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A Tesla fan is petitioning the White House stop requiring cars to be sold through third-party dealers.
Gasoline producers and automakers are at odds over fuel only this time it’s about sulfur levels instead of ethanol content.
The controversial London (UK) Emissions Zone strikes again, this time with more stringent smog rules due to come into effect on January 3rd, 2012.
These new regs will require that all heavy goods vehicles (essentially large trucks, buses and other specialist vehicles like mobile cranes) entering London be Euro 4 emissions compliant, otherwise their operators will face fines of £1,000 (around $1,600) or a daily charge of £200 (roughly $300).
For drivers of smaller commercial vehicles, such as light delivery vans like Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinters, their vehicles will have to meet Euro 3 emissions requirements or risk fines of £500 (approximately $800) or a daily charge of £100 ($160).
However, for small businesses and independent tradespeople operating within the city limits of London, the new regs are yet another fly in the ointment, as they eliminate the ability to operate older vans (those more than 10 years old), without facing hefty fines. To make matters worse, officials are taking a hardline stance on the issue.
“The penalties are such that non-compliance is simply not an option,” said Natalie Chapman, head of the UK Freight Transport Association’s Policy for London.
Given that so far, London’s Low Emissions Zone has had a marginal effect on reducing pollution in the city, putting added strain on the shoulders of small businesses, especially at a time of economic austerity in Britain, is hardly sound thinking when it comes to government policy.
There’s no question that the US Federal government’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have drawn a lot of fire and widespread opposition from automakers, especially as the Obama administration is now pushing for a 56 miles per gallon fleet average target by 2025.
In particular, General Motors and Chrysler, still on the road to recovery after receiving Government assistance in 2008-09 have expressed dismay at the proposed standards, since large trucks and SUVs, which will find the regulations tougher to meet, still represent a sizeable portion of their profits.
As a result, in an effort to win support for it’s fuel economy plan, the Obama administration is considering proposals that would loosen the requirements for large trucks and SUVs, giving automakers, namely the Detroit three, a larger window with which to comply with the new regulations.
This would mean an improvement of 3.5 mpg per year, instead of the 5 mpg increments required by passenger cars and smaller trucks and SUVs.
Import automakers, whose product portofolios tend to focus more on smaller cars and SUVs, claim these changes would give their Detroit rivals an unfair advantage, citing that such proposals would ultimately defeat the objective of the proposed CAFE requirements.
This isn’t first time this year the Feds have backed off on proposed fuel economy standards. Originally ,the mandate for 2025 was a 60 miles per gallon fleet average, though widespread opposition reduced it to the current 56 mpg proposal.
[Source: Automotive News]