The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the "clean air agency" in the government of California. Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency. California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency, since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own.The stated goals of CARB include attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; protecting the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants; and providing innovative approaches for complying with air pollution rules and regulations.The governing board is made up of eleven members appointed by the state's governor. Half of the appointees are experts in professional and science fields such as medicine, chemistry, physics, meteorology, engineering, business, and law. Others represent the pollution control agencies of regional districts within California - Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay area, San Diego, the San Joaquin Valley, and other districts. Wikipedia.
News Article | May 24, 2017
Emission scenarios for the years 2015–2040 address LDVs (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) and HDVs (buses and light, medium and heavy heavy-duty trucks) and are driven by assumptions of when individual countries/regions will adopt more stringent emission regulations. They exclude vehicles powered by gasoline or other non-diesel fuels and non-road diesel engines (such as locomotive, marine and off-road equipment, including diesel generators, construction and agricultural equipment). The emission scenarios (together with analysis year) for health, climate and agricultural impacts are as follows: Emission limits 2015 and 2040. This scenario is theoretical where real-world NO emissions are equivalent to certification limits, reflecting what diesel NO emissions would be without an ‘excess NO ’ problem. Baseline 2015 and 2040. This scenario is the best estimate of how currently adopted NO emission standards perform in the real world. Comparison with the ‘Emission limits 2015 and 2040’ scenario above allows us to estimate ‘excess NO ’ emissions and associated impacts. Euro 6/VI 2040. This scenario adds to the Baseline scenario emissions standards for LDVs and HDVs equivalent to current Euro 6/VI (without modifications to existing type approval and compliance and enforcement provisions) in regions where these are not yet adopted (Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia). Strong RDE programme for LDVs 2040. This scenario adds to the Euro 6/VI scenario strong diesel LDV RDE programmes, modelled after the EU-28’s adopted RDE regulation plus the inclusion of cold-start emissions, in-use compliance testing, and expanded test procedure boundaries covering a wider range of ambient temperatures, altitudes and driving styles. Next Generation (NextGen) 2040. This scenario adds to the Strong RDE scenario progressive implementation of next-generation emissions standards (more stringent than Euro 6/VI) based on the US Tier 3 standard for LDVs and California’s voluntary NO rule for HDVs. We generate emission inventories for 11 major vehicle markets by combining NO emission factors with dates of implemented vehicle regulations, extensive historical data on diesel vehicle activity, sales and population, and vehicle activity projections through to 2040. We adapt an established global transportation emission inventory model that since 2012 has been applied in numerous global and regional studies and validated against other leading models32. Most diesel vehicle activity is concentrated in the five largest markets (the EU-28, China, India, USA and Brazil), and this share is projected to grow from 2015 to 2040 (81%–88% for HDVs and 93%–96% for LDVs; Extended Data Fig. 4), driven by increasing car ownership in China and India and growing demand for road freight with increases in economic output. Baseline emission factors for each vehicle type and region are based on a review of >30 studies of emission factor modelling and in-use emissions testing using PEMS, chassis testing, and remote sensing covering thousands of vehicles conducted mainly in the USA, Europe, China and Japan. Studies were identified by requests to experts and government contacts, supplemented by searching combinations of key words (NO , diesel, vehicles, road transport, PEMS, remote sensing) in academic literature databases. Increased weight was given to studies conducted within the past 5 years. EU real-world emission factors are applied to markets following EU regulations (Australia, Brazil, India, Russia and South Korea). Since Japan’s LDV regulatory programme has progressed similarly to that for EU standards, the same LDV factors were applied to the EU and Japan except Euro 6, for which Japan’s sales mix has led to slightly lower emissions. The same HDV factors were applied to the EU and Japan with the exception of Japan’s 2009 and 2016 standards, for which EU real-world multipliers were applied to Japan-specific emission limits. Emission factors in the USA were applied to Mexico and Canada. China HDV factors were derived from local studies, whereas LDV factors were based on EU real-world multipliers. We first convert HDV emission limits (which are based on engine work, measured in grams per kWh), to distance-based limits in grams per vehicle-kilometre (Extended Data Fig. 5) using estimates of brake-specific fuel consumption (a measure of engine efficiency over the test cycle) and in-use fuel consumption (a measure of vehicle efficiency that reflects region-specific driving conditions). We then develop real-world emission factors for each region and vehicle type using a combination of established models and results from our literature review. For most HDV emission factors, we assume a 25% margin of error to account for variability in emission measurements and traffic composition (ref. 33). For the EU-28 and the USA, we start with established modelled estimates and update these with published in-use emissions testing results where they are substantially different. Central estimates of emission factors for Euro III, IV and V vehicles are from Emisia’s Sibyl model34, which draws its emission factors from the European Environment Agency and European Commission-supported COPERT software. These emission factors are consistent with remote sensing measurements17, 35 and other EU real-world NO emissions studies16, 33 showing that real-world emissions have not declined to the same extent as regulated emission limits (Extended Data Fig. 6). For Euro VI vehicles, as average chassis dynamometer test results indicate better performance than is indicated by Sibyl (80% reduction, consistent with regulated emission limits)15, we develop new emission factors between the two estimates (see Supplementary Information section 1.3). Heavy heavy-duty truck and bus emission factors decline from 7.8 g km−1 to 0.54 g km−1 and 10 g km−1 to 0.61 g km−1 from Euro III to VI (Extended Data Table 3). For China, we develop new HDV emission factors from five in-use emissions testing studies, which had consistent conclusions for Euro III, IV and V equivalent standards (Extended Data Fig. 6). Euro III and IV emission factors are