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Greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2009 October 22, 2004 9:40 PM

ARB Approves Greenhouse Gas Rule http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr092404.htm California’s effort is the first in the country to regulate motor vehicles for their contributions to global climate change. Seven other states including New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine are also considering following California’s lead, having already adopted California’s tighter tailpipe standards for smog. New York Governor Pataki and Massachusetts Governor Romney have both announced their support for adopting the regulation in their own states. Across the border, Canada is considering adopting the historic standards as well. SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved a landmark regulation that requires automakers to begin selling vehicles with reduced greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2009. ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd said, "This landmark decision sets a course for California that is likely to be copied throughout the US and other countries. Because of its forward-thinking approach, the ARB has established itself as the world leader in setting motor vehicle pollution control standards. Those standards have led to automotive technologies that dominate the way cars are built today and have significantly cut air pollution's public health risk. This regulation will have the same impact." The regulation, which the ARB adopted after a marathon public hearing, results from legislation by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and passed in 2002. The historic regulation sets limits on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released from new passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in California starting in model year 2009. The new regulation is based on a state of the art assessment of the various technologies and fuels that can reduce motor vehicle global warming pollutants. According to ARB staff, the average reduction of greenhouse gases from new California cars and light trucks will be about 22 percent in 2012 and about 30 percent in 2016, compared to today's vehicles. Costs for the added technology needed to meet the rule are expected to average about $325 per vehicle in 2012 and about $1050 per vehicle to comply in 2016. The ARB staff analysis concludes that the new rule will result in savings for vehicle buyers by lowering operating expenses that will more than offset the added costs of the new vehicles and provide an overall cost savings to consumers. The adoption of this rule makes California the nation's only state that has regulated motor vehicles for their contributions to global climate change. At least seven other states including New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, as well as the nation of Canada, are expected to consider adopting the regulation for their use. If all of those states and Canada adopt the rule, the number of cars required to meet the rule will triple. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions the regulation is also expected to cut ozone-forming pollution by about five tons per day (TPD) by 2020. The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards. The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our web site at http://www.arb.ca.gov ##### The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards. The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our web site at http://www.arb.ca.gov  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Why We Need More Fuel-Efficient Vehicles October 22, 2004 9:51 PM

Improving the fuel economy of vehicles promotes energy independence, cleaner air and U.S. job security. Consumers who purchase fuel-efficient vehicles not only support a healthier environment but also support American jobs. Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence By reducing the amount of oil needed to fuel their vehicles, consumers have the potential to reduce the U.S.'s dependence on foreign oil. Over half of the nearly 20 million barrels of oil that the U.S. burns each day comes from other countries, including 500,000 barrels per day from Iraq and 1.5 million per day from Saudi Arabia. About 8 million barrels per day (40%) of oil consumed in the U.S. goes to fuel cars and trucks. U.S. oil consumption costs U.S. drivers $186 billion per day. By 2020, dependence on foreign imports is expected to grow by more than 60%. The U.S. consumes more fuel from its automobiles than the total oil consumption of any other country except China, Russia and Japan. Improve Job Security and Create Jobs This year more than 75,000 foreign-made hybrid cars will be sold in the U.S., double the number sold in 2003. It is time for the U.S. automakers to enter this growing market. Foreign countries, so far, have invested more than the U.S. in the future of their auto industries and have provided more incentives for the production and purchase of fuel efficient technologies. U.S. automakers must develop a leadership position in fuel-efficient technologies in order to stay competitive with international automakers and retain U.S. jobs. Investing in advanced vehicle technologies has added jobs to many manufacturing sites, including 700 jobs in Kentucky and Illinois. Investing in advanced vehicle technologies has also preserved jobs at manufacturing sites, including more than 2800 jobs at sites in New York, Ohio and Michigan. Curb Climate Change By buying fuel-efficient vehicles today, consumers can begin reducing global warming gas emissions and can help to minimize the effects of global warming. About 27% of all global warming gas emissions in the U.S. come from transportation. This is the second largest source of global warming gas emissions in the U.S., the largest source being energy generation. One third of all global warming gases produced worldwide result from transportation. Most of these global warming gases will remain in the environment for 100 years and contribute to unalterable changes to the earthís climate system. The temperature of the earth's surface is expected to rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2100 if emissions of global warming gases are not reduced. By 2050, U.S. transportation will be double what it is today if nothing is done to reduce it. Hydrogen Powered Fuel Cell Vehicles Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have been promoted as one way to dramatically increase fuel economy and eliminate emissions, and a number of vehicle research and demonstration programs are now underway. However, most experts agree that hybrid-electric and other advanced conventional technologies will play the most important role in the near-term to improve fuel-economy. In fact, focusing too much on fuel cells could put automakers behind their competitors, leading to the loss of U.S. jobs. Consider that: Major obstacles still exist on the road to fuel cell vehicle production, including the high cost of fuel cells, and building an adequate infrastructure for the production, distribution and storage of hydrogen. It is likely to take the automotive and energy industries another 10 to 20 years to overcome these obstacles. Hydrogen does not exist in nature in concentrated amounts, thus it must be produced. Hydrogen is currently made from natural gas through a process that gives off emissions. These emissions could cancel out the positive environmental benefits of fuel cell vehicles. Many hybrid-electric technologies, including batteries, generators and regenerative brakes, will also be used in fuel cell vehicles. Companies that gain experience with these technologies now will likely fair better in the development and production of fuel cell vehicles. Waiting 10 to 20 years to reduce fuel consumption is too long. While Americans wait, emissions will increase the severity, expense and likelihood of irreversible damage to the environment and economy. http://www.greenmachinestour.org/factswhy.shtml  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
POLICIES TO STIMULATE INVESTMENT IN ADVANCED FUEL-EFFICIENT TECHNOLOGIES October 22, 2004 9:52 PM

