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Volvo Kicks Diesel to the Curb for the 2019 S60 and all new models beyond

Volvo Kicks Diesel to the Curb for the 2019 S60 and all new models beyond

Apparently, this is about commitment

Apparently, Volvo thinks that axing its diesel engines is evidence of its “commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine.” Reading a line like that, you would think the lineup would be magically shifting electric-only propulsion, but that’s not the case. Starting with the 2019 Volvo S60, all new Volvos will only be offered as mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, or all-electric. So, despite that commitment, gasoline-powered engines still have a home at Volvo – they just need some kind of hybridization to piggyback on.

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FCA Facing Big Fines Over Diesel Emissions Cheating

FCA Facing Big Fines Over Diesel Emissions Cheating

Ram and Jeep’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is back on trial

A new stage has been reached with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ legal troubles over alleged cheating diesels. The U.S. Department of Justice has offered to settle its lawsuit against the automaker if FCA recalls 104,000 Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 for a software upgrade and to pay a “very substantial” fine that, according to the DOJ, “adequately reflects the seriousness of the conduct that led to the violations.”

While the fine amount has not been disclosed, it will likely be far less than Volkswagen’s massive $30 billion fine over its emission test-dodging diesels fitted in 580,000 vehicles in the U.S. Globally, Volkswagen’s turbodiesel issue affected some 11 million vehicles. Estimates made last year by Barclays Plc, Mediobanca SpA and Evercore ISI say FCA could be liable for between $460 million and more than $1 billion.

Unlike Volkswagen, FCA has denied any wrongdoing or conscious effort to cheat on emissions testing with its EcoDiesel V-6. The EPA is also not requesting FCA conduct a buy-back of the vehicles. The diesels in question were sold in 2014 to 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 pickups. The EPA denied FCA permission to sell 2017 model year vehicles with the EcoDiesel.

The EcoDiesel’s still has a future, though. FCA says its updated EcoDiesel will make more power and be available in future vehicles. The new engine is said to have increased horsepower from 240 to 260 and torque from 420 to 442 pound-feet. The engine will return to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, debut in the new Jeep Wrangler JL, and be available in the new 2019 Ram 1500.

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Volkswagen Asks For Trial Delay After Lawyer Mentions Monkey Gassing Scandal In Netflix Documentary

Volkswagen Asks For Trial Delay After Lawyer Mentions Monkey Gassing Scandal In Netflix Documentary

VW tries some legal maneuvering amid latest scandal

Late last month, it was revealed that Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler funded scientific studies to help promote the idea that modern diesel engines run cleaner than older diesels. It turned out the studies involved forcing monkeys to breathe diesel fumes in an airtight chamber, prompting one lawyer on the diesel owner’s side of the scandal to draw comparisons to Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Now, Volkswagen says the remarks could bias the jury in its latest Diesel Gate trial cases.

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London Poised To Enact New Ultra-Low Emissions Zone By 2021

London Poised To Enact New Ultra-Low Emissions Zone By 2021

The latest regulations were designed to help Londoners breathe easier, but could end up being a huge headache for motorists

In the ongoing effort to curb emissions amid growing concern over pollution and air quality, London is looking to enact expanded ultra-low emission zones (ULEZ) that will fine older-model vehicles to travel through the city. Some analysts estimate the move could force upwards of 1.6 million motorists into a more modern automobile, which is a huge shift in just three years’ time.

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VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study

VW, BMW, and Daimler Also Gas-Chambered Humans In Diesel Emission Study

The oil burner PR disaster worsens

Earlier this week, we covered a story posted by The New York Times that revealed the big three German automakers (BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen) had funded research on the effects of diesel emissions, including an experiment that involved locking a group of monkeys in an airtight chamber and forcing the animals to breathe fumes. Now, it’s looking like a similar experiment took place that involved humans.

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Volkswagen Suspends Chief Lobbyist, Attempts to Save Face Over Monkey Gassing

Volkswagen Suspends Chief Lobbyist, Attempts to Save Face Over Monkey Gassing

Another PR disaster for the German company

The Volkswagen Group is scrambling to salvage its public image amid reports that in 2014 the company funded research on diesel emissions that involved sealing monkeys in an airtight chamber pumped full of exhaust fumes. As a result, VW’s chief lobbyist, Thomas Steg, has taken a leave of absence.

