transportation policy

  • 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV

    Now that the federal plug-in tax credit has begun to wind down on the U.S.-made Chevrolet Bolt EV, members of Congress propose to do something about it. Democrats have proposed several bills in Congress to remove the manufacturer-based 200,000-car cap on the credits and extending them for 10 years, and a new proposal by California Democrat Ro Khanna, whose district is home to Tesla's Fremont factory, suggests limiting the credits to American manufacturers (without yet suggesting how it would define what makes a manufacturer "American.") The suggestion points to a key flaw in the current tax...

  • BMW ActiveE electric car in front of old gas pumps, Belvidere, NJ   [photo: Tom Moloughney]
    17 states have passed extra fees on electric cars; is that fair?

    According to a new editorial by the Sierra Club, 17 states have now instituted new fees on electric cars—fees that other car owners don't have to pay—to try to recoup some of the money that electric-car drivers don't pay in gas taxes.

  • 2014 Tesla Model S in China
    What China learned from California about getting electric cars on its roads

    In the U.S., California has long been viewed culturally as the crazy, free-spirited cousin. As Californians like to point out, their state of 40 million people is also the world's sixth-largest economy all by itself. Resolutely progressive, it has regulated vehicle emissions for five decades and...

  • Bollore BlueCars recharging at Paris curb for the Autolib electric-car sharing service, Sep 2016
    Why some cities should kick out cars, but others can't and won't

    U.S. visitors to European cities, especially capitals like Paris and Rome and Madrid and London, often remark how different they are from those in the U.S. Many of their historic cores, dating back far before automobiles existed, remain intact—and for much of the 20th century, they coexisted...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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.
    China revises electric-car incentives to reward longer ranges

    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...

  • Mark Webber driving a 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid in London
    Cities lead global push for cleaner, zero-emission cars

    Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Nissan Leaf electric car and now the chairman of the Renault Nissan Alliance, isn't the first to say it. But his recent comment that cities are driving the push for electric cars is an important one, because it indicates a prime market for their advantages. The...

  • BYD e6 electric taxi in service in Shenzhen, China
    How likely is it China will outpace the U.S. in electric-car adoption? Poll results

    China is the biggest new-car market in the world, and has been since 2010. The world's largest country also has some of the smoggiest cities on the planet, and that's a source of increasing public agitation. So at national, state, and local levels, a variety of Chinese government entities are using...

  • Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California

    Last week, the California state legislature approved a $52 billion transportation-funding package. Unlike the practice in previous years, this one is to be used only for improvements to the transportation infrastructure, to begin cutting into an estimated $ 130 billion backlog of repairs and expansions. As a result of the new bill, owners of zero-emission vehicles will pay a new fee of $100, along with increased vehicle registration fees that apply to all cars. DON'T MISS: Barely reaching the minimum necessary number of votes, Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature were able to...

  • Smart ebike electric bicycle
    Why electric bikes may deserve purchase incentives too

    If plug-in electric cars and trucks receive purchase incentives from national and state governments, what about electric bicycles? That's just what a recent report from the European Cyclists Federation suggests. It recommends directing purchase incentives and infrastructure subsidies towards...

  • California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols (via Twitter)
    California reaffirms state emission, electric-car rules for 2025

    The California Air Resources Board voted Friday to confirm its stricter emissions standards for 2025, setting up a potential clash with the Trump Administration. The CARB vote reaffirms a decision by the EPA in the waning days of the Obama Administration to lock in emissions standards for vehicles...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Volt
    Which states follow California's emission and zero-emission vehicle rules?

    California leads the nation in policies that promote reductions of carbon emissions from road vehicles. It is unique in having a federal waiver that allows it to set its own, stricter emissions standards, along with a zero-emission vehicle mandate that requires automakers reaching certain sales...

  • Gas pump
    Automakers say fuel-economy rules hurt buyers; Consumers Union rebuts the claim

    Automaker lobbyists continue to push back against the stricter fuel-economy and emissions standards scheduled to take effect in the U.S. over the next decade. Many of their arguments center on costs—not only to the carmakers themselves, but also to car buyers. Regulators and automakers...

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf
    New York state electric-car rebate program to launch this month

    New York state has finally issued details on its effort to step up its efforts to promote electric cars. The Empire State is one of eight so-called "ZEV states" that have adopted California emissions standards. But New York does not mandate automakers to sell zero-emission vehicles within its...

  • Big square baler harvesting wheat straw for production of cellulosic ethanol

    As the old saying goes: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The biofuel and fossil-fuel lobbies have argued in the past over the blending of biofuels with the general fuel supply. But now the two groups have found something they can agree on. DON'T MISS: Sierra Club to sue EPA over failure to report on ethanol A U.S. biofuel-lobbying group is courting the oil industry to fight subsidies for electric cars, saying they are a threat to both businesses, according to Reuters. Biofuel and oil lobbies can work together on regulatory and other issues, Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen...

  • Record-breaking electric-car parade in Cupertino, California. Photo courtesy of Plug In America.
    California local governments share how to prepare for electric cars

    California leads the way when it comes to electric-car adoption in the U.S. That's due in large part to a zero-emission vehicle mandate that requires the largest-volume automakers to sell cars without tailpipes, combined with a generous state purchase incentive that encourages residents to buy...

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf
    State fees, penalties on electric cars proliferate this year

    Several different states have continued to propose new fees for electric-car owners as a way to pay for road repairs. The fees are typically meant as a substitute for the gasoline taxes that, because they don't buy gas, electric-car owners don't pay. Advocates have criticized these fees, saying...

  • The White House, Washington, D.C.  [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]
    Auto industry split over halting, changing fuel-economy rules

    Just days after the presidential election, automaker lobbyists urged Donald Trump to loosen pending emissions and fuel-economy standards. Shortly after the election, a lobbying group wrote Trump asking him to change or delay an EPA decision that kept planned emissions standards for 2022 to 2025 in...

  • 2017 Nissan Leaf
    California goal: eliminate gasoline, diesel light vehicles altogether

    What if gasoline and diesel cars and light trucks were simply eliminated altogether from the new vehicles sold in a state? Residents of one state in the U.S. may, eventually, find out. California already leads the nation in promoting zero-emission vehicles, but the Golden State may soon take that...

  • Gas pump
    Public supports fuel-economy regulations, including Trump voters

    Regardless of political persuasion, there are some issues almost everyone can agree on. One of them, for example, is likely gas prices. It's hard to imagine anyone who enjoys paying more every time they fill up their car. DON'T MISS: Emissions/MPG rules could cost 1 million jobs, Ford CEO tells...

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