EPA and California Allege Volkswagen Diesels Willfully Circumvented Clean Air Act

EPA and California Allege Volkswagen Diesels Willfully Circumvented Clean Air Act Today the U.S. EPA said it is handing a notice of violation (NOV) to VW and Audi alleging deliberate dodging of emission testing for certain air pollutants.
The NOV alleges nearly half a million four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software in a “defeat device” that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. The EPA says cheating software lets cars seem to meet emissions standards while being tested, but they emit 40 percent more nitrogen oxides while pouring.
The vehicles may need to be recalled in a PR crisis now unfolding for the German automaker.
EPA is stating it made clear and conscious violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the NOV was issued collectively to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Assemble of America.
Separately, California is issuing an In-Use Compliance letter to Volkswagen, and EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have both initiated investigations based on Volkswagen’s alleged actions. 

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Supporter Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Pledge. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

The EPA says “it is incumbent” on Volkswagen to initiate a recall fix for all the affected cars, although these vehicles it notes are safe to drive and do not present a safety hazard at this time. Read more

Tesla Model S 85D Driven 550+ Miles On A Single Charge

Tesla Model S 85D Driven 550+ Miles On A Single Charge A Tesla owner has documented a journey of more than 550 miles in a Tesla Model S 85D.
The first announcement came via Twitter, with a photo of Casey Spencer’s dash en route screening that it had been 503.3 miles since the sedan was last exciting.
Screenshot via Twitter
The tweet was followed up by a more detailed explanation on Teslarati the following day, accompanied by a second photo screening Spencer’s final distance of 550.3 miles.
According to the EPA, this version of the Model S (which includes an electric motor for each axle and an 85 kilowatt-hours lithium-ion battery) has only a range of 270 miles.
It’s vital to note that Spencer did not push the Tesla 280 miles beyond its rated range by pouring in average conditions. He carefully selected his route, taking advantage of a long downhill stretch, miles of mostly flat terrain and a tail wind for the latter part. Spencer additional reduced rolling resistance by rising tire pressure to 50 psi. Read more

Tesla Model X Gets Slight Range Increase

Tesla Model X Gets Slight Range Increase Tesla’s Model X due to start deliveries Sept 29 is now apparently estimated to travel 250 miles on a charge instead of 240.
This is for the leading 90-kilowatt-hour battery version, and the increase was learned by customers first in line to get the hugely pre-ordered electric crossover.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Invites First Buyers To Configure Their Model X
First reports were on the Tesla Motors Club forums by buyers who’d been invited to configure the car on the Tesla Design Studio. The studio estimated 240 miles, and now it has inexplicably been changed to 250 miles.
Tesla fans are speculating on why this may be, but it’s unclear at this writing. Read more

Canadians Will Get Next-Gen Volt Ahead of 39 US States

Canadians Will Get Next-Gen Volt Ahead of 39 US States The next-generation Chevy Volt may be built exclusively in Detroit, but GM will truck newly minted examples aptly past proximal Chevy dealers for Canadian deliveries before Michigan and 38 other U.S. states are able to buy it.
The reason for this is unclear, but a Chevy spokesperson has tweeted most of Canada may receive the 2016 Volt by November or December, near the time formerly estimated that 39 states that do not follow California emissions rules would as well.
SEE ALSO: Chevrolet To Delay Volt Production To Next Spring as 2017 Model Year For 39 States
As we reported last week, Chevrolet changed plans for those 39 states SO that they would instead receive a 2017 model Volt next spring while retaining plans for California and 10 states following its emissions rules to receive the 2016 model this fall.
The states in addition to California that will get the Volt are Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts
According to GM Authority, GM has not otherwise revealed a reason for the unusual go. Normally Canada has lagged behind the U.S. in receiving internally produced cars.
The news also adds questions to an explanation given to us by Chevrolet media rep Michele Malcho who said the automaker wants to get deliveries spot on in the largest U.S. markets before moving to other states, including those in which the Volt is not as hot an item.
As a nation, Canada normally buys one-tenth the quantity of cars the U.S. does.
What other considerations are being weighed are unclear but last week, Malcho said Chevrolet rethought its U.S. distribution plot based on past encounter with the first-generation Volt in 2011.
The hope this time, she said, is to avoid frustrations, and ensure a smoother roll-out nationwide. The staged roll-out the first time around saw spotty allocations, customers and dealers wondering when they’d get their cars, and other issues.
“It was a learning encounter, let’s place it that way,” said Malcho, and Chevrolet this time wants to focus on its key markets.
California alone in 2014 accounted for 50 percent of all plug-in electrified vehicle sales, and it has been the Volt’s core market. Other ZEV states as well are stronger, say, than Wyoming for example.
So, Malcho said Chevrolet will get the Volt to these core states, then focus on the 2017 model for them and the rest of the nation next spring.
“We’re going to do it really well in these 10 states then go on,” she said of 10 ZEV states plus California.
This also will give Chevrolet time to do more thorough dealer training in the states where the Volt does not now sell as strongly, she said.
If we learn more, we will update this.

