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  • Mark Webber driving a 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid in London

    Norway and The Netherlands started the trend a few years ago, though they're relatively tiny car markets. Then France and the U.K. joined in. China, the world's largest new-car market by far, is doing it—though the country hasn't decided when. All of those countries plan to ban, or work the end of, sales of new vehicles with internal-combustion engines. DON'T MISS: 2017's most important story: internal-combustion engine ban in China While such an idea remains unthinkable on a national level in the U.S., a bill to that effect was introduced in California in January. Now there's pressure...

  • 2016 BYD Tang plug-in hybrid SUV, made in China
    China is serious on fuel economy: 500-plus models to go out of production

    China has taken a major step toward cleaning up the new cars sold in the country beginning January 1. As numerous countries debate plans to end sales of fossil-fuel vehicles completely at points in the future, China has now forced the end of production for some 553 models, starting Monday. The...

  • Chrome exhaust pipe
    2017's most important green car story: internal-combustion engine ban in China

    The most important green-car story of 2017 came on September 10, in a report by the Associated Press that covered articles in two Chinese state media outlets on a statement by a deputy industry minister. Speaking at "an auto industry forum," the AP wrote, Xin Guobin said his ministry has begun...

  • Coal power plant in China
    China's aggressive plan to counter climate change leaves US government in the dust

    As the Trump administration abandons numerous U.S. efforts to rein in emissions of the climate-change gas carbon dioxide over time, another large polluter is pushing ahead with an aggressive plan to slash pollution from energy producers. China, currently the top carbon emitter and largest consumer...

  • 2016 BYD Tang plug-in hybrid SUV, made in China
    Why China will beat U.S. in electric-car battle: urgency, regulations

    As the electric-vehicle market matures and more global automakers commit to building battery-powered cars, one driving force has emerged to lead the pack. With apologies to the title of a comedy from half a century ago ... The Chinese Are Coming. That's the assertion made by old China hand Michael...

  • Matthias Muller
    VW CEO: European subsidies for diesel should end

    One of the most powerful automotive CEOs in the industry at a company that once found monumental success in diesel-powered cars has delivered a commandment to European governments from atop his throne in Wolfsburg. Thou shalt not subsidize diesel. That commandment, from VW CEO Mattias Müller...

  • Buick Velite 5, for sale in China, at 2017 Shanghai auto show   [photo: Ronan Glon]

    The first automobile was invented in Germany in 1885 by Karl Benz, but it was the U.S. that led the building of the global 20th-century automobile industry. Through the turn of the current century, the U.S. new-vehicle market was the world's largest, and General Motors was for decades the world's largest car company. Neither of those is still the case—and an increasing number of analysts, commentators, and industry executives have worried that the U.S. may become less relevant to the future of automobiles in the 21st century. DON'T MISS: China developing timetable to end sales...

  • Site of new California Air Resources Board headquarters, Riverside, CA, Oct 2017
    CARB steps up shadow-EPA role with new building, vehicle testing lab

    For 45 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with protecting the U.S. from pollution in its air, water, and land. Under the Trump Administration, its administrator Scott Pruitt is aggressively muzzling and removing scientists, eradicating climate-science from its activities...

  • EPA administrator Scott Pruitt  [photo from 2014]
    EPA head: new report that climate change is manmade has 'no bearing' on plans to end climate action

    When top U.S. scientists released the fourth National Climate Assessment, it spelled out one blunt conclusion: human activity in releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere caused the climate change that has warmed the globe. Mandated for release every four years, the report will apparently have...

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions, 1850-2030 [CO2 Information Analysis Center, World Energy Outlook]
    Climate change all manmade, say actual scientists: awkward for Trump science deniers

    When the Environmental Protection Agency quietly issued its new four-year plan in mid-October, the phrase "climate change" did not appear anywhere in the 38-page document. It is now clear the Trump Administration intends to delay, halt, or erase government efforts to limit U.S. emissions of carbon...

  • Shell fuel station in Europe
    Shell bashes bans on gasoline cars, proposes carbon pricing instead

    The prospect of bans on gasoline and diesel new-car sales have become a much greater threat not only to automakers but to oil companies as well, now that China has said it is studying such a move. The world's largest car market has not announced any timetables for such a ban, which will likely be...

  • Mahindra e2o electric car
    India actually beat China to all-electric new-car pledge, targets 2030

    China made headlines around the world on Sunday when state media reported that the country is developing a timetable to end production and sales of new vehicles with gasoline engines. While Norway, The Netherlands, France, and the U.K. have adopted different timetables for various versions of such...

