EPA Denies E15 Waiver for Pre-2001 Cars, Permits Use in Newer Cars
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that there is insufficient test data to permit E15 to be used in MY 2000 and older light-duty motor vehicles. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) has consistently voiced concern that ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. While the SAN is pleased with the decision that older cars should not be fueled with E15, the association is disappointed that the EPA issued an E15 waiver for 2007 and newer vehicles. The agency is still gathering data for the 2001-2006 vehicles. The EPA's ruling responds to a request from the ethanol industry to raise the ethanol content in gasoline from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15). Consumers will not see E15 at the pump any time soon. The EPA must first approve regulations on how gas stations will label their pumps to avoid consumer misfueling. This will take months. Furthermore, there is no obligation that gasoline retailers market the fuel. In fact, some retailers oppose the fuel over concern that they could be held liable if E15 damages a vehicle. The gas stations and distributors may also need to invest in new storage tanks, hoses and other equipment. The SAN will continue to oppose E15 until there are conclusive scientific findings that demonstrate that it will not harm automobiles of any age as a result of corrosion or other chemical incompatibilities.
New Fuel Economy Standards Coming
The federal government intends to set stringent new fuel economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions standards for model year 2017-2025 vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish the standards. The federal agencies have asked for public comment on four possible targets for reducing emissions, at 3%, 4%, 5% and 6% annually (equivalent to 47-62 mpg or 190-143 CO2 grams per mile). The targets envision four scenarios to meet the standards, from relying on hybrid-electric vehicles and advanced gasoline engines to a combined fleet of hybrid/electric/gasoline-electric vehicles. Achieving the standards would require a reduction in vehicle mass and new powertrain technology. According to government projections, while vehicle prices would rise by thousands of dollars, the consumer would ultimately save money in fuel costs. The federal government intends to issue a proposed rule by September 2011 and set final standards by July 2012. CARB is currently drafting its own CO2 standards for the same time period. The government set new fuel-economy/CO2 standards for model years 2012-2016 cars/trucks in 2009. The rules established a national approach to regulating CO2 emissions rather than a patchwork of state rules. The average rating in 2016 will be 35.5 mpg/250 CO2 grams. While the specialty-equipment industry is a leader in developing solutions to technological challenges, SEMA will review the data and assumptions upon which the fiscal years 2017-2025 proposal is based to determine if they can be applied to the mass-production marketplace and whether they would threaten consumer safety and choice. FW
King Expands Distribution
King Shocks has announced that its line of shocks will now be sold through 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers, 4WD.com, and Transamerican Wholesale. King Shocks built a solid reputation manufacturing state-of-the-art custom shock absorbers for top off-road racers. They've taken all the quality construction and race bred technology from their race shocks and packaged it into vehicle specific, bolt-on OEM and UTV applications. You can order online, over the phone, or through one of over sixty 4 Wheel Parts retail performance centers nationwide.
●Through a partnership with Activision, Jeep will offer the limited production Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition Wrangler for 2011.
●The 2011 Ford Raptor Super Crew will start at $44,315, while the SuperCab would start at $41,550. The 6.2L engine is now standard across the line.
●Ford's 3.7L V-6-powered 2011 F-150 has been rated at an impressive 23mpg highway.