AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
According to a recent study by the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT), official and “real-world” fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for passenger vehicles had an average discrepancy of 25 percent in 2011.
Maybe we just wanted an excuse to show a photo of model Adriana Lima with a Kia, but the Korean automaker along with its bigger brother Hyundai have both just been rated as the EPA’s most efficient and cleanest automakers.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently published their annual Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends report with Hyundai and Kia tied in first place with a lineup average of 27-mpg in terms of fuel economy. As far as CO2 emissions, Hyundai was top of the list at 329 grams per mile, while Kia was a close second at 330 grams per mile.
This surprisingly makes the Korean automakers the greenest car companies in the United States with Toyota in second place for fuel economy at 25.4-mpg and Honda in third at 24.9-mpg. Toyota netted third place for CO2 emissions at 350 grams per mile.
“The 2011 EPA data demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to fuel economy leadership and validates the effectiveness of our Blue Drive strategy,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. “Through innovations such as light-weight steel, direct injection technology, turbocharging and advanced transmissions we are able to improve the efficiency and performance of all our vehicles.”
The mentioned results reflect the 2010 model year data, which also had the best average gas mileage for new cars (22-mpg) and average rate of CO2 emission (394 grams per mile) ever recorded in the EPA’s database. Hyundai and Kia are also favored to take the top spots in a preliminary report on 2011 model year vehicles.
The European Union has just announced that it wants to improve emissions by 20% in 2015, and to achieve that goal, it is tightening emission regulations starting from 2012.
As of January 1st, all automobile manufacturer’s who produce more than 10,000 vehicles per-year, will need to sell 65% of their annual sales of cars that produce less than 130-grams of Co2/kilometer (0.621-miles).
Automakers who cannot comply with this regulation will pay a fine of $6.50 per-gram for each car that is over. This could add to millions by the end of the year, making survival in the auto industry even tougher than before.
Renault’s Romanian brand Dacia will be in trouble with these new regulations in 2012, and Daimler is expected to be in even more trouble, as it would have to pay a fine of $2500 per vehicle.
Not all car companies will be in trouble however. Toyota, Peugeot and Fiat produce vehicles that produce between 112 to 119 grams/km.
While this regulation favors companies that produce small cars, those who produce large SUV’s will either have to cut production or start offering a small commuter car to bring their average down.
[Source: Left Lane News]
To further encourage French drivers to practice eco-consciousness, France’s minister of industry announced a plan to update the CO2 emission points system for new cars.
New cars sold in France are categorized into four tiers. The revision will provide a scaled reward system for vehicles that emit 104 grams of CO2 per kilometer or less. Vehicles that emit 91 to 103 grams of CO2 per kilometer will receive a small gift of 100€ ($137) while vehicles that emit 50 grams per kilo earn 5,000€ ($6,800). Neutral cars fall between 105 to 140 grams per kilometer and are neither rewarded nor penalized. However, cars that emit more than 140 grams per kilometer face a penalty of up to 3,600€ ($5,000). Finally, if a car emits more than 190 grams of CO2 per kilometer, than an extra annual fee of 160€ ($220) will be in place.
By setting up this system of incentives and penalties, France hopes to encourage buyers to choose cleaner cars. This system will take effect January 1st, 2012.
Land Rover is apparently working on a front drive SUV, as part of a push for smaller vehicles that produce fewer emissions. Autocar is reporting that the vehicle will be known as the Compact Range Rover, a smaller addition to the lineup that should emit significantly less CO2 than the current Range, without having to use hybrid technology.
The brand could see a trickle down effect, as the platform spawns a compact, front-drive Land Rover, as well as other similar Range Rovers that use an all-wheel drive system. Cars are taxed based on CO2 emissions in Europe, necessitating a lowering of emissions for Range Rover’s SUVs. The company has developed a 100-strong division dedicated to investigating hybrid and extended-range electric vehicle systems as the British automaker looks to stay relevant in the future market place. Land Rover offers a variety of well-regarded diesel engines in Europe, however they have yet to make their way to North America thus far.
The Compact Range Rover is rumored to surface at the Paris Auto Show this Fall.