Ensuring continued investments in new fuel-efficient technologies here in the U.S. will require new policies that provide incentives for both the manufacture and purchase of advanced technology vehicles. MANUFACTURER TAX INCENTIVES Incentives that encourage increased investments in the manufacture and advanced fuel-efficient technologies could help to accelerate the introduction of fuel-efficient vehicles into the marketplace, while building capacity for the production of these technologies here in the U.S. Such incentives would help to preserve and expand U.S. employment in unionized workplaces as the market for these technologies grows. The Transportation Working Group of the Energy Futures Coalition, a broad-based group that included environmental groups, auto companies, and the UAW recommends enactment of a "Facility Conversion Credit." A facility conversion credit would provide tax credits to existing manufacturing facilities that make capital investments in equipment or facility expansions for the production of fuel-efficient advanced technology vehicles or the advanced technology components. The amount of the credit would take into account the capital investment related to the production of the advanced technologies, as well as the performance of the vehicles (or components) in helping to increase vehicle fuel economy. Conversion credits would help to sustain the existing jobs and tax base, as well as minimize dislocation and infrastructure costs from shifting vehicle production elsewhere. NEW APOLLO PROJECT A similar approach is the Apollo Alliance's vision for a "New Apollo Project" to create good jobs and energy independence. Named after President Kennedy's space program to put a man on the moon, the Alliance calls for a ten-year program of strategic investment in clean energy technology and new infrastructure. Such a plan would help to position the U.S. to take the lead in fast-growing markets, while reducing dependence on foreign oil and cleaning the air. The Apollo Alliance's Plan: Has been endorsed by more than 17 of America's largest labor unions, including the UAW, United Steel Workers, and the AFL-CIO, as well as a broad cross-section of the environmental movement. Calls for $300 billion in federal spending over the next 10 years to create 3.3 million new high-wage jobs and achieve energy independence. Would pay for itself in energy savings and returns to the U.S. Treasury, as well as dramatically reduce the trade deficit. CONSUMER AND FLEET PURCHASING INCENTIVES Other policies to spur the development of fuel-efficient technologies include a range of incentives for the purchase of advanced vehicles. Such incentives help to accelerate the market penetration of these vehicles by helping to "buy-down" the initial costs of new technologies in the early years of production and marketing in order to make the costs to consumers comparable to traditional vehicles. They may also help to offset early buyers' concerns that they are investing in new technologies with uncertain long-term or residual value. The Energy Future Coalition has also endorsed a "Consumer Tax Incentive" and other "Fleet Purchase Programs" to help stimulate early demand for advanced vehicles in the U.S. automobile market. A consumer tax credit would provide consumers with a credit toward the purchase of a hybrid or other advanced technology, and be scaled based on the degree of improvement in fuel economy provided compared to current vehicles. Federal, county and state government fleet purchasing requirements should also encourage the purchase of advanced technology vehicles with the highest environmental benefits, helping to jump-start the marketplace and demonstrate these technologies to a wide range of consumers. NEW PARTNERSHIPS NEEDED Other countries, so far, appear to have done a better job at providing a range of manufacturer and consumer incentives, thus giving their auto industries a head start in the production of hybrid and other advanced technology vehicles. By adopting similar policies here in the U.S., state and federal governments can help to ensure that our domestic auto industry remains strong, while also providing leadership in reducing our reliance on foreign oil and cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. New partnerships between labor, environmental organizations, and the auto industry are now needed to help advocate for increased investments in these new technologies  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
FORD ESCAPE HYBRID October 22, 2004 9:53 PM