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PSA Says GM Misled Them; Wants $700M Refund for Opel Deal

PSA Says GM Misled Them; Wants $700M Refund for Opel Deal

Reuters is reporting that PSA Group now wants GM to refund nearly half, or about $700 million of the $1.353 billion it paid to the U.S. Automaker last July for the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall. The report comes with claims that GM failed to disclose just how badly Opel and Vauxhall would miss hitting emissions targets set by the European Union for 2021 and beyond. PSA, which includes brands like Peugeot and Citroen, says it was misled and is owed this refund as the acquisition of brands that fall so far from 2021 emissions targets will cause it to incur significantly more fines than previously expected. GM claims that it provided “substantial information” and that “PSA undertook a robust due diligence process” that included “their employees, many experts, and lawyers.”

Want to know more? Keep reading to learn about the change to EU emissions rules in 2021 and what kind of fines PSA is looking at over the Opel and Vauxhall Acquisition.

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Is it Really Surprising that California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines?

Is it Really Surprising that California Wants to Ban Internal Combustion Engines?

Maybe we should have let them Secede from the nation…

So, once Donald Trump became president, California reminded us that it’s the home of the biggest bunch of crybabies on the planet and started screaming for secession from the United States. Of course, those of us who are informed know that California simply couldn’t survive on its own, but hey that’s just my opinion. The point is, the state has a habit of thinking it knows better (hence the emissions laws that are more strict than in the rest of the nation) and now, it’s looking to take things another step further by imposing a state-wide ban on the internal combustion engine. This, of course, comes after several other nations in the world have put out the word that they, too, will ban the ICE in coming years.

This move would put California on the same pedestal as the Netherlands, Norway, France, the U.K., India, and China, with the list to surely grow even more in the future. There’s no official word as to when any of these bans will be set in stone, but anytime between 2025 and 2040 is a good guess. This would, however, have a huge impact on automakers, and could force them to take the move to EVs even more seriously, as Cali is responsible for registering more vehicles than France in 2016 – that’s a lot of cars, folks. Members of CARB have gone on record saying that such a ban would be at least a decade out, so If you’re ready to tell California to bite you, you still have plenty of time to relocate. And, in fairness, electric cars have to be readily available and affordable to the everyday joe – otherwise, you’re leaving a lot of people without a legal mode of transportation. We used to bootleg booze… next, it’ll be gasoline.

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Owning an All-Electric Car in New York is About to Get Easier

Owning an All-Electric Car in New York is About to Get Easier

See? Democratic states aren’t all bad, right?

This country has a huge political divide, and for the most part, you’re either on the Republican side or the Democratic side. If you’re a Republication you probably support The Donald and enjoy your second amendment rights, while if you’re democratic, you’re still crying about Hillary’s loss, the travel ban (that’s right, it’s not a Muslim ban, folks), and you probably don’t want people to legally own guns in your city. Okay, so that’s an oversimplification, but in fairness, things have gone so haywire lately, it’s hard to know what any party represents. Back to the topic at hand, the highly democratic city of New York has just taken a major step to saving the environment, the lungs of New Yorkers, and to make it easier to own an electric car in one of the most traffic-congested cities in the country. How, you ask? Well, Mayor De Blasio, while taking a stab at president Trump’s view of climate change, has announced that New York will introduce some 1,000 public EV chargers by 2020.

These will come by means of 50 new public charging stations and a rather large check that will set the city back by a total of $10 million. Needless to say, being green isn’t easy, but in the end, I think we can all agree that this is a really good thing. Living in NYC isn’t for everyone, and it’s certainly not easy all of the time. It’s even harder if you want to drive an EV since you’ve got a better chance of scheduling a meeting with Kim Jong Un than you do finding a charger in the Big Apple. There’s a total of 16 public fast chargers as of the time of this writing, four of which are owned by Tesla at good ole JFK International next to hundreds of Level 2 “trickle” chargers that give you up to 70 miles of range per hour of charging – that’s going to go a long way in NYC, right?

The truth is that New York City is as busy as ever trying to up the number of EV registrations in the city to at least 20 percent by 2025. As of the end of 2016, there were a total of 2,162,329 vehicles registered, so by 2025, De Blasio wants at least 432,500 of them to be all-electric. That could go a hell of a long way to dropping emissions, improving air quality, and reducing the city’s consumption of that liquid gold we call gasoline. However, these public charging stations are a must, because right now, your best bet is to hijack power from a street light, assuming you can find a spot to park, or rent out a parking space in a garage and hope there’s a plug somewhere nearby. And, you can bet garage owners won’t be the first to jump at spending thousands to install charger ports either.

