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.
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.
Previously capped at 80 mph, the Texas House of Representatives approved a new transportation bill that will raise speed limits up to 85 mph in select areas and put an end to the night-time speed limit as well. Yee-haw!
Though exciting for driving enthusiasts (or anyone in a hurry), don’t pack your bags for the Lone Star State just yet. Texas engineers and traffic analysts must first make safety assessments before the state can swap for new signs. Only after a review on Interstate highways determining which will have its speed limit raised from 70 to 75 mph does the state review which can increase from 80 to 85 mph. Yes, the process does sound a bit lame but hopefully we will be rewarded for our patience.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the possibility of making keyless ignitions a mandatory item for cars, as a means of providing drivers with a way to shut off the engine quickly in case of emergencies.
NHTSA is also considering banning the devices altogether, and mandating the use of a physical key, since the public is already familiar with their workings – although it seems nonsensical in light of the all-or-nothing nature of their proposed regulation.
The Society of Automotive Engineers has already drawn up technical standards related to the keyless ignition systems, and these would be adopted by NHTSA should the push-start technology become mandatory. The main stipulation of the proposed rule would be a common method to shut off the engine, involving a multiple second push of the start button, or something similar.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Hyundai Sonata’s production delay due to the removal of an on-off switch for its sound emitting device looks like a smart move now that the federal government is looking to not only make the devices mandatory for hybrid and electric cars, but bar automakers from allowing drivers to cancel the systems via a dash mounted switch.
Since vehicles with electric propulsion systems are silent at idle, or when the electric drive is engaged, regulatory bodies fear that pedestrians are at risk if they are unable to hear the vehicles. With some hybrids able to operate at up to 62 mph before the gas engine engages, their fears may not be unfounded.
NHTSA expects a definitive ruling within the next three years, but in the mean time, don’t expect automakers to hedge their bets any time soon, with new hybrids and EVs likely featuring a mandatory chirp or other noise when they hit the market.
[Source: Automotive News]