Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘automotive’ Category

Older cars cause a disproportionate amount of smog and particulate pollution. If anything, California should be making the rules more strict on old cars, not relaxing them. But just in time for Earth Day, the California Senate Transportation Committee voted to move the smog exemption cut-off year from 1975 to 1980. This will exempt well over 100,000 cars from having to use any smog equipment in California:

A new bill proposed by California Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) that would change the California smog exemption year cutoff from 1975 to 1980 passed through the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing earlier this week. The next step for SB 1239 is to be approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The bill passed the first committee in a bipartisan vote of six votes for and five against.

If passed, the bill would exempt cars prior to the 1981 model year from California’s biennial smog-check inspections and would open the door for non-CARB (California Air Research Board) drivetrain modifications.

The deciding vote was cast by Senator Bob Wieckowski, a Bay Area Democrat who represents the 10th district in Alameda County. One of his 2014 campaign themes was to promote clean technology.

smog

Read Full Post »

“Excuse me! I have ze new cheat box! No one’s going to find out about this one! I’m just going to fix it now. No, no, no, Mr. Müller said it was okay, as long as no one finds out about it, so, could you just keep it quiet and it will be okay. Did you not get the memo?”

 

 

Read Full Post »

Japan National Police have released traffic fatality and injury data for 2015:

The number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in 2015 rose by four from the previous year to 4,117, up for the first time in 15 years, the National Police Agency said Monday.

An NPA official attributed the rise to the growing population of elderly people, who have a higher mortality rate in the event of an accident.

The data mean that the government failed to achieve its target of reducing the annual traffic death toll to 3,000 or less by 2015, which was set under the basic plan for traffic safety covering fiscal 2011 to 2015.

Even though they did not reach their goal, the progress is still quite impressive. Imagine if the US had achieved this kind of reduction:

japan

Read Full Post »

Hope you’re enjoying your Volkswagens London:

London has already breached annual pollution limits just one week into 2016, and only weeks after the government published its plans to clean up the UK’s air.

At 7am on Friday, Putney High Street in West London breached annual limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas produced by diesel vehicles that has been linked to respiratory and heart problems.

Under EU rules, sites are only allowed to breach hourly limits of 200 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air 18 times in a year, but this morning Putney broke that limit for the 19th time. Chelsea and Kensington is expected to do the same later today.

Attention on the harm caused to human health by NO2 came to the fore last year when it was revealed that VW had cheated NO2 emissions tests in the US, with the scandal affecting 1.2m diesel cars in the UK. Next week, VW UK bosses will be quizzed by MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee on diesel pollution and what they are doing to make cleaner cars.

vw_billboard

Read Full Post »

While Volkswagen is sticking to their story that Dieselgate was merely the work of a few “rogue” engineers, analysis of the ECU code suggests otherwise. In this presentation from a Chaos Computer Club conference, a hacker does a walk-through of the ECU defeat code. The defeat code was sophisticated, and clearly required the support of an entire organization.

Someone better go to jail for this.

(If you are impatient, you can skip ahead to 56:00 to see the Smoking Gun.)

 

Read Full Post »

Hoaxwagen

If dieselgate were a Hollywood movie, there would be scenes of police raiding the corporate headquarters and hauling off evidence. Managers and CEO’s would be brought in for questioning. Real life isn’t anything like that — the corporation gets to investigate itself:

While the internal audits will be finished by the end of this month, the law firm Jones Day is doing its own independent investigation going through emails and 102 TB of data partly gained from the laptops, mobile phones, sim cards and flash drives of 400 VW employees who may or may not be involved. So far, they’ve completed 87 interviews and 9 managers got suspended, but it’ll be a while until VW’s 450 investigators build the case and find out exactly who were responsible at each level of the decision making process.

Shouldn’t those laptops and flash drives be in the hands of prosecutors?

And so far, the company is sticking to its story that this was a just very tiny group of engineers that went rogue. Interesting how they can already come to that conclusion when the “investigation” has barely started…

Read Full Post »

The fossil fuel industry receives a whopping $20 billion subsidy annually, in the form of tax breaks and royalty relief. That is according to a new report, G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production, published by the group Oil Change International:

The federal subsidies to fossil fuel producers represent an increase of 35% over levels when President Obama took office in 2009, in spite of calls to remove several major subsidies in every budget that the Obama administration has sent to Congress. This uptick in subsidies reflects the substantial increase in oil and gas producing activities in the US during that time. The vast majority of US national and state subsidies, by both volume and number of subsidies, come in the form of tax breaks and royalty relief, rather than direct spending. Tax and royalty exemptions for oil and gas producers are among the largest federal subsidies for fossil fuel production in the United States.

Alex Doukas, the study co-author, notes that tax breaks are largely to compensate for the cost of new oil and gas exploration: “We’re subsidizing companies to search for new fossil fuel reserves at time when we know that three-quarters of the proven reserves have to stay in the ground if we hope to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 90 other followers