While I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of the politics that come out of NYC, I tip my hat to De Blasio in this regard, as the city needs some serious infrastructure changes to handle the growing abundance of EVs it’s aiming for by 2025.

What do you guys think? Will these 50 charging stations be enough to support nearly a half-million EVs in the next eight years, or will it not be enough? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Why The U.K.'s Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars Won't Save The Earth

Why The U.K.’s Ban on Petrol and Diesel Cars Won’t Save The Earth

As I’m sure many of you’ve heard, the U.K. wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by the year 2040. According to the British government, the proposed ban is supposed to lower air pollution and save the penguins or something. I’m sorry, but this is total nonsense. The fact of the matter is, switching from diesel and petrol-fueled vehicles will, at best, do nothing. It is true that electric cars are more efficient than petrol and diesel-fueled vehicles, and they produce fewer emissions post-production. But by switching from petrol and diesel cars to electric cars, you are relying more on the nation’s power grid.

The British government hasn’t released full year statistics regarding energy production and consumption since 2015, and as a result, these figures may or may not be totally accurate. These figures were taken from the 2016 press release of U.K. Energy Statistics for 2015 and Q4 2015 [1]. According to this document, the majority of energy produced in the U.K. comes from non-renewable resources. Natural gas seems to be the energy source of choice, accounting for the most electricity generated at 29.5 percent. Renewable energy sources account for 24.7 percent, nuclear for 20.8 percent, coal for 22.6 percent, and oil and other sources for 2.4 percent.

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Ferrari SUV to Arrive in 2020

Ferrari SUV to Arrive in 2020

Expected to help double profits

Rumors of Ferrari planning to build an SUV have been flying around for more than a decade now, and the general consensus is that a utility Prancing Horse is no longer a matter of "if," but "when." And that time is getting closer, with new reports from people familiar with the company’s plans claiming that the Ferrari SUV will get the green light by the end of 2018. Specifically, Sergio Marchionne wants to devise a new five-year plan for the brand until he retires in 2021 and the new strategy will include a four-seat "utility vehicle."

According to Bloomberg, Ferrari finally wants to move beyond its traditional supercar niche in an effort to double profits by 2022. Sounds like the kind of strategy we’ve seen from most automakers, including Maserati and Alfa Romeo, lately, right? Yes, but for Ferrari, things are a bit more complex. Adding an SUV means that the self-imposed limit of 10,000 vehicles produced per year will be exceeded and push Ferrari beyond its small vehicle maker status that protects it from some of the more severe fuel and emission rules. In return, Maranello will have to roll out more hybrids in order to keep its carbon footprint down.

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Maserati Is Going Hybrid in 2019

Maserati Is Going Hybrid in 2019

Bye-bye naturally aspirated, high-revving power!

Founded in late 2014, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles alliance isn’t doing particularly well, despite initial high hopes and what appeared to be a solid five-year production plan. With Jeep reported to do better than the entire group, FCA needs to act fast if it wants to keep up with the likes of GM, Toyota, and the Volkswagen Group or even avoid facing a second bankruptcy. Company CEO Sergio Marchionne is well aware of that and devised a new five-year plan that revolves around launching a host of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This is far from surprising, but interestingly enough, Marchionne wants Maserati to lead this offensive with full electrification from 2019 onward.

The Italian boss didn’t have much info to share, but it seems that the plan is for all Maserati vehicles launched in 2019 and beyond to plug-in hybrid or all-electric drivetrains. “When it completes the development of its next two models, it will effectively switch all of its portfolio to electrification," he told journalists. "As these products come up for renewal post 2019, it will start launching vehicles which are all-electric and which embody, I think, what will be considered state of the art technology." In addition to that, more than half the FCA fleet will be electrified in some way by 2022.

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Trump Moves To Pull Out From Paris Climate Accord; Elon Musk Quits Advisory Council

Trump Moves To Pull Out From Paris Climate Accord; Elon Musk Quits Advisory Council

Elon Musk quickly responded with an announcement that he is “departing presidential councils”

In a speech made from the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the international Paris Agreement to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, despite global pressure to remain part of the accord. “We’re getting out,” Trump stated, “and we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”

Joining the president to voice their support for the decision was Vice President Mike Pence and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Trump stated that the primary motivation behind the move was to help protect American businesses and citizens, as the deal unfairly disadvantaged the U.S., shipped American jobs overseas, and had less to do with lowering emissions and more to do with burdening the U.S. economy. Trump added that the U.S. would begin renegotiations to reenter to accord, or alternatively, reach an undefined “new transaction.”

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