from ref. 36 for heavy trucks and ref. 37 for buses. Emission factors for Euro V buses are from Zhang et al.38. Emission factors for Euro V medium and heavy trucks are estimated using the percentage reduction in real-world NO in the EU-28 applied to the China-specific emission factor for the previous standard. Heavy heavy-duty truck and bus emission factors decline from 9.4 g km−1 to 0.54 g km−1 and 12.5 g km−1 to 0.61 g km−1 from Euro III to VI, assuming similar performance of Euro VI HDVs in the EU-28 and China (Extended Data Table 3). For US HDVs, central emission factor estimates are based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)’s MOter Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES)39 and validated against remote sensing measurements of exhaust emissions from in-use trucks in California40, as well as PEMS testing41. For buses certified to US EPA 1998, 2004 and 2007 standards, average emission factors by certification level are from the Integrated Bus Information System (IBIS), which includes NO PEMS measurements of >3,000 buses throughout the USA41. We apply the same difference between IBIS and MOVES for EPA 2007 buses (a factor of 1.8) to EPA 2010 buses because they were not in the IBIS database. For heavy-duty trucks, remote sensing measurements indicate that fuel-specific NO emissions decreased by 83% from model years 2004 to 201219 while MOVES estimates an approximately 90% reduction. Limited evidence suggests that EPA 2010 HDVs42, 43 may emit more excess NO in urban driving conditions than equivalent Euro VI vehicles in the EU-2844, potentially owing to USA emissions tests excluding emissions below 30% maximum engine power (EU tests are more inclusive). Since additional PEMS testing (from in-service conformity testing) is needed to establish a robust alternative estimate, we apply the MOVES estimates for EPA 2010 trucks. Lower and upper bound estimates for EPA 1998 to EPA 2007 buses are based on 95% confidence intervals estimated from the IBIS dataset. Heavy heavy-duty truck and bus emission factors decline from 11.6 g km−1 to 0.72 g km−1 and 12.8 g km−1 to 0.93 g km−1 from US EPA 1998 to US EPA 2010 (Extended Data Table 3). Passenger cars in Europe are among the most studied with respect to real-world NO emissions. Emission factor estimates for Euro 1 to Euro 5 passenger cars are based on emission factor models supplemented with in-use emissions testing studies using PEMS, remote sensing, and laboratory measurements (Extended Data Fig. 6). Emission factors for Euro 6 diesel cars are estimated using the International Council on Clean Transportation’s diesel PEMS database covering 32 cars over 180 h and 8,000 km of driving11. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs), though less studied, are shown to emit >1.5× the levels observed for passenger cars45, generally corresponding to the difference between emission limits for heavier LCV classes versus passenger cars. (LCV emission limits depend on vehicle weight class and fall in the range 1–1.6 times the NO limit for cars.) Starting with Euro 4 vehicles, we therefore use average LCV emission factors of 1.5× the level estimated for passenger cars. For Euro 3 and earlier, passenger car and LCV emission factors are aligned with Sibyl, which already reflects earlier emissions testing results. Passenger car emission factors decline from 0.82 g km−1 to 0.45 g km−1 without the RDE programme and to 0.32 g km−1 with the Baseline RDE programme (Extended Data Table 3). For LDVs certified to US Tier 2 standards (2.5 million vehicles from 2004 to 201546), we compute a sales-weighted average of real-world emissions over the Tier 2 bin 5 emission limit (equivalent to 43 mg km−1, mean adjustment factor 5) in three vehicle categories: Volkswagen vehicles with 2.0-litre (about 482,000 vehicles, mean adjustment factor 20) and 3.0-litre (about 85,000, mean adjustment factor 5) engines, and passenger cars and light trucks unaffected by the Volkswagen scandal but which may nonetheless emit NO over regulatory emission limits (1.9 million, mean adjustment factor 1.3). Adjustment factors for Volkswagen vehicles with 2.0- and 3.0-litre engines are generally consistent with previous studies10, 47 and those used to estimate health impact of the Volkswagen scandal in the USA26, 27, 28. The central estimate for unaffected vehicles is based on Vehicle C (a BMW X5) in ref. 48, with a range varying from perfect compliance (a factor of 1) to about 2× the regulated limit (accounting for the rural-uphill/downhill cycle tested, that is, 10× the limit applied to about 5%–10% of vehicle-kilometres travelled). For Tier 1 vehicles, we assume the same average emission factor as Volkswagen vehicles with 2.0-litre engines, since remote sensing measurements indicate that fuel-specific NO emissions of diesel passenger cars have remained statistically unchanged since the progression from Tier 1 to Tier 2, and 95% of tested Tier 2 vehicles were Volkswagen or Audi19. This assumption results in a central estimate of 1.1× (range 0.8×–1.4×) for the Tier 1 emission limit for ‘useful life’ (equivalent to 780 mg km−1 after 10 years or 100,000 miles). Baseline USA LDV 2040 emissions are determined primarily by vehicles certified to Tier 3 standards phasing in 2017–2025, which are expected to match emission limits more closely, owing partly to the California Air Resources Board’s new defeat device screening methods49. Average future Tier 3 vehicle NO emission factors are estimated to be within 30% of the certification limit, based on the real-world multiplier of 1.27 for a Tier 2 diesel vehicle with good performance48. We assume a range of 1×–2× the Tier 3 limit, similar to Tier 2 vehicles unaffected by the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The central estimate for Tier 2 vehicles (including those affected by the Volkswagen scandal) represents a 74% reduction from Tier 1 levels, reflecting that most of the USA diesel LDV fleet was unaffected by the Volkswagen emission scandal. Overall, USA LDV emission factors decline from 0.85 g km−1 to 0.01 g km−1 from Tier 1 to Tier 3 (Extended Data Table 3). Country-level diesel vehicle NO emissions in the 11 regions are gridded based on population and vehicle miles travelled (see Supplementary Information). For the baseline scenario, all emissions evolve from 2015 to 2040, using our real-world on-road diesel NO emissions in the 11 markets combined with the ECLIPSE v5a emissions inventory8, 9 for all other emissions. For the limits and policy scenarios, all emissions are held constant at 2015 (in the case of the limits scenario) or 2040 (policy scenarios) baseline levels, except NO emissions in the 11 markets. Except for Euro 6/VI standards—which reduce primary PM —the policies examined are not expected to affect emissions substantially other than NO . We simulate NO emission impacts on PM and ozone concentrations using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model50 (version of forward model contained within version 35 of the model adjoint51), driven by GEOS-5 assimilated meteorology for 2015 from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at 2° × 2.5° resolution with 47 vertical