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Mercedes-Benz Confirms a Tesla Fighter Is in the Works

Mercedes-Benz Confirms a Tesla Fighter Is in the Works Mercedes-Benz has confirmed its plans to develop an electric vehicle to compete with Tesla.
Speaking to Automotive News at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Daimler AG board limb in charge of assemble research and Mercedes-Benz car development Thomas Weber, confirmed the German automaker will start selling an electric vehicle with a range of 250 to 310 miles within a few years, possibly in 2018. Weber added that the new model won’t be designed to compete with its existing EV offerings that include the Smart ForTwo, Mercedes B-Class and Mercedes-AMG SLS. “It’s something different,” he said. “It’s unique; it’s emotional. Wait and see.”
SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz Concept Plug-In Hybrid Transforms To Reduce Drag
Expect the new Mercedes EV to be larger in size compared to current models in the German automaker’s lineup so that it can accommodate the battery pack de rigueur for a 250- to 310-mile range. The company is now showcasing the Concept IAA at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, giving a glimpse into its developments on aerodynamics. The Concept IAA will likely play a major influence to the EV’s design, considering how vital aerodynamics are in helping maximize pouring range.
Several luxury automakers, particularly in Germany, are developing EVs to compete with Tesla’s Model S and the upcoming Model X. At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi previewed its Model X fighter with the e-tron quattro concept, while Porsche debuted its future Model S fighter with the Mission E concept.
Automotive News
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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Toyota’s C-HR Concept Will Become New Hybrid SUV

Toyota’s C-HR Concept Will Become New Hybrid SUV If Toyota’s unveiling of the C-HR Concept in Frankfurt feels repetitive, that’s because it is.
This week, Toyota showed its second rendition of the C-HR Concept; the first debuted at the Paris auto show in 2014. Following its original presentation, designers took feedback from the public to make some changes, which culminated in the compact crossover seen in Frankfurt.
Toyota also announced that the C-HR has been confirmed for production. Read more

Mercedes-Benz Concept Plug-In Hybrid Transforms To Reduce Drag

Mercedes-Benz Concept Plug-In Hybrid Transforms To Reduce Drag At the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new concept plug-in hybrid that emphasizes aerodynamics.
Concept IAA, small for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile, has the skill to alter its exterior to improve the flow of air over the four-door sedan which foreshadows in dimensions and profile the third-generation CLS expected in 2017.
Mercedes-Benz “Concept IAA”
The for this design study change from one mode to the other can be activated by the driver, or is switched on its own when the car reaches 80 km/h (49.7 mph).
“The study … switches automatically from design mode to aerodynamic mode when the vehicle reaches a speed of 80 km/h, whereby numerous aerodynamics measures alter the shape of the vehicle,” Mercedes said.
As it transforms in motion, the Concept IAA extends a segmented tail from the rear fascia, pushes the adjoin bumper forward and alters the shape of its active rims. In its aerodynamic form, the Concept IAA becomes 390 millimeters (15.4 inches) longer. Read more

Is Google Moving Towards Mass Producing Autonomous Cars?

Is Google Moving Towards Mass Producing Autonomous Cars? It appears that Google may be moving beyond the research phase of its self-pouring cars, ramping up production for possible retail sale in the future.
For the past six years Google has been testing autonomous vehicle technology. Then, in 2014, the company released its own vehicle: a compact self-pouring car with no steering wheel or pedals, built from the ground up. And the tech company continues to expand its autonomous patents – last month it added a pothole detection system to the list.
Through it all, analysts have wondered what the end game was for Google. Is the company developing systems to sell to other carmakers, or is Google taking steps towards building vehicles itself?
Sarah Hunter, head of policy for GoogleX, revealed this week that the company might now be leaning towards mass production for its battery electric car.
“We’re … making a few hundred of them. We’re making them to enable our team to learn how to really build a self-pouring vehicle from the ground up,” Hunter told an audience Thursday at the California Public Utilities Commission.
A production run of a few hundred marks an increase over the 100 vehicles Google said it would build by the end of this year.
Hunter also noted that Google’s car is still in the prototype phase, with components such as the powertrain still under discussion.
SEE ALSO: Berkeley Study: Driverless Taxis Maximize Benefits Of Autonomous EVs
“A model where we manufacture cars for sale will require the same sort of electric vehicle charging that exists today,” said Hunter. “Our prototype vehicles are fully electric. That’s not to say the eventual vehicle we mass manufacture won’t be a hybrid.”
Another possible direction for Google is to branch into a taxi service with its self-pouring cars.
“We haven’t chose yet how we’re going to bring this to market,” Hunter said. “Aptly now, our engineers are trying to figure out … how to make a car genuinely drive itself. Once we figure that out, we’ll figure out how to bring it to market and in which way. Is it something that we manufacture at scale for sale to individuals? Or is it something that we own and operate as a service?”
Either way, these comments suggest that Google wants to maintain ownership and control over its vehicles, and not sell the technology to another carmaker.
 
The Guardian

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