Some call it a hybrid, some call it an EV. Some have called it a REx, a BEVx, a landmark vehicle in EV production, and others simply call it ugly. One things is for sure however, the 2015 BMW i3 turns more heads in Northern California than a Tesla Model S. Not since I last drove the Jaguar XKR-S have I received as many questions while parked at the gas pump, or visited a gas pump so frequently, but I digress. In a nutshell, the i3 is technically a hybrid or an EV depending on the version you get.
Being an asterisk regarding fuel economy numbers isn’t the only penance Hyundai and Kia must pay: The U.S. Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board dropped a collective $300 million penalty on the South Korean brands for mistating fuel economy numbers on their respective 2011-2013 lineups.
According to data released by the California Air Resources Board, CARB, Tesla Motors was the top seller of the zero-emission vehicle credits that regulatory board requires car makers to have if they want to sell cars in that state. Toyota was the top seller of hybrid-car credits.
Tesla sold 1,311.52 ZEV credits from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30 this year. Suzuki Motor Corp., the next biggest seller, transferred about 41 credits. Though Suzuki no longer sells cars in the United States, they still have credits accumulated from prior sales. Toyota transferred 507.5 plug in zero emission vehicle credits generated by its Prius hybrid. General Motors Co. acquired the same number as Toyota sold, so presumably GM bought them from its Japanese rival. (Read More…)
I have a problem and hope you can help me. My Cadillac Brougham with the 307 V8 smells like gas under the hood. This is intermittent and the last time it was in the shop the mechanic found no leaks under the car or around the carb. (Read More…)
Public beta tests are common in the computer world where a group of fanatics pound your beta to death and help you find the problems. In the automotive world this activity is not only rare, it runs contrary to the cash spent on dressing future cars in swirly vinyl. The Prius plug-in is different. Toyota built 600 demonstrators and sent them to large corporations, Zipcar fleets and, of course the press. Even TTAC was allowed to drive one for a week. What does that have to do with the final product? And how does it stack up against the Volt, Plug-in Fusion and the 2013 Accord Plug-in? Let’s find out.
Starting in March, the Chevrolet Volt will be eligible to use the HOV lane on California highways. The catch? You have to buy a new Volt to use the carpool lane.
CARB has mandated that 15.4 percent of new vehicles sold in California by 2025 must be plug-in, electric or fuel cell powered. The new mandate was supported by major OEMs and could mean as many as 1.4 million zero-emissions vehicles (as well as plug-in cars) on California roads by 2025.
I am a mechanical engineering student looking to learn how to work on cars.
My friend has given me the opportunity to take his 1988 Mazda B2200 extra-cab 5-speed. When I drove it, I saw why. The catalytic converter has broken off, and apparently pieces of it are in the exhaust. Would it be possible to just replace the catalytic converter, or should I replace the whole exhaust?
The WSJ [sub] reports
California regulators want zero-emission vehicles—those that don’t run on petroleum—to comprise up to 5.5% of new-car sales in the state, or roughly 81,300, in 2018. The target would rise annually to 14%, or more than 227,600, by 2025…
Tom Cackette, chief deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, says his agency’s goal is to test whether electric cars can become mainstream vehicles, or wind up serving a “niche” market. Mr. Cackette said the state is investing in charging stations and other infrastructure, and he pointed to the sales of new plug-ins on the market to show that there’s a demand for the vehicles. He said he believes the California targets are feasible.
“That is a question we’ll only find out by trying,” he said. “I think [car companies] are making a pretty big investment in these vehicles, and they wouldn’t be doing that if they didn’t think there was a market there.”
Industry lobby groups are pushing California to roll the ZEV mandate into the forthcoming national CAFE standard. Small automakers like Mazda complain that placing a California ZEV mandate on top of national emissions standards would create a “costly burden…in light of the uncertain marketplace and infrastructure for electric vehicles.” And since CARB is leading the federal government by the ear towards a national standard anyway, it could simply push for a higher CAFE rate, which would at least allow firms the flexibility to comply on their own terms. Adding a major ZEV mandate won’t fundamentally change the national standard, but it absolutely will force automakers to spend huge amounts of money to develop a kind of vehicle that has major shortcomings, is only as green as local electricity generation, and has yet to prove itself with consumers. Whatever you think of emissions standards increases, it should be clear that consumers should determine what mix of technologies can best serve their needs while lowering fuel consumption and pollution.
California, the perennial thorn in the side of the EPA’s emissions-regulation scheme, has bowed to federal pressure and will wait until September of this year to release its 2017-2025 Model Year emissions standard proposal, by which time the EPA will be ready to announce its own national scheme. Prior to today’s announcement, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) had “announced its intention” to release its proposal in March, a move which had automakers scrambling to complain to congress of the apparent lack of unity on emissions standards. GM and Chrysler even endured a (somewhat predictable) Naderite drubbing in the WaPo in order to to join the howls against the emerging “patchwork of state and national standards!”
Luckily for the automakers, CARB was willing to play ball. Per the WSJ:
Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, said the state agreed to the White House’s timetable after being assured the new fuel-economy targets would be based on studies currently being done on the feasibility of the proposed 62-mpg [by 2025] standard.
The studies are examining the technological and financial ramifications of the proposed standard, he said.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the final data from the engineering studies,” Mr. Young said. He added that the board has always cooperated with the EPA and DOT and plans to continue to do so.
Then why stir up the pot by telling the world that you’ll create a de facto standard while the EPA is still looking at the engineering studies? If CARB was looking for ways to add to its resume of ill-advised overreaches, it succeeded admirably. If, on the other hand, it wanted to be seen as the lead partner in a national standard, it would have agreed to a joint announcement in the first place. Regardless of where the standards are set, surely even CARB understands that a truly national standard is the single most important achievement to be won in this process. Oh, and “making sure all the evidence was duly reviewed before ruling” should probably be the second most important.