layers. Simulated PM concentrations are downscaled to 0.1° × 0.1° resolution using PM concentrations derived from remote sensing aerosol optical depth observations52. For health impact calculations, simulated ozone concentrations are simply regridded to the finer resolution, as the impacts of model resolution are much less important than for PM (ref. 53). For each scenario, we conduct four GEOS-Chem simulations: including all emissions and individually zeroing out LDV, heavy-duty bus, and heavy-duty truck NO emissions. We use epidemiologically derived health impact functions to estimate premature PM - and ozone-related mortality changes between the Baseline and Limits scenarios in 2015 (using 2015 population and baseline mortality rates) and between the Baseline and policy scenarios in 2040 (using 2040 population and baseline mortality rates). Global 2015 and 2040 PM and ozone mortality burdens are within the range of other published estimates (see Supplementary Information). We estimate PM -related health impacts using integrated exposure response (IER) curves for five health endpoints: adult (≥25 years) ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer; and child (<5 years) acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI), following recent studies21, 54. For IHD and stroke, we use the age-specific IERs for each 5-year age band. We use the IER dataset that was publicly available at the time of the analysis55, used for the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study56. The IERs take the form: where RR is relative risk in grid cell i for health endpoint h, z is the PM concentration in gridcell i, z is the counterfactual PM concentration below which we assume no additional risk, and α, γ and δ are model parameters for health endpoint h. Sensitivity results using Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study IERs21 are in the Supplementary Information. Ozone relative risk of chronic respiratory disease is from ref. 57. To consider ozone independently from PM —following several other studies58, 59, 60, 61—we use the two-pollutant model controlling for PM , which associated a 10 parts per billion (ppb) increase in the April–September average daily 1-h maximum ozone concentration (range 33.3–104.0 ppb) with a 4% [95% CI, 1.3%–6.7%] increase in chronic respiratory disease RR. The ozone-response relationship is: where RR is relative risk in grid cell i, β is the model parameterized slope of the log-linear relationship between concentration and mortality, and X is the maximum six-month average of the 1-hour daily maximum ozone concentration in gridcell i. We use a low-concentration threshold of 33.3 ppb (the lowest measured level in ref. 57), below which no health impacts are calculated, and examine a 41.9 ppb threshold (5th percentile) in the Supplementary Information. We calculate the PM - and ozone-attributable disease burden within each 0.1° × 0.1° grid cell using the common population attributable fraction method: where M is the disease burden in grid cell i for health endpoint h, P is the population in grid cell i, F is the population fraction in country c for health endpoint h, Y is the baseline incidence rate in country c for health endpoint h. Health damages or benefits are estimated by subtracting disease burdens at the grid cell level between two scenarios. To ascertain HDV and LDV contributions to health impacts, we use the “proportional approach”1 wherein we scale the HDV + LDV change in disease burden by the fraction of HDV + LDV concentration change affected by HDVs and LDVs individually. This method allows us to consider HDV and LDV emissions simultaneously, since removing each from the model separately would lead to lower health impact results for the quantity removed first (and thus on the flatter portion of the non-linear exposure response curve) and higher results for the quantity removed second (on the steeper portion of the non-linear exposure response curve). Uncertainty bounds for health impacts are based only on uncertainty in these concentration-response functions. Uncertainty between two scenarios is calculated by differencing gridded scenario burden estimates using the same relative risks for each (for PM , using the mean, 2.5 percentile, or 97.5 percentiles of the 1,000 RR estimates). Present-day (2015) baseline incidence rates are from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease 2015 Study (http://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool, accessed 1 November 2016). We use country- and cause-specific rates for ages ≥25 years in 5-year age groups (IHD, stroke, COPD, lung cancer for PM mortality, and chronic respiratory disease for ozone mortality) and <5 years (for ALRI), using regional rates where country rates were unavailable. We scale chronic disease mortality rates to 2040 using International Futures model projections, following other studies60, 61 (see Supplementary Information). Gridded 2015 population (total 6.83 billion) is from Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network and projected to 2040 using United Nations country projections (total 8.79 billion; see Supplementary Information). Age-specific population fractions for each country are calculated from the IHME data on number of cases and incidence rates. We estimate ozone-related crop production loss for maize, wheat and soy following ref. 62 (see Supplementary Information). We calculate global radiative forcing of methane and ozone using regional radiative forcing efficiencies (mW m−2 per Tg of emission) from ref. 63. We calculate aerosol (nitrate, sulfate, and ammonia) radiative forcing from NO emission changes using GEOS-Chem with offline Mie theory calculations of aerosol optical properties and the LIDORT radiative transfer model64, 65, 66. Central estimates and lower and upper bounds of direct aerosol radiative forcing are scaled based on model comparison to the model ensemble radiative forcing in ref. 31. We include aerosol cloud interactions by scaling the direct radiative forcing to the net effective radiative forcing following UNEP/WMO67. Our scenario-modelling methods assume that diesel NO emissions are controlled before other air pollution controls are introduced, which might realistically be implemented concurrently. Health benefits of PM reductions are therefore calculated at the exposure-response curve’s flatter end. Here we examine health benefits of the future policy scenarios using instead the ‘proportional approach’, as was used to separate HDV versus LDV impacts in the core results. To implement the proportional approach, we scaled gridded baseline 2040 PM mortality burdens by the gridded fraction of the baseline 2040 PM concentration reduced for each policy scenario. Using this approach results in about 40% more PM -related health benefits for each policy scenario relative to the baseline. Benefits of implementing Euro 6/VI are undercounted because the near elimination of black carbon emissions would yield additional substantial health and climate benefits5, 68. Health impacts of all scenarios could be underestimated because we excluded direct health effects from NO exposure69, morbidity impacts (such as asthma attacks and hospital visits), and health impacts for populations aged 5–24 years. Ozone-related mortality could be underestimated because recent studies indicate larger associations of ozone with respiratory and cardiovascular disease70. Our inclusion of only three major crops and exclusion of impacts on productive grasslands also underestimates agricultural impacts71. We excluded uncertainty in simulated concentrations (for PM we attempted to address this by assimilating with satellite observations), present and future disease incidence rates, and population growth. Though we estimated both, we did not combine uncertainties in emissions and concentration-response functions. We excluded potentially important subnational variation in baseline incidence rates and age stratification72. We assumed that nitrate, the main PM component affected by NO , is equally as toxic as other PM components and mixtures. For crop impacts, we excluded uncertainty about crop spatial extent and growing season and assumed that ozone concentration metrics are reasonable predictors of crop impacts. The direction in which these uncertainties and assumptions may influence results is unknown. Gridded real-world on-road diesel NO emissions datasets are available from figshare (https://figshare.com/articles/DieselNOxEmissionsInventory_zip/4748425). All other data generated during the study are included in the paper or available upon request from the corresponding authors.
News Article | May 23, 2017
The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Justice Department marks the second time the government has gone after an automaker alleging use of software on diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution on the road than during Environmental Protection Agency lab testing. Last year, the government accused Volkswagen of cheating on tests, and the company ended up pleading guilty to criminal charges in a scandal that cost VW more than $20 billion in the U.S. alone. In the latest case, the government alleges that Fiat Chrysler, or FCA, put eight "software-based features" on diesel engines in nearly 104,000 Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2014 to 2016 model years. The software allowed the vehicles to emit fewer pollutants during lab tests by Environmental Protection Agency than during normal driving conditions. The 3-liter FCA diesels emit nitrogen oxide at a much higher rate than allowed under federal laws when on the road, the EPA said in a statement. The company failed to disclose the software during the process to become certified so the vehicles can be sold, according to the EPA. The agency called the software a "defeat device" that changes the way the vehicles perform on treadmill tests in a laboratory. "Each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications," the statement said. "Thus the cars are uncertified, in violation of the Clean Air Act." The Italian-American automaker said in a statement Tuesday that it is disappointed that the lawsuit was filed because it has been working with the EPA for months to clarify pollution control issues. FCA has contended that unlike VW, it did not install the software with intent to cheat on tests. "The company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests." In the lawsuit filed in Detroit federal court, the government seeks civil fines that could total over $4 billion, as well as court orders stopping the company from making or selling vehicles with undisclosed software. The EPA issued a "notice of violation" against FCA, exposing the software in January in the waning days of the Obama administration. FCA had planned to appeal to the administration of President Donald Trump for help after Trump promised fewer government regulations. At the time, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne denied any wrongdoing and said the agency was blowing the issue out of proportion. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board still are discussing with FCA ways to make the vehicles comply with federal and California pollution laws. FCA says it still hopes to resolve the matter in negotiations. "The nature and timing of any resolution of this issue are uncertain," the EPA statement said. The lawsuit is another example of stepped up enforcement of diesel emissions cases worldwide after the VW scandal. Earlier Tuesday German automaker Daimler AG said that prosecutors will search several of its offices in Germany as part of a preliminary investigation into suspected manipulation of diesel emission controls.
News Article | May 26, 2017
In addition to the coveted trophy and bragging rights, the Buckeyes become this year's best and brightest students in automotive engineering as they unlock solutions to our nation's transportation and energy challenges. The team earned 853.7 out of 1000 overall points while also taking the top spot in multiple categories including, but not limited to Project Management, Vehicle Design Review and Emissions & Energy Consumption. EcoCAR 3 is the latest Energy Department Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series and challenges 16 North American university teams to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro by incorporating cutting-edge advanced powertrains as well as emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies that are helping to re-invent the future of mobility. During development and demonstration, teams must also maintain the engineering mastery and expectations of this iconic American car. EcoCAR 3 teams have four years (2014-2018) to harness those ideas into the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle. The competition included a week of rigorous safety, technical, drive quality and emissions testing of the team Camaros at GM's Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. Next, teams had several days of presentations to show judges how they have developed as the next generation of engineers and business leaders who will be better prepared for the auto industry and related careers. Presentations took place in Washington, D.C., with students judged by industry and government officials. "EcoCAR3 is a great program that fosters future generations of automotive engineers and business people, encouraging them to become true innovators," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "This year's winners – and all the teams – are proof of that. It's a competition that GM is proud to support." This year, the teams gained hands-on experience by building and refining their advanced technology vehicles, and incorporated an industry-standard multi-year vehicle development process. Teams were able to achieve their goal of presenting a fully integrated vehicle capable of driving in both electric and conventional mode while sustaining a charge. AVTCs have long provided a real-world training ground that transcends the traditional classroom for college students. Through EcoCAR 3, teams are able to demonstrate emerging automotive technologies to help strengthen American competitiveness. "Ohio State fully integrated their vehicle with impressive attention to details, and they managed to maintain the legacy of the Camaro while moving it into the future," said Kristen Wahl, director of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition at Argonne National Laboratory. "Innovative thinking and tireless devotion clearly contributed to the team's success." Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Georgia Tech took second and third place respectively. The student teams have now developed and integrated their energy efficient powertrains to maximize performance while retaining the safety and high consumer standards of the Chevrolet Camaro. In the final year of competition, teams will focus on controls refinement and market engagement. Additional sponsors joining the DOE and GM include: MathWorks; National Science Foundation; California Air Resources Board; NXP; AVL Powertrain Engineering; Robert Bosch, LLC; ETAS; PACCAR; dSPACE, Inc.; Snap-on Tools; Siemens PLM Software; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center (TRC, Inc.); DENSO; Champlain Cable Corp.; Woodward; Proterra; Ricardo; Mentor Graphics; New Eagle; tesa tape; Vector CANtech, Inc.; Delphi Foundation; EcoMotors; Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.; A123 Systems; Flextronics; and Samsung SDI. EcoCAR 3 industry sponsors have provided more than $6.1 million in hardware and cash donations, as well as $911 million in software to the 16 participating universities in the first three years. To learn more about the EcoCAR 3 program, please visit www.ecocar3.org. About EcoCAR 3 EcoCAR 3 is a four-year collegiate engineering program that builds on the successful 26-year history of Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies. General Motors provides each of the 16 competing teams with a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, as well as vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation and logistical support. Through this important public/private partnership, EcoCAR 3 provides invaluable experience and training to promising young minds entering the North American job market. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-ohio-state-named-top-students-in-automotive-engineering-and-year-three-champion-of-ecocar-3-competition-300464288.html
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Alberta Innovates & NRCan awarding $26.2M to three oil sands clean tech projects; industry kicking in $43.3M | Main | Audi puts steel back in the new A8 » As California policymakers consider options to extend the state’s landmark climate change laws to 2030 and beyond, 155 businesses and industry groups sent a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in support of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)—in its current form and also in its potentially more stringent future state. Approved in 2009 and first implemented in 2011, the LCFS requires California fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels at least 10% by 2020, by phasing in less carbon-intensive fuel technologies. In five years—2011 to 2016—the LCFS helped encourage a 57% uptick in the use of clean fuels in California. The LCFS sets annual carbon intensity (CI) standards—which reduce over time—for gasoline, diesel, and the fuels that replace them. Carbon intensity is expressed in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule of energy provided by that fuel. CI takes into account the GHG emissions associated with all of the steps of producing, transporting, and consuming a fuel—the complete lifecycle of that fuel. The LCFS is fuel-neutral, and lets the market determine which mix of fuels will be used to reach the program targets. Fuels and fuel blendstocks introduced into the California fuel system that have a CI higher than the applicable standard generate deficits. Similarly, fuels and fuel blendstocks with CIs below the standard generate credits. Compliance is achieved when a regulated party uses credits to offset its deficits. The 2020 average CI requirement from the compliance schedule is 88.62 gCO e/MJ for gasoline and 91.81 gCO e/MJ for diesel. Under the current LCFS regulation, the 2020 standard of a 10% CI decline will also be imposed for all years post-2020. In January 2017, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released its proposed updated scoping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. One of the major elements of the plan is a more stringent Low Carbon Fuel Standard that would reduce CI by 18% by 2030. (Earlier post.) Signatories to the letter include clean fuel producers, vehicle manufacturers, and vehicle fleet operators. In the letter, signatories lauded the LCFS because it provides the incentives needed to invest in new clean vehicle and fuel technologies today in order to bring down the costs for all Californians in the future. The state’s flourishing clean economy was a major focus of the letter. As indicated in the letter, the LCFS has supported the development of more than 20 low-carbon fuel plants throughout the state, with additional facilities on the horizon. Since 2011, $1.6 billion has been invested in clean fuels production under the LCFS. Signatories also note the LCFS has been a vital tool for bringing lower carbon transportation to disadvantaged communities and that the policy improves air quality in areas like the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basin, two regions that suffer from the nation’s worst air quality. According to a 2016 ConsumersUnion report, the LCFS will save California consumers $1,210 to $1,530 in annual fuel costs while encouraging new mobility options and more alternative fuel choices.
News Article | May 11, 2017
« Cross-border car2go rentals up 80% in Q1 2017 to 33,000 journeys | Main | Fraunhofer IAF develops first monolithically integrated GaN half bridge for voltage converters for e-mobility » MotivPower Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing electric school buses to the Sacramento, California region. A $7.5-million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will support the building of 13 battery-electric school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project. The 13 buses will go to Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District. This is the board’s largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program. The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv’s all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech’s all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by First Priority GreenFleet. Motiv’s powertrain replaces the diesel or gasoline engine on a standard chassis. The powertrain includes a remote real-time data system which monitors vehicle performance, offers preventative and predictive diagnostics and allows remote software updates. The electric school buses support a battery capacity of 85 or 106 kWh, with a range of 68 to 85 miles. The 150 kW electric motor delivers 1,200 N·m of torque (885 lb-ft). Top speed for the bus is 60 mph. As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in California and New York, to shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, delivery walk-in vans for AmeriPride and North America's only all-electric refuse truck deployed by the City of Chicago.
News Article | May 11, 2017
FOSTER CITY, California, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- MotivPower Systems, in partnership with Type-A school bus manufacturer Trans Tech, is bringing Zero-emission school buses to the Sacramento region as local school districts lead the way in transitioning school bus fleets from diesel to all-electric. Elk Grove Unified School District and Twin Rivers Unified School District will be receiving buses thanks to a $7.5M grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to build 13 zero-emission school buses as part of the Sacramento Regional Zero-Emission School Bus Deployment Project. This is the board's largest school bus grant to date and was the only application approved of all the school bus applications submitted to the state grant program. Beyond freeing buses from the volatility of oil prices, these buses will protect growing children from unnecessary exposure to fossil fuel pollution and particulate matter (PM), also known as soot, while also supporting local manufacturing in the production of the powertrains. The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District will hold an event on its all-electric school bus initiative May 12th at 10am, at Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy. "The Sacramento Regional School Bus Deployment Project is a great example of how our climate policies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs here in California," said Senator Bob Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, whose district includes the City of Hayward, where Motiv Power Systems manufactures its powertrains. "Motiv Power Systems all-electric powertrain kits are increasing the number of students who are transported in zero emission vehicles. This is especially beneficial to disadvantaged communities where poor air quality has severe health impacts for many residents. This grant puts us on the road to a cleaner California." Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment account for more than two-thirds of all PM emissions from US transportation sources. PM irritates the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, contributing to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. It's also estimated that tens of thousands of people nationwide die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution. However, research has found that children see improved lung function and have fewer sick days when schools implement cleaner fuel technologies. "Health and safety standards are always important and even more so when transporting our future generations. So seeing Motiv and its partners gain approval for both Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and California Highway Patrol Certification was paramount in providing our district with the right all-electric buses to fit our requirements," said John Clements, retired Director of Transportation at Kings Canyon Unified School District. "Motiv Power Systems has worked with customers and built a great reputation for providing safe, clean and California standard-approved buses in this market. We're pleased to see more districts adopting the all-electric school bus technology we were first to deploy." The new all-electric buses will be powered by Motiv's award-winning all-electric powertrains, which are both designed and manufactured in California, supporting local manufacturing jobs. The buses, Trans Tech's all-electric eSeries built on the Ford E450 chassis, will be distributed by First Priority GreenFleet. "We are thrilled that our partnership with Motiv Power Systems allows us to bring our all-electric eSeries to Sacramento County and the state of California," said Trans Tech President, John Phraner. "The eSeries is a tremendous complement to our proven lineup of fuel-efficient conventional school buses. Combining our signature aerodynamic design with the Motiv Power Systems powertrain and Ford E450 chassis provides customers interested in an all-electric Type-A school bus the best choice on the market." "As a father of three small children, it excites me that improving air quality surrounding school transportation is increasingly within reach for many fleets," said Motiv Power Systems CEO Jim Castelaz. "The trend of transitioning from diesel to zero-emission busing is the future, and these 13 buses will be proof of that. We're proud to be working with the Sacramento City school district and hope that more school districts throughout the country follow this movement." As the only all-electric technology approved by Ford for its commercial chassis, the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain has successfully been scaled from school buses in California and New York, to shuttle buses funded by Google and the California Energy Commission, delivery walk-in vans for AmeriPride and North America's only all-electric refuse truck deployed by the City of Chicago. Founded in 2009 and based in Foster City, CA, the award-winning Motiv Power Systems designs and builds flexible and scalable All-Electric Powertrains for commercial medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, Motiv partners with existing truck builders who manufacture electric versions of their traditional fossil-fueled vehicles on their current assembly lines using the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain. Common vehicle types from these builders include work, delivery and refuse trucks, as well as school and shuttle buses. The Motiv All-Electric Powertrain is installed at the time of vehicle manufacture, similar to a natural gas or propane upfit. In 2014, Motiv All-Electric Powertrain was named one of Popular Science's Best of What's New technologies. For more information and career opportunities, please visit www.motivps.com and follow us on Twitter @motivps, Facebook and LinkedIn.
News Article | May 14, 2017
As a result of a number of different factors, likely including the fact that US authorities are currently investigating the possible use of “defeat devices” in the company’s diesel cars (defeat devices used to defraud regulators), Daimler has announced that it has dropped its plans to seek approval to sell 2017 Mercedes-Benz diesel models in the US, according to recent reports. It’s not clear yet, though, whether the company will be exiting the US diesel car market completely. In an email to Reuters, Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman Rob Moran put things fairly vaguely: “We constantly review our portfolio offerings and make adjustments to meet immediate customer need. Combined with the increased effort to certify diesel engines in the US, we have put the certification process for diesel passenger cars on hold.” Reuters provides more: “Last month, Daimler said investigations by authorities of diesel emissions and auxiliary emission control devices could lead to significant penalties and recalls. “The US Justice Department, EPA, California Air Resources Board and a prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany, are investigating emissions of Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. In March, the Stuttgart prosecutor launched an investigation against Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and misleading advertising tied to vehicle emissions. “The company told Automotive News in October that it planned to seek approval to sell four US Mercedes diesel models for the 2017 model year. Last year, Mercedes-Benz offered four US diesel models.” Those plans clearly stalled somewhere along the line. Perhaps there’s bad news coming in relation to the investigations by US authorities? To reiterate a point made earlier in the article, though, the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, Dietmar Exler, stated as recently as April that the future of Mercedes-Benz diesel car sales in the US had not yet been decided upon. It would stand to reason, though, that the market will begin collapsing at some point in the next decade or two, so the exit is likely inevitable and just a matter of time, regardless of any decisions that are made by company execs. Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | May 11, 2017
