Fuel Economy Regulations Updated for Electric Vehicles

The Financial Post has this article on new regulations that call for reductions in the emissions from new cars.  It also attempts to take into account the emission attributed to zero emission cars such as electric vehicles.

Of course whether an electric vehicle ultimately results in emission depends on the source of the electricity.  Realistically much of North America’s electricity comes from fossil fuels.  It makes sense to try to take this into account.  It is unlikely to be perfect but no benchmarks are.

The new Canada-U.S. rules governing the fuel efficiency for automobiles acknowledge for the first time that electric cars are not “zero-emission,” undermining the marketing lustre that has coated such vehicles for years.

Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice unveiled the new regulations in Ottawa on Thursday in tandem with lawmakers in the United States. They set a mandatory reduction in greenhouse gas pollution from cars and trucks, aiming to improve the average emission performance of new vehicles 25% by 2016.

But instead of counting electric cars as zero-emission vehicles and allowing the automakers to fully offset sales of gasoline-thirsty vehicles that pollute more, the governments admitted electric models are not pollution-free.

Under the new rules for 2012 to 2016, each carmaker can count the first 200,000 electric vehicles it sells as zero-emission vehicles. After that volume is reached, automakers have to account for the emissions from the utility that created the electricity to power the vehicle.

Automakers are angry about the new regulations as they relate to electric vehicles.

“We just build the vehicles up until the plug that goes into the wall. We’re not in charge of where the energy comes from,” said Gloria Bergquist, spokewoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents 11 automakers including Ford Motor Co. “It makes it harder for us to meet these standards. It’s another barrier.”

Read more: http://www.financialpost.com/news-sectors/energy/story.html?id=2757662#ixzz0nDpqOVpM

Consider that even bicycles are not zero emission vehicles.

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