Question of the Month: What are the federal emissions and fuel economy standards for current and future on-road vehicles? Have any related emissions and fuel regulations been passed recently?
Answer: Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards set requirements for new light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle models with the goal of improving the overall fuel efficiency and environmental impact. Fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles were introduced in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975; regulations were established for on-road vehicles beginning with Model Year (MY) 1978. EPCA grants the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to regulate CAFE standards, with the requirement that new standards may not be proposed more than five model years at a time.
In 2010, NHTSA partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue the first joint program that includes both fuel economy requirements under NHTSA’s CAFE program and emissions standards under EPA’s GHG emissions program. Starting with MY 2012 vehicles, manufacturers are required to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide GHG emissions by approximately 5% each year. By 2016, vehicles must meet an estimated combined average emissions level of no more than 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. If the industry met this carbon dioxide standard solely through fuel economy improvements, vehicles would have an average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg). For more information, see the EPA fact sheet.
NHTSA and EPA established the CAFE and GHG emissions standards for MY 2017 through MY 2025 passenger cars and light-duty trucks in 2012 in two phases, which are broken down as follows:
|Model Years||Average Fleet-Wide Fuel Economy
|Phase 1||MY 2017-
(by MY 2021)
|Phase 2*||MY 2022-
(by MY 2025)
*Proposed, pending final rule
For more information, refer to the EPA fact sheet.
In 2011, NHTSA and EPA set the first-ever standards to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds). The standards cover MY 2014 through MY 2018 on-road vehicles and are tailored to each of three main regulatory subcategories:
The requirements provide flexibility through an emissions and fuel consumption credit system to help reduce the overall costs of the program and to allow manufacturers time to make necessary technological improvements.
On March 29, 2013, EPA announced their Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program, which includes more stringent tailpipe emissions standards for non-methane organic gas (NMOG), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM); more stringent evaporative vehicle emissions; and lower sulfur content of gasoline. This proposal aligns vehicle standards with the GHG emissions standards outlined above, as well as the California Low Emission Vehicle Program, allowing automakers to sell the same vehicle models in every state. The standards would apply to light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles and include different phase-in schedules based on vehicle class from MY 2017 to MY 2025. The proposed gasoline sulfur standard would make emission control systems more effective for both existing and new vehicles. For more information, refer to the proposed rule and the EPA Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program website.
For more up-to-date information about federal and state vehicle standards, refer to the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Federal Incentives and Laws website.
Source: Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team, email@example.com, (800) 254-6735
Clean Energy Coalition coordinated a tent at the event, assembling a collection of exhibitors to showcase clean energy resources and ways to reduce energy use. Exhibitors included:
Clean Energy Coalition exhibited at the festival as well and spoke to area residents about the bike sharing program, slated to launch in Spring 2014, we’re creating in conjunction with City of Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, AATA, and Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.
In collaboration with Recycle Ann Arbor, Earth Day Festival was a zero waste awareness event. Exhibitors and food vendors were encouraged to only distribute materials that were locally recyclable, compostable, or reusable. 92% of the waste from the event was diverted from the landfill.
Thanks to everyone who attended 2013 Earth Day Festival. See you next year!
Clean Energy Coalition is hiring!
We’re seeking someone to fill the Program Director role, which is a senior leadership position with responsibility for the management and oversight of program supervisors, project managers, project associates, part-time interns, and volunteers, as well as responsibility for the direct management of identified projects as needed.
This leader will assist team members in the development and implementation of building- and transportation-related clean energy projects and programs.
Please see the linked position description for details and information on how to apply.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is teaming up with Clean Energy Coalition to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet by about 15% and share information about alternative fuels and fuel-efficient driving habits with the 1.3 million visitors who visit the national park each year.
Sleeping Bear Dunes will deploy three Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicles, two liquefied petroleum gas-fueled pick-up trucks, and four electric vehicle charging stations. The park will also implement a public awareness campaign to communicate fuel-efficient driving behaviors to park visitors and staff. These measures will reduce the environmental impact of the national park’s fleet and encourage visitors to reduce the environmental impact of their own vehicles.
Clean Energy Coalition and Sleeping Bear Dunes staff will review new materials developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Park Service before they are introduced to parks across the country. This “Green Rides Toolkit,” developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will support training and outreach programs to educate staff, concessioners, volunteers, and visitors about the benefits of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as idle reduction and other efficient driving habits.
“This project is an important step toward using alternative fuel technologies in our fleet and complements our plan to become a Climate Friendly Park by reducing our impact on the environment and operating more efficiently,” said National Lakeshore Superintendent Dusty Shultz. “Our new alternative fuel vehicles will emit fewer greenhouse gases, reducing air pollution and helping preserve the park’s natural environment.”
The partnership is made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities National Parks Initiative, which was developed to demonstrate how technologies and expertise from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program can help complement the mission of the National Park Service, promoting the use and enjoyment of national parks while preserving natural and historic resources. Clean Energy Coalition manages three Clean Cities coalitions in Michigan: Ann Arbor, Detroit Area, and West Michigan.
Auburn Hills-based FEV Inc., a global engineering services leader, has agreed to participate in the ENERGY STAR® Challenge for the Industry in an effort to improve efficiency. The ENERGY STAR Challenge, initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asks partnering organizations to reduce energy consumption in their facilities by 10% or more over a five-year period.
FEV identified three distinct tiers for improvement in its efforts to meet the energy efficiency goals. The company also created an ENERGY STAR Team headed by president and CEO Gary Rogers. Once the decision was made to participate, a kick-off meeting was scheduled to discuss and agree on the background, goals, and FEV’s pattern of energy consumption.