  • BYD Qin EV300

    The auto industry has now grudgingly accepted that battery-electric cars will make up some portion of the world's new vehicles in years to come. But a milestone in that trend may have come today, in news from China. Policy makers in the world's most populous country, and largest car market, are developing a timetable to end production and sales of new vehicles with gasoline engines. DON'T MISS: UK to ban diesel, gasoline car sales by 2040; follows France, Norway, Holland bans Unlike Norway, The Netherlands, France, and the U.K., no year is yet associated with the plans, which are still being...

  • Audi e-tron Sportback concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show
    German Chancellor Merkel rejects electric-car quotas for Europe: 'not well thought out'

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the country's leader, has detailed why she believes electric-car quotas are not a viable answer to emission and other issues plaguing Europe. Merkel, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, instead urged a much bigger-picture strategy, rather than a...

  • Offshore wind farm
    Senate panel rejects clean-energy cuts, boosts DoE funding instead

    The Senate Committee on Appropriations recently exhibited a quality somewhat rare in U.S. politics these days: bipartisanship. The committee released a lengthy report on the 2018 fiscal year budget for the Department of Energy that walks away from the Trump Administration's efforts to defund clean...

  • International Paper Company mill, 1973 [From EPA Documerica series]
    Climate change worse, faster than projected, scientists tell Trump in leaked report

    It is abundantly clear that the Trump Administration does not believe in science. In its six months to date, it chose a climate-science denier to lead the Environmental Protection agency; rolled back two dozen regulations limiting air, water, and land pollution; and announced a U.S. withdrawal from...

  • Waymo trains self-driving cars to identify emergency vehicles
    House approves bill to exempt self-driving cars from safety standards, overrule state laws

    The United States House of Representatives has taken the first step towards allowing automakers and technology companies to deploy self-driving cars on public roads. A House panel passed a proposal that would allow automakers and other companies to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles...

  • Nicolas Hulot, French minister of ecological transition, announces 2040 ban on vehicles with engines
    France plans to ban all gasoline, diesel vehicles by 2040

    To most North Americans, the idea of banning all vehicles with internal-combustion engines seems unthinkable. Filling up with gasoline (or diesel) is as American as are dispersed low-density suburbs without mass transit, bike paths, or even sidewalks. Europeans, more of whom live in cities and most...

  • BYD e5. Photo by CarNewsChina.com.

    It's long been official policy for China that the country's automakers will become the world's highest-volume producer of electric cars. (It also intends to dominate lithium-ion battery cells and photovoltaic solar panels, for the record.) But the government policies and incentives to achieve that goal have often changed over the years. DON'T MISS: How California and China will push for millions of zero-emission vehicles Now it appears that a proposed formula to reward the country's makers of plug-in vehicles has been tweaked, to give more rewards to electric cars with longer battery ranges...

  • Buick Velite 5, for sale in China, at 2017 Shanghai auto show   [photo: Ronan Glon]
    China will have lots of electric cars, but no maker knows what market wants

    China is not only the world's largest single car market, but the market in which the greatest number of plug-in electric cars are sold. But the country's government has plans to increase the number of electric cars on its roads dramatically, to curtail noxious exhaust emissions and move China to...

  • President Donald Trump (Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)
    Two words the Trump Administration can't say: climate change

    During President Donald J. Trump's half-hour meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican yesterday, the pope gave the president a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions. It is unclear whether the U.S. president will peruse the document. Back at home...

  • Smog obscures George Washington Bridge, 1973 [From EPA Documerica series]
    EPA gets 29,000 comments on proposed elimination of environmental rules

    Much of the news out of Washington, D.C., these days has to do with the possibility of political scandal. But the wheels of government keep turning, and significant changes are happening at numerous agencies charged with missions as diverse as collecting intelligence, supporting education, and...

  • The White House, Washington, D.C.  [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]
    EPA's Ann Arbor test lab threatened; emission tests in the balance

    The 436 scientists who spend their days testing new vehicles and enforcing environmental rules at the National Fuel Emissions Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, face a very uncertain future. The lab sits in the crosshairs of President Trump's proposed budget, which eliminates 99 percent of its funding, as...

  • Natural gas flaring from oil well [licensed under Creative Commons from Flickr user Sirdle]
    EPA science advisers axed; execs from regulated industries to replace them (updated)

    While much of the nation's capital is preoccupied with the unpredictable Trump administration and its possible ties to Russia, the fate of the Environmental Protection Agency generates less news coverage. That's not to say there hasn't been news. Administrator Scott Pruitt is proceeding swiftly...

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