Tag Archive for ‘Automobiles’
Columnist Gael O’Brien says Volkswagen’s confession to rigging emissions standards on millions of diesel cars means the company’s board and new CEO, Matthias Müller (left), need to understand and correct what made it possible for illegal and unethical choices to be made when obstacles to business goals surfaced. What prevented anyone from speaking up or if anyone did, from being heard? And what are leaders willing to do to change that?
Proponents argue that once driverless cars are widely available many of us will forego owning our own cars in favor of car-sharing.
After years of wrangling on the issue, auto companies, regulators and policymakers have finally come to terms on increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles plying American roads; automakers will double the average, unadjusted fuel-economy rating of their car and light truck vehicle fleets to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 from today’s standard of 27 miles per gallon.
Tires are indeed no friends to the environment. Most tires on the road today are constructed of roughly equal parts natural rubber, petroleum and “carbon black” filler, along with a dash of other chemical additives to improve functionality. The tire industry has embraced recycling in recent years, but still some 25 percent of tires wind up in landfills.
Ethanol—a biofuel derived from corn and other feedstocks—is already playing a major role in helping to reduce emissions from many of the traditional gasoline-powered cars on the road today. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly half of all the gasoline sold in the U.S. contains up to 10 percent ethanol, which not only boosts octane but also helps meet federally mandated air quality requirements.