Three-Tier Implementation Plan
Since the initial meeting, FEV has enacted numerous initiatives, engaging its employees to gain commitment to adjust behaviors and focus on energy conservation. FEV’s approach is cost-neutral and allows the company to save resources by simply altering daily work routines. Example initiatives cover a wide range of activities, and many are as simple as instilling the habit of turning off lights and projectors in conference rooms after meetings.
At the second tier, the challenge requires some modest investments. During the cold winter months, the FEV ENERGY STAR Team conducted several walk-through audits of the facility using an infrared camera to identify thermal leaks. These leaks were then promptly corrected, resulting in an increase in the building’s thermal efficiency.
The third level of the challenge requires that FEV implement capital-intensive facility improvements, resulting in long-term energy and cost savings. One task in this level involves replacing over 50 inefficient lighting fixtures with more energy efficient T8 lamps. Although this step represents a $20,000 cost line, the investment is recovered in energy savings in a little over a year. A newly installed intelligent building control system also allows FEV to remotely control all HVAC units, making it possible to program patterns for maximum energy savings without any impact on employee comfort level.
Best Practice: Empowering Employees
Successful implementation requires the participation of workers in the improvement. The ENERGY STAR Team is currently reviewing opportunities to expand the system and integrate additional functions to achieve even more savings. The company’s employees are encouraged to submit ideas and suggestions on ways the company can save energy and money to a special email account set up to track these suggestions. Employee comments are gathered, reviewed, and often implemented, and all of the participants are recognized for their involvement.
Six months after implementing the ENERGY STAR Challenge, and despite a particularly cold Michigan winter (compared to the 2011-2012 season), FEV recorded significant energy efficiency gains and cost savings.
The team will continue to meet the requirements of the challenge by embarking on new initiatives and reinforcing existing ones. FEV’s goal is to meet the challenge’s requirements well before the five-year deadline.
Wondering How to Implement Energy Efficiency Projects at Your Place of Work?
Clean Energy Coalition helps various entities work through the implementation process of clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Please contact Business Development Manager Matt Sandstrom for more information.
Question of the Month: Where can I find statistics, maps, and projections related to alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and infrastructure?
Answer: The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Maps and Data website is a comprehensive resource for current and historical statistics related to alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. The site categorizes information into the following sections, or tabs: Vehicles, Fuels & Infrastructure, Laws & Incentives, Regulated Fleets, and Clean Cities. The Clean Cities tab was recently updated based on the results of the 2011 annual report. By scrolling down or filtering the list on the right panel for each tab, you can select relevant maps and charts. The gray download button in the upper-right corner of the figure viewing pane allows users to view the data in Excel spreadsheet format or copy the chart into a presentation or other document. Clicking on legend labels also adds or removes data from the chart for more specific comparisons. Lastly, the Maps and Data website includes links to relevant reports and data analyses from outside the AFDC.
In addition to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics included on the AFDC Maps and Data website, EIA compiles information relating to alternative fuel and advanced vehicles on its Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data website. The site includes an overview of trends in the alternative transportation sector, which is updated on an annual basis, as well as interactive data tables with statistics about current and projected vehicles supplied, vehicles in use, and fuel consumption. Please note that the EIA data is published on a two year delay; 2011 information will be posted in April 2013.
Resources for Additional Transportation Statistics and Trend Data
Fuel Consumption and Production
EIA: Annual Energy Outlook 2013 (Early Release). Includes projections about alternative fuel and other energy use through 2040.
American Public Transportation Association: 2012 Public Transportation Fact Book. Based on Federal Transit Administration data, this book features public transit vehicle fuel consumption data for alternative fuels in the Energy and Environment section.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Transportation Energy Data Book. Tracks light-duty (Chapter 4), heavy-duty (Chapter 5), and alternative fuel and advanced technology (Chapter 6) vehicle trends. Note that much of the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle data provided here is compiled from the EIA Alternative Fuel Vehicle Data cited above.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration: Highway Statistics Series. Includes motor vehicle registration statistics and fees by state.
Hybridcars.com Dashboard. Provides monthly hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicle sales data by vehicle model. Note that this is not a government resource but is typically regarded as reputable data.
AFDC: Alternative Fuel Price Report. Compares the prices of alternative and conventional fuels.
EIA: Weekly Retail Gasoline and Diesel Prices. Tracks retail prices for petroleum fuels on a weekly basis.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends. Reports average fuel economy of vehicles over time from 1975 through 2012.
Source: Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team, firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 254-6735
Although it doesn’t quite seem like it yet here in Ann Arbor, it’s officially spring. The season of longer days, tulips, and bunnies is upon us, and April’s Product of the Month will help with another annual ritual – spring cleaning.
If you’re like a lot of people, you may find quite a few used batteries in the course of tidying up your home. They tend to accumulate everywhere – in junk drawers, toolboxes, and children’s toys, just to name a few. This Product of the Month, Veolia ES Battery Recycling Pail, helps safely dispose up to 15 lbs. of commonly used batteries, which aren’t included as part of most communities’ curbside recycling programs.
Simply toss old batteries into the pail. Once it’s full, put it into a box for shipping, use the prepaid shipping label, and call FedEx to arrange for them to pick-up the package. Your used batteries will be responsibly processed at a recycling facility.
Through April 30, use the coupon code APRNEWS10 and take 10% off all purchases at the Clean Energy Outlet online store – including this battery recycling system.
Every Clean Energy Outlet purchase benefits Clean Energy Coalition and supports the work we’re doing to promote clean energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels.