Auto Lobby Wants Input on Government EV Policy Before Changes Are Made

Despite aggressively pushing for all-electric vehicles to supplant combustion models, the United States government seems to have suddenly realized that such a move could have some rather serious unintended consequences. This is nothing new, as U.S. regulations have shaped vehicle trends in ways the average motorist couldn’t even imagine. With that in mind, the automotive lobby wants to ensure it has the ear of legislators before they do anything that cannot be undone.

But the real question is: What exactly does it want?

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Driving Dystopia: Connected Vehicle Data Now Up For Grabs By Intelligence Agencies

Connected vehicles now appear to be on the table as a new vector for government surveillance. On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed a bill that reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after the Senate passed it late on Friday (60-34).  

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New Mexico EV Mandate Stands After Opposition from Car Dealers

The State of New Mexico has denied a petition put forward by automotive dealers to ease off on planned electric vehicle mandates. The groups had claimed that forcing electrification would hamper commerce by encouraging residents to purchase more vehicles from neighboring territories and were limiting residents freedom of choice. However, a governor-appointed state Environmental Improvement Board reportedly voted to deny the challenges late last week.

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Porsche Stops Selling the 718 Boxster and Cayman in Europe

The Porsche 718 is now dead in Europe after it failed to meet the European Union’s so-called “cybersecurity” regulations. The Cayman and Boxster be joining the gasoline-powered Macan SUV in the afterlife, which encountered its own regional demise for similar reasons. While all models will reportedly return as electric vehicles, we know things will never be the same.

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Why Did Trump Propose a 100-Percent Tariff on Mexican Auto Imports?

Earlier this week, Donald Trump suggested that he would impose a 100 percent tariff on select automobiles manufactured in Mexico — sending the industry into a minor tizzy.

Having done some digging into the matter, Trump only appears to be targeting Chinese vehicles being manufactured south of the border. The statement was made during the “Buckeye Values PAC” rally in Dayton, Ohio, and comes after Chinese automaker BYD announced plans to build a production facility in Mexico. While most of the resulting vehicles are assumed to be electric, BYD has stated its intention is not to sell them within the United States.

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How Do Automakers Handle Politics?

As regular readers know, the regulatory side of the automotive industry is hugely important. It's not as fun to read about as a well-written car review of some sexy sports car being tested in Spain, but it matters a lot. Not just to those employed in the industry (or in industry-adjacent jobs, like mine) but also to the car-buying public.

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Driving Dystopia: IIHS Suggests Driver Monitoring Systems Need Improvement

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has cooked up a new ratings program to encourage automakers to implement even more electronic nannies, including the kind that watch your every move behind the wheel, because the current batch have been deemed inadequate.

“We evaluated partial automation systems from BMW, Ford, General Motors, Genesis, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla and Volvo,” IIHS President David Harkey said. “Most of them don’t include adequate measures to prevent misuse and keep drivers from losing focus on what’s happening on the road.”

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White House Vows to Investigate Security Risks Posed by Foreign-Connected Vehicle Tech

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced plans to investigate the potential national security risks being confronted by American automakers and any threats posed by connected vehicle technologies controlled by foreign adversaries — including China.

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U.S. Rumored to Soften Emission Targets, Slow EV Adoption Push

Reports are circulating that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soften vehicle emissions targets against the stringent metrics proposed by the group in 2023. This follows lackluster EV adoption rates that run counter to the plan and pushback from dealer organizations, automakers, and consumer groups. But we need to take a closer look at the story, because things are rarely as simple as initially presented.

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Driving Dystopia: Europe’s Low Emission Zones Aren't Going Over Well

With New York City having decided to embrace European-style congestion charging as local residents express their displeasure, it might be wise to take time to look at other roadway initiatives that might soon migrate across the Atlantic to see how they’re fairing. Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) seem to be the next step, as they’re reliant on the same camera systems and vehicle tracking used for congestion taxes. However, they’re also following a similar trajectory as Britain's speed cameras in Europe. Disgruntled citizens have not only continued destroying the devices, they’re reportedly picking up the pace.

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BMW Accused of Emissions Cheating, Does Anyone Really Care?

Regulators in Germany have opened an investigation into alleged diesel exhaust rule circumvention on the part of BMW. Claims have been made that the automaker used an illegal defeat device on select models to achieve lower tailpipe emissions during testing. It’s a situation reminiscent of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal from 2015. However, government regulators have been on the offensive ever since — roping in loads of manufacturers and leaving a subset of the public wondering whether modern emission laws are even tenable.

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Study: Johns Hopkins Says Shrinking Streets Could Improve Safety

A Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s Bloomberg American Health Initiative study, published late last year, has suggested that narrow streets are safer than wider ones.

It sounds counterintuitive. But let us dig in to see how the report came together.

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Cummins Agrees to Pay $1.6 Billion in U.S. Emissions Fines

The United States Department of Justice has accused Cummins of installing emissions defeating devices on diesel motors and decided to fine the company $1.67 billion for violating the Clean Air Act. Cummins has agreed to pay the fine in principle, which Attorney General Merrick Garland said would resolve any allegations that the "company unlawfully altered hundreds of thousands of engines” to circumvent emissions regulations.

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FTC Launches “Combating Auto Retail Scams” Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced the finalization of the new Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) rule designed to prevent auto dealers from utilizing bait-and-switch tactics and hidden junk fees. While these are technically illegal already, CARS is supposed to give the FTC more leeway in determining what constitutes fraud and serve as a warning to dealers that may be crossing the line.

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Report: Chinese Export Rule Changes Could Impact EV Battery Production

China has reportedly decided to place restrictions on exports of graphite, which could spell trouble for American EV manufacturers. Starting this month, the Chinese government requires permits for certain graphite products being exported. This includes synthetic and natural graphite meeting the necessary thresholds to be used on electric vehicle batteries. 

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  • Lou_BC Another way to look at this is the upgrading of hardware and software. ...............The average length of car ownership is 10 - 12 years ....................The average lifetime ownership of a cell phone is 2.5 years. ................................................................... My phone will remain up to date, my vehicle won't. Especially if you buy a new "end of run" model.
  • TheEndlessEnigma "...we could be seeing a foundational shift in how Americans and car buyers see Stellantis products." yeah, I view Stellantis products as being off the cross-shop list. Stellantis is doing an excellent job of killing the Chrysler and Dodge brands and turning Jeep into something it isn't.
  • 2manyvettes 495 hp in a base C8 is more than enough. 800+ hp in a ZR1 is not worth the extra $60k (plus dealer markups). Unless the buyer is going for bragging rights. I remember when the C7 Grand Sport came out, and a reviewer got his hands on one and put it on the track at Lime Rock. His conclusion? Save yourself $15k and skip the Z06 and get a Grand Sport.
  • MaintenanceCosts Last year, I rented a closely related Audi A3. The overwhelming impression was of cheap build quality, although the drive wasn't bad. It had ~45,000 miles and the sunroof sunshade and passenger side power window were already not working correctly. Lots of rattles, too.
  • Lou_BC As others have pointed out, some "in car" apps aren't good or you pay for upgrades. My truck did not come with navigation. It was an expensive option. There's a lame GM maps app that you need to subscribe to "in-car" data. The map does not give you navigation other than to tell you where restaurants and gas stations are located. I'd want Android auto since I already pay for the phone.