According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about one-quarter of all new vehicles sold today meet the 2016 federal emissions standard, which include a 35.5-mpg average for passenger vehicle fleets.
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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]
It created a lot of buzz when it was unveiled at Frankfurt back in September, yet the F-125! concept, besides showcasing possible future technologies such as a hydrogen-fuel cell powertrain, exotic construction materials and onboard telemetry, might also point to the direction large, executive cars may actually go if increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions standards remain on the cards.
Further emphasizing the fact that the F-125! might actually hint at future Mercedes S-Class models, Dr. Thomas Weber, head of R&D at Daimler AG (pictured with it above), said, in reference to the F-125! “this research car was built with the perspective of what does a car in 2025 look like?”
That’s far beyond the projection of most modern concept cars, which tend to either be trial balloons for upcoming production models, or hint at vehicles five to 10 years down the road.
However, given that the European Union, in it’s infinite wisdom, seems almost hell bent on outlawing large, gasoline engined cars (proposed smog standards for 2020 include a limit of 95 grams per km (5.4 ounces per mile – contrasting with around 154 g/km today) the F-125! could represent what you might get when walking into a Mercedes showroom and purchasing a S-Class, some two decades from now.
There’s no question, that in order to meet these ultra tough smog standards, electric drive and fuel cells will be part of the equation, though to meet the demands of future S-Class customers, particularly those of range and performance, Mercedes understands that new, unproven technologies will have to be employed.
One of them includes using a new Kevlar like material to store hydrogen in the vehicle’s body cavities instead of a conventional cylindrical tank, improving onboard capacity and help boosting the car’s range.
Yet another is using a lithium-sulphur battery to increase energy density and also boost performance and range. However, at present such technologies are very much in the infant stage, though Weber says that lithium-sulphur batteries might become more prevalent toward the end of the decade, even thought at that point, they’ll probably be relegated for use in small items, like power tools.
However, Tim Urquhart, a London based analyst with the firm IHS Global Insight, says that the F-125! doesn’t as much showcase the future of big cars, but rather how uncertain automakers are about them.
“Sometimes when an OEM is talking about these things, you take it with a pinch of salt,” he said. “In this car [the F-125!], I think they are trying to imagine what a vehicle of this type would be like in the long-term future.”
He also went on to state that for performance models and long legged GT cars, current thinking regarding EV technology simply isn’t the solution. “You’re not going to get a lithium-ion powered EV with internal combustion engine power and range. The chemistry won’t allow it.”
[Source: Automotive News]
In hot rodding circles, GM Performance Part’s E-ROD, a 1955 Chevrolet powered by modern 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 has been generating a lot of buzz.
Fresh off the Hot Rod Power Tour this year, the car, along with a second E-ROD; a 1955 Chevy pickup, built by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and sporting a 5.3-liter E-ROD motor,will be on display at the GMPP stand as part of Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County collector-car auction this coming weekend.
The purpose of the display is to highlight the benefits of dropping a modern, 50-state certified low emissions V-8 into an older car. California’s ultra stringent emissions laws incorporate strict guidelines when it comes smog requires, even for ‘specially constructed’ vehicles such as modified collector cars or hot rods, which can sometimes make a minefield for hobbyists who want to build and modify their own special interest cars.
The E-ROD 6.2L V-8 attempts to take away much of that hassle , thanks to being granted an Executive Order (EO) number (D-126-30) from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This makes the engine legal for installation in pre-OBD II (1996-and-earlier) vehicles in that state. In addition, depending on the driveline and suspension components added, it’s capable of delivering 23 miles per gallon under certain conditions.
Although most hot rods and classics are driven as pleasure vehicles, where gas mileage isn’t generally much of a concern; GM Performance Parts’ product integration manager, Dr. Jamie Meyer, said that, “with fuel prices not showing any signs of retreating, greater fuel economy is definitely a welcome benefit.” He’s got a valid point.
Both the ‘55 Chevy and the truck on display at Barrett-Jackson’s event this weekend, feature 4L65-E automatic transmissions, along with a GMPP Supermatic transmission controller, to enable the trans to work in conjunction with the E-ROD V-8′s engine control system. Combined with complete wiring harnesses available from GMPP, this essentially makes the E-ROD and automatic an essentially plug and play affair, even when installed in an older car.
While the 6.2 E-ROD is already CARB certified, the 5.3 version, featured in the Chevy truck, is still undergoing tests, though GM hopes to have a CARB EO number granted sometime this summer.
In addition, GM Performance Parts is also working with state legislators and CARB to allow the E-ROD engines and related hardware to be installed in newly built specialty vehicles, essentially cars and trucks that use brand new reproduction parts and late model chassis, have new VIN numbers, but maintain the appearance of a classic.
The Lingenfelter pickup is actually an example of this, riding on a late-model Trailblazer SS chassis, while sporting a Dynacorn reproduction 1955 Chevy truck cab and bodywork. For more information on the E-Rod engines and related components, click on the link below:
[Source: GM Performance Parts]
Recently, the E.U. (European Union) announced plans to ban petrol and diesel powered vehicles from city centers by 2050 in the interest to improve air quality, while also reducing dependence on fossil fueled vehicles. However, U.K. (United Kingdom) is not on board with this idea.
U.K’s Transport minister Norman Baker says these choices should be made by individual cities, based on their needs and agenda, and not as a collective agreement. He added by saying, “We will not be banning cars from city centers anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas.”
The E.U. wants to reduce traffic and smog in city centers and are even looking to expand their plans to encourage rail travel over distances over 186-miles and hopes to cut emissions by 60% by 2050.
The U.K. wants to do things their own way by “decarbonising road transport by, for example, investing more than £400m over the next four years to support electric vehicles and promoting alternatives to car travel like walking and cycling,” said Baker.
Mazda is being forced to stop selling the RX-8 model in Europe next year due to the car’s inability to meet new Euro-5 emissions standards. Adapting the unique rotary engine used in the RX-8 would be both too costly and time consuming considering the low volume sales of the car in Europe.
That being said, the RX-8 will then take at least a two year hiatus, as a successor isn’t planned to arrive until 2013. Mazda will also have to keep in mind that come 2014, new Euro-6 standards come into effect that make the old Euro-5 rules look like a Dickensian industrial revolution.
With the next-gen still far off, it’s not surprising that Mazda has yet to release any details on the new RX-8, but rumors have suggested anything from an upgrade to a more high-powered RX-7 successor, to a complete elimination.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via TTAC]