Damn Those Emissions Standards! Oh Wait…
Recently-increased emissions standards (along with CAFE requirements) have received quite a bit of attention from Detroit’s blame-everyone-but-us squad. But bailout-begging agendas aside, just how hard are the new(ish) EPA standards to meet? Not that hard at all, according to an EPA report covered by Green Car Congress. The Office Of Transportation and Air Quality’s Report on Engine and Vehicle Compliance (pdf) for 2007 shows that the overwhelming majority of vehicles on the market actually meet or pass the EPA’s Tier Two Bin Five standard in current form. In fact, most US-market cars and light trucks currently boast a 46 to 90 percent compliance margin, meaning the amount by which they actually exceed EPA requirements. Under the EPA regime, models which “over-comply” with standards earn their makers credits which can be applied to under-conforming models. Of the 40-odd manufacturers on the market, five (Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota) had a positive Tier Two emission limit credit balance for 2007, while only Aston Martin carried a net-negative credit balance. The credit-positive firms tended to certify most of their vehicles at Bin Five levels, while adding a few sub-Bin Five (higher standard) vehicles to gain credits. Those which merely met the standard certified at a mix of Bin levels which added up to an average of Bin Five. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
Wait... so we're criticizing Detroit's "not my fault" complaints and then mention that Ford is one of five manufacturers with positive credit. Is Ford no longer part of Detroit? Wrongly targeted blanket statement? Did Bill Ford actually do something right when he was head of Ford?
Europe doesn't have that many cities in a bowl geography, and it is much more to the North than the USA so smog is much less of a problem. It is also shocking that govements game the standards for the benefit of their local industry. And so surprising.
The UK only got rid of leaded gas about 10 years ago IIRC. I've lived in LA since 1974 and I can tell you: only on those days when there are fires in the hills does the air look like it did in 1974.Think pictures of major city China 2008. It's sort of laughable hearing people talk about how bad LA's air is today.People forget what it used to be like : brown haze just above the ground, burning eyes, nasty grit that would settle on your car with the dew from the night before. Smog alert days [avoid exercising outdoors, etc.] in the 100s some years. Now perhaps there are a dozen a year Sometimes the US gets it right before the rest of the world comes around. And even then the Big Three were dragged kicking and screaming into it. The Japanese just figured out ways to make it work instead of fighting it.