Honda’s plug-in offering for 2014.
For 2013, the new Fiat-owned Chrysler (The Chrysler Group) now has a new Fiat 500 Electric Vehicle for sale in California. The 500e will be good for some CO2 offset credits. The new Dodge Dart is also helping with the credits. In addition to these efforts, Chrysler is using R1234YF air conditioning refrigerant in some new vehicles in an attempt to obtain even more CO2 credits without using hybrids to offset its truck and SUV CO2 emissions. Chrysler is not the only carmaker playing the R1234YF CO2 credit game, joining GM in using the new refrigerant for this purpose. (R1234yf as a replacement for R134a is only required in new vehicle platforms offered for sale in the European Union.)
There are also other games carmakers play with CO2 credits. Electric car company Tesla Motors actually sells its CO2 credits to carmakers that need them because Tesla does not need them. Much of Tesla’s profits come from the sale of their CO2 credits. Other companies also sell their credits.
Under the hood, taking a closer look at Honda’s “Earth Dreams” technology.
I recently read an article indicating that Chrysler is developing a new small turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant that should be capable of meeting the EPA Tier-2, Bin 2 emissions requirement. Tier-2, Bin 2 is the same clean tailpipe exhaust emissions level as the Honda Civic dedicated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle, just one Bin above Electric Vehicles (Bin 1). The Toyota Prius is Tier-2, Bin 3 (dirtier than Bin 2). I hope Chrysler can pull it off soon; they have got to do something fast.
The new hybrids and plug-in hybrids from Ford and Honda are game changers. I believe the rest of the industry will be playing catch-up for a while. We even might see a better, more efficient hybrid or battery design appear in the next few years as we approach the year 2025 and its looming higher CAFE fuel economy and CO2 requirements. By the way, proposals for CAFE requirements beyond the year 2025 already are underway and they will make 54.5 mpg look low.
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