The record piles of snow across California’s Sierra Nevada are melting away, exposing once again its breathtaking alpine meadows. As temperatures warm the moist soil, the meadows quicken, cycling carbon from the ground into the atmosphere and back again in a pattern essential to the planet's health. Scientists and land managers are heading into the mountains to measure the greenhouse gas activity at 16 hand-picked meadows—some recently restored, others degraded from a century of grazing and logging. The four-year study is part of California's pioneering effort to reduce carbon emissions. The project is designed to determine whether restored meadows hold more carbon than those that have been degraded. The outcome could prove pivotal for California and the planet. Worldwide, soils store three times more carbon than vegetation and the atmosphere combined. If the research shows restored meadows improve carbon storage, it could stimulate meadow restoration around the world. The $4.8-million project has an unusual twist, too. It is funded by the California Air Resources Board, which wants to know if restored meadows can hold enough tonnage of carbon dioxide equivalents, per acre per year, to qualify as carbon credits in California’s cap-and-trade market. “It’s kind of geeky but we’re poised to do something that’s never been done with alpine meadows,” says Mark Drew, Sierra Headwaters director at California Trout, who is coordinating the work. Meadows are new to soil carbon research. Carbon enters the soil as plants use solar energy to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make their own food. More enters the ground when plants die and are decomposed by microbes. And yet living plant roots expel carbon dioxide, and so do microbes as they decompose the dead plant matter, creating a cycle of carbon uptake and emission by soil. It is common for agricultural land to lose a fair portion of its original carbon stock as it is relentlessly farmed—as much as 50 to 70 percent, according to several estimates. Scientists suspect meadows may lose carbon as well, especially when they are degraded by logging and grazing activities that compact soils, erode streams and deplete native plants and animals. Some scientists also think global warming itself is changing soil carbon stocks. A December study published in Nature, led by Thomas Crowther at Netherlands Institute of Ecology, found rising temperatures are stimulating a net loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere. Warmer soils accelerate the flux, sending more carbon into the ground and more carbon dioxide back out into the atmosphere. As warmth increases microbial activity, decomposition and respiration outpace photosynthesis, particularly in the world’s colder places. “That’s when the losses start to happen,” Crowther says. The changes could drive a carbon–climate feedback loop that could accelerate climate change. Drew was already starting to collaborate with several meadow restoration groups in 2014, when the Air Resources Board announced funding to study carbon flux in Sierra meadows. Rather than compete for small pots of money, the various stakeholders decided to work together—PhD scientists side by side with ranchers and landowners. Together they could build a database far larger than any one project could, Drew says. The group already knew meadow restoration—usually done with heavy equipment to fill braided channels and re-create functioning floodplains—has well-documented ecosystem benefits. Returning streams to their natural meanders and raising the water table rejuvenates habitat for golden trout, willow flycatchers and other endangered species. Restoring meadows also improves their capacity to store and release water, a boon to a state that depends on the Sierra region for more than 60 percent of its water supply. Spurred by Air Board funding, the meadow partners set out to see what restoration could do for carbon storage as well. The research covers meadows from the base of Lassen Peak in the north to areas nearer to Los Angeles. The meadows range in elevation from 3,045 to nearly 8,700 feet; they include granitic, volcanic and metamorphic soils. A critical facet of the partnership is developing precise procedures for when and how to measure and analyze meadow greenhouse gases. Although scientists have established protocols for monitoring carbon flux in forests and wetlands, none exist for alpine meadows. “We’re the guinea pigs,” Drew says. Work has just begun and will continue until winter closes access. The data collection begins with pushing an eight-inch segment of PVC pipe into the ground vertically to seal off a small segment of meadow, then capping the cylindrical chamber. A monitor pokes a syringe into a tiny hole in the cap, drawing a sample of whatever meadow gases are captured inside. By taking three samples 15 minutes apart repeatedly over several months scientists can compare the ambient air with gases coming directly out of the meadow. The rate of change in the concentration of gases determines the soil’s CO emission rate. The researchers are also monitoring soil carbon by extracting core samples. Comparing the data from restored meadows with geographically similar degraded sites will show the effects of restoration. The researchers have a hint of what they might find from a limited study conducted by the University of Nevada, Reno (U.N.R.). Scientists collected soil samples at seven meadows in the northern Sierra restored between 2001 and 2016, pairing restored sites with similar, adjacent unrestored sites. The preliminary results found an average of 20 percent more soil carbon in restored meadows, with one site recording an increase of over 80 percent. Meadows immediately begin storing carbon following restoration, with significant increases over 15 years, says Cody Reed, a research assistant working with Ben Sullivan, a U.N.R. soil scientist and assistant professor. The investigation seems to show restored meadows add soil carbon and also slow losses to the atmosphere. Another limited study looked at the effects of water in meadow soils. Steve Hart, an ecology professor at University of California, Merced, and Joseph Blankinship, assistant professor of microbial biogeochemistry at the University of Arizona, researched a Sierra meadow to understand how water affects the fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. What they found surprised them: Carbon dioxide emissions were unaffected by soil moisture content, and methane sequestration was prevalent, particularly on the dry side of wet meadow. The 2014 study also found plant species richness and soil carbon concentration appeared more important than soil moisture in explaining carbon fluxes. It is too soon to know if these results will be replicated on the larger Sierra-wide scale. With a full year of research already logged, Drew and his partners are digging in to a new season of fieldwork. A finding of dramatically increased soil carbon in restored meadows would have a limited effect globally because such large forces are at work. But the gain could be an important, added payoff for restoring these landscapes. The Sierra Meadows Partnership could also serve as a model to others working in very different landscapes that hold the potential to have a much greater effect on the carbon equation, Hart says. And if restored meadows do indeed hold significantly more carbon, then they could play a role in California's carbon market. The Sierra partners have until 2019 to present their results. “We’re poised to do something really unique,” Drew says. “Let's see where it takes us.”
News Article | May 12, 2017
« Groupe PSA and partners launch GridMotion; reducing electric vehicle usage cost with smart charging | Main | Brunel team working to develop next-generation light, thin-walled aluminum die-cast parts » A new study quantifying emissions from a fleet of gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines and port fuel injection (PFI) engines finds that the measured decrease in CO emissions from GDIs is much greater than the potential climate forcing associated with higher black carbon emissions from GDI engines. Thus, the researchers concluded, switching from PFI to GDI vehicles will likely lead to a reduction in net global warming. The study, by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Georgia, Aerodyne Research, California Air Resources Board (ARB), Ohio State University, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines have higher fuel economy compared to the more widely used port fuel injection (PFI) engines. Although real-world fuel economy improvements from GDI technology alone are close to 1.5%, they can reach 8% by downsizing and turbocharging the engine, which can be achieved on GDI engines without loss of power compared to PFI engines. As a result, the market share of GDI-equipped vehicles has increased dramatically over the past decade and is expected to reach 50% of new gasoline vehicles sold in 2016. Widespread adoption of new engine technologies raises concerns about changes in emissions and their effects on air quality and the climate. Recent studies have compared emissions of PFI and GDI vehicles, including particle number and mass, gaseous pollutants, and nonmethane organic gas (NMOG) composition for a limited number of compounds. However, many of these studies only tested very small fleets (including single vehicles), making it difficult to draw conclusions about the effects of widespread adoption of GDI vehicles on the aggregate emissions from the entire vehicle fleet because of the vehicle-to-vehicle variability in tailpipe emissions. There is substantial variability in vehicle-to-vehicle emissions due to differences in engine design (PFI, spray-guided GDI, wall-guided GDI, etc.), engine calibration (spark timing, valve timing, etc.), emission control technologies, and vehicle age and maintenance history. … The EPA GHG program is aimed at reducing tailpipe CO emissions. The increased fuel economy of GDI engines means lower CO emissions per mile; however, higher BC [black carbon] emissions (the most-potent absorptive agent of anthropogenic PM) could potentially offset any climate benefits of reduced CO emissions.… In this study, we present a comprehensive database of emissions from a fleet of GDI- and PFI-equipped light-duty gasoline vehicles tested on a chassis dynamometer over the cold-start unified cycle (UC). Measurements include gas- and particle-phase emissions, particle number, particle size distributions, and speciated NMOG emissions. We use the data to quantify the effects of engine technology, emission standards, and cold-start on emissions. We estimate ozone and SOA formation potential. Finally, we analyze the potential climate effects of switching a PFI to a GDI fleet. For the study, the team collected data from 82 light-duty gasoline vehicles spanning a wide range of model years (1988−2014); vehicle types (passenger cars and light-duty trucks); engine technologies (GDI and PFI); emission certification standards (Tier1 to SULEV), and manufacturers. All the vehicles were tested using commercial gasoline that met the summertime California fuel standards. Among the findings from the study: For vehicles certified to the same emissions standard, there is no statistical difference of regulated gas-phase pollutant emissions between PFIs and GDIs. However, GDIs had, on average, a factor of 2 higher particulate matter (PM) mass emissions than PFIs due to higher elemental carbon (EC) emissions. SULEV-certified GDIs have a factor of 2 lower PM mass emissions than GDIs certified as ultralow-emission vehicles (3.0 ± 1.1 versus 6.3 ± 1.1 mg/mi), suggesting improvements in engine design and calibration. Comprehensive organic speciation revealed no statistically significant differences in the composition of the volatile organic compounds emissions between PFI and GDIs, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX). Therefore, the secondary organic aerosol and ozone formation potential of the exhaust does not depend on engine technology. Cold-start contributes a larger fraction of the total unified cycle emissions for vehicles meeting more-stringent emission standards. Organic gas emissions were the most sensitive to cold-start compared to the other pollutants tested. There were no statistically significant differences in the effects of cold-start on GDIs and PFIs. For our fleet, increases in the fuel economy of 1.6% (0.5−2.4%; 95% confidence interval) are sufficient to offset warming due to increased BC emissions from GDIs. This is much lower than the measured 14.5% increase in fuel economy between PFIs and GDIs. Therefore, our data suggest that there will be a net climate benefit associated with switching from PFIs to GDIs, similar to previous results. However, the increased BC emissions from GDIs reduces their potential climate benefits by 10−20%. This reduction is likely larger in the real world because our increase in fuel economy (14.5%) between GDIs and PFIs is larger than that reported for on-road measurements.
News Article | May 12, 2017
It's been almost a year since Volkswagen made the details of its 2.0-liter diesel settlement with US authorities public. But what of the 3.0-liter diesels? Finally, we get some answers for that one, too. A federal judge granted final approval to Volkswagen's 3.0-liter diesel settlement this week. Reuters points out that not only did the judge approve Volkswagen's settlement, it also approved a settlement with Bosch, wherein the supplier will pay $327.5 million to VW diesel owners in the US for its role in Dieselgate. Volkswagen did not immediately return a request for comment. The scheme will be similar to VW's 2.0-liter settlement. Volkswagen will either buy back or attempt to repair as many 3.0-liter diesels as possible. Whether owners choose the fix or a buyback, they will receive compensation between $7,000 and $16,000 on top of any fix or repurchase. Lessees can have their leases terminated and receive the same compensation. The buyback is a bit different than the one for 2.0-liter engines. The 3.0-liter diesels are split between two generations. The first generation, covering vehicles from 2009-2012, will have the option of a buyback or a vehicle modification to reduce pollution, if the EPA can agree to one. The second generation, from 2013-2016, is believed to be repairable to comply with federal emissions standards. For these vehicles, the fix is the owners' default option. If both the EPA and California Air Resources Board cannot approve a fix, the court can be asked to initiate a buyback. If buybacks occur across both generations of 3.0-liter diesel, VW could pay out as much as $4 billion to clean up this mess. Thus far, Volkswagen has agreed to pay some $25 billion in the US alone to address its diesel malfeasance. That amount is split between lawyer payments, owners, dealerships, individual US states and federal regulatory bodies. It has also opened up a fund that it will use to promote electric-vehicle adoption across the country.