Read More >

By on November 8, 2016

2015-Ford-Focus-15

The problematic dual-clutch transmission that owners love to hate has made enemies around the globe, and yet another country is ready to send its PowerShift anger Ford’s way.

Canadian Ford owners are poised to join the U.S. and Australia in leveling a class-action lawsuit against the automaker over the balky automated manual transmission, which many claim is unsafe. Meanwhile, the Great White North’s transportation regulator has the Blue Oval in its sights, and a future recall isn’t off the table.

While known for their politeness, nothing gets a Canuck peeved like multiple tranny swaps.  Read More >

By on November 6, 2016

exhaust

A U.S. regulator has come across another emissions-cheating device on a Volkswagen Group product. This isn’t more of the same — rather, it’s an entirely different apparatus used on vehicles until well after the company’s diesel emissions scandal became public knowledge.

This isn’t a great time for Volkswagen to be caught with its pants down for not disclosing something they were already in big trouble for. With the company trying to wrap things up with the Department of Justice, the new report from German outlet Bild am Sonntag could sour things.

Read More >

By on November 3, 2016

2016 Ford Focus EV Plug, Image: © 2016 Jeff Voth/The Truth About Cars

Battery electric vehicles are supposedly the future, but you’ll need an EV with plenty of range if you want to visit some of the areas overlooked by the Obama administration’s new charging corridor plan.

Earlier today, the White House announced 48 electric vehicle charging corridors spanning 25,000 miles of highway in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The electrified routes, established a month before the government was required to do so under federal law, will place a recharging station within reach of even the wimpiest electric vehicles. That means 50 mile intervals at a minimum.

For some areas, nervous EV road trippers would be best served by a gas guzzler or low-cost airline. Read More >

By on November 2, 2016

pumping fuel

The auto industry’s average fuel economy for new vehicles sputtered upwards by 0.5 miles per gallon last year, according to recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency. While that may sound like cause for celebration, let’s not lose perspective. A statistical record high may be noteworthy, but not necessarily indicative of a new upward trend.

First, let’s try to figure out what happened last year to drive the industry average out of a period of mpg stagnation.

Read More >

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