Impacts of world class vehicle efficiency and emissions regulations in select G20 countries

Download the document. See also a summary of the study in Environmental Leader.

In 2014, the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan prioritized the establishment of a Transport Task Group (TTG) to promote cooperation among participating G20 countries to develop domestic policies that improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of motor vehicles, particularly heavy-duty vehicles. Led by the United States, the TTG currently includes Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (with Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom also participating individually), India, Japan, Mexico, and Russia.

This briefing characterizes the climate and health benefits of adopting world-class standards for new vehicle efficiency/CO2 and conventional pollutant emissions in all members of the G20 TTG. We find that new world-class vehicle efficiency standards applied in all TTG members could mitigate direct emissions from fuel combustion by an additional 2.4 GtCO2 beyond the 2.0 GtCO2 estimated to be avoided in 2040 under existing adopted vehicle efficiency standards. This additional mitigation potential is evenly split between light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). The rate of growth in vehicle populations worldwide—coupled with their cost-effective CO2 mitigation potential (achievable with fuel savings)—indicates that policies to improve vehicle efficiency should be a core component of meeting countries’ climate targets, including INDCs.

For conventional pollutants, we find that implementing world-class emissions standards for LDVs and HDVs in the six TTG members that have not yet implemented these standards could reduce fine particle-related health impacts in these countries by two thirds and avoid 60,000 premature deaths in urban areas alone annually by 2030. Once world-class emissions standards are implemented across all G20 members, we estimate that nearly 90% of new LDVs and HDVs sold worldwide will meet the standards, compared to about only half of new vehicles sold today. These standards will result in additional climate co-benefits by reducing emissions of black carbon, a component of fine particle emissions.

The significant climate and health benefits demonstrated by this analysis bolster the rationale for G20 countries to continue improvements in new vehicle efficiency and lower conventional pollutant emissions from LDVs and HDVs. In particular, given that G20 members account for 90% of new vehicles sold in the world today (and more than 80% for TTG members), TTG members have considerable capacity to transform the global vehicle market and, ultimately, most of the vehicles on the road. The analysis also reinforces the importance of both light- and heavy-duty vehicles in securing future CO2 reductions from on-road vehicles.

Ford Water-Saving Technologies Reduced Usage by 13 Million Gallons

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Water-saving technologies at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, implemented toward the end of 2016, helped the facility reduce water usage by 13 million gallons last year, and the automaker expects to that number to be significantly higher in 2017 after a full year of use.

Ford implemented two projects at the plant last year: an increase in the re-use of water in the plant’s pre-treatment system and the addition of a cooling tower side-stream electrolysis (water softening) to remove calcium and magnesium.

Offices of Volkswagen and Audi Chiefs Searched in Raid, Warrant Says

Read the full story in the New York Times.

German officials included the offices of both Volkswagen’s chief executive and the head of the Audi division when they raided company premises last week as part of an investigation into emissions fraud, according to a copy of the search warrant.

The no-brainer case for saving fuel economy standards

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Strong fuel efficiency standards make Americans’ lives better.

They save people money at the pump and encourage automakers to innovate so they can compete in the global marketplace. They reduce U.S. reliance on gasoline, which makes the country more independent, while cutting pollution and improving air quality.

That’s why the government worked with the auto industry to set new fuel standards in 2010 that called for cars to average 27.5 miles per gallon in 2010, rising to more than 54.5 mpg by 2025. In fact, car manufacturers already have been able to achieve these standards and sell more cars.

It’s absolutely critical that the United States continues to reduce carbon pollution from the auto sector, which has become the biggest source of U.S. emissions today. Lowering these emissions is good for the climate and people’s health.

Yet, the Trump administration is on the verge of calling for a review of these standards. The bottom line is that rolling back vehicle fuel standards would take money from people’s wallets and leave them with dirtier air to breathe.

EPA decides not to weaken car efficiency rules

Read the full story in The Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won’t weaken the car fuel efficiency standards it set in 2012, despite pleas from the auto industry.

The EPA proposed Wednesday a formal finding that the standards should remain in place and do not need to be revised for the model years 2022 to 2025.

Administration Gives Electric Car Charging Grid A Boost

Read the full story from NPR.

Now, the Obama administration says it will significantly expand the nation’s infrastructure for electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation is establishing 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors. Those vehicle routes dotted with charging stations are intended to cover 25,000 miles of highway in 35 states.

It May Not Cost You More To Drive Home In A Climate-Friendly Car

Read the full story from NPR.

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle’s price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.

The cars and trucks we drive are responsible for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. That’s why Jessika Trancik, an energy scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, decided it was time to take a closer look at vehicle emissions.