The Escape Hybrid is the first U.S.-made hybrid and the first hybrid SUV sold in the U.S. It combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor and battery, and employs several other advanced technologies to provide improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and a variety of benefits to Missouri's economy and large automotive manufacturing base. JOBS AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS The automotive industry plays a key role in Missouri's manufacturing sector. The Escape Hybrid will ensure that Missouri's manufacturing sector stays competitive. The Escape Hybrid is being produced at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The Escape Hybrid is being produced at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. The plant employs over 5,600 UAW members. Annual payroll of the plant is over $430 million. The addition of the new Escape Hybrid will help retain and add to the current employment base. Eleven percent of Missouri's manufacturing employment is in the automotive segment, more than any other segment in the state. Missouri has the sixth highest level of auto industry related employment in the nation with more than 37,000 employed by the industry. Ford recently decided to transfer additional production of the Escape, the Mercury Mariner and Mariner Hybrid to the Claycomo plant from its sister plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, ensuring a strong future for the Claycomo plant. CONSUMER AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS The Escape Hybrid's improved fuel economy and reduced emissions make it one of the cleanest vehicles on the U.S. market, providing many benefits to the environment, consumers and general public health. FUEL ECONOMY The Escape Hybrid achieves over 32 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a near 50% fuel economy improvement over the average compact SUV. This means nearly 500 miles per tank of gas, compared to only 330 miles on other compact SUVs. For the consumer this means not only less money spent on fuel, but also less time spent at gas stations. GLOBAL WARMING GAS EMISSIONS Greenhouse gases that are produced during the combustion of gasoline in a vehicle's engine contribute to global warming. Global warming could raise the temperature of the earth's surface by up to 10 degrees by 2100, causing major disruptions to the earth's climate systems and irreversible damage to human health and the environment. The average compact SUV sold in the U.S. emits 6.0 tons of greenhouse gases annually during engine operation. By comparison, the Escape Hybrid will produce only 4.1 tons annually, a 30% improvement over other compact SUVs. SMOG FORMING EMISSIONS According to the EPA, the largest U.S. source of urban smog is mobile vehicles, including passenger cars and trucks. The Escape Hybrid has significantly less smog-forming emissions than other cars and SUVs and is certified to the Advanced Technology Ð Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standard. This is the strictest emission standard for gasoline vehicles used in the state of California. To be certified under this classification, a vehicle must be a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) with zero evaporative emissions and must carry a 15-year/150,000 mile warranty on emissions equipment. Vehicles with this stringent emission level produce 90-percent fewer smog-forming engine emissions than the average new vehicle. THE FUTURE FOR U.S. HYBRIDS With consumer interest in hybrid vehicles on the rise, the future for U.S.-made hybrids looks promising. Foreign manufacturers in the U.S. sold over 43,000 hybrids in 2003, and are expected to nearly double that to more than 70,000 in 2004. The Escape Hybrid will provide consumers the first opportunity to purchase a U.S.-made hybrid or a hybrid SUV. Ford plans to produce 20,000 Escape Hybrids next year at the Claycomo plant. It is expected that U.S. sales of hybrid vehicles could reach 350,000 units by 2008, meaning increased production volumes in coming years.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Hybrids and Other Advanced Fuel Efficient Vehicle Technologies October 22, 2004 9:56 PM

Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Technologies Hybrid-electric vehicles come in different configurations, but all have power trains that combine a traditional internal combustion engine with an electric motor and battery. All hybrids use regenerative braking to recover energy for the battery, and often employ other advanced conventional technologies such as efficient engines and advanced transmissions. Full hybrids usually draw 25 to 50% of their peak power from their electric motor and are capable of electric-only driving. They utilize a variety of technologies and can improve fuel economy by more than 50% over conventional vehicles. Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrids GM/Allison Hybrid Electric Drive System Mild hybrids usually draw 15 to 25% of their peak power from their electric motor and are not capable of electric-only driving. They generally use an integrated starter-generator system that saves fuel by allowing the engine to shut down during idle and coasting. They usually have a 10 to 20% fuel economy improvement over conventional vehicles. GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado Dodge Ram Contractor Special Saturn Vue and Saturn Ion Coupe Chevrolet Malibu Advanced Conventional Technologies When compared to technologies like hybrid vehicles, advanced conventional technologies may appear to achieve only a modest fuel economy improvement. However, because of their high production volumes, these advanced conventional technologies have the potential to make a significant improvement on U.S. fuel economy. Advanced Engines Variable valve timing (VVT) allows engines to vary the timing of their intake and exhaust valves, which improves efficiency and performance, reduces emissions and increases fuel economy by 4 to 8%. Pontiac Vibe Cadillac CTS, SRX and STS Cadillac XLR Ford F-150 Chevrolet Cobalt GM's Vortec Engine with VVT GM's Northstar Engine with VVT GM's Ecotec Engine with VVT Ford's Modular V-8 Engine with VVT Ford's Duratec 35 Engine with VVT Cylinder deactivation allows engines to shut down some of their cylinders when they are not needed during normal driving conditions, improving engine efficiency and fuel economy by 8 to 20%. Jeep Grand Cherokee GMC Envoy and Chevrolet Trailblazer GM's Vortec 5300 Engine GM's V-6 Engine with Cylinder Deactivation Advanced Transmissions Automatic five and six-speed transmissions have five or six possible gear ratios instead of the conventional four. This allows for more efficiency during driving cycles, smoother acceleration, and a 4 to 8% increase in fuel economy. Jeep Grand Cherokee Ford Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mercury Montego DaimlerChrysler's Five-Speed Automatic Ford's Five Speed Automatic GM's Six-Speed Automatic Ford's Six-Speed Automatic Ford/GM Six Speed Automatic Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) use a belt or chain pulley system instead of gears, allowing the transmission to apply to the most efficient ratio during every driving situation. They provide smoother acceleration and a 6 to 11% increase in fuel economy over a four-speed. Ford Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mercury Montego Saturn Vue and Saturn Ion Coupe Ford's Continuously Variable Transmission Vehicle Load Reductions Lightweight materials can reduce vehicle weight without sacrificing safety or durability. They include aluminum, plastic, magnesium, carbon fiber and metal matrix composites. Every 10% of weight eliminated from a vehicle's total weight improves fuel economy by approximately 7%. Electric power steering systems run off power from a battery instead of the engine, thereby reducing engine load and improving fuel economy by up to 4%. Chevrolet Malibu Saturn Vue and Saturn Ion Coupe Delphi's Electric Power Steering System Advanced Emission Controls Partial zero emission vehicles (PZEVs) achieve California's highest emission standard for gasoline vehicles by utilizing a combination of advanced technologies, including advanced fuel injectors, engine controllers, and catalysts that reduce start-up emissions and catch other pollutants. Ford Focus PZEV Clean diesels utilize a combination of advanced engine technology, emission control technology and cleaner-burning diesel fuel to achieve the same emissions as standard gasoline vehicles. Although no current diesel vehicles achieve this, research continues and looks promising for future applications. Diesel vehicles get 20 to 35% higher fuel economy than gasoline vehicles but produce more harmful emissions. In 2007, the US government will mandate a nation-wide switch to low-sulfur fuel; this switch will help to improve the emissions of diesel vehicles. http://www.greenmachinestour.org/tech.shtml  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
But they left out a lot October 26, 2004 7:28 PM

The link to Green Machines is interesting but quite biased. The headline reads "Fuel-efficient vehicles - union-made in the USA". That leaves out most of the best models on the market, and most of the worthwhile innovation worldwide.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Lets not forget the biodeisel October 27, 2004 2:52 PM

another great alternative.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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