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VW Smog Scandal Inspires GM Powertrain Chief to Push for Standardized Global Emissions

Achtung Smog Wagen!

John Gilbert Nov 23, 2015 0 Comment(s)
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It might seem kind of crazy that California’s CARB sets its own emissions standards with the rest of the nation adhering to EPA standards, and perhaps even crazier world standards are, shall we say, all over the map? In light of the recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal with Bosch and other manufacturers coming under scrutiny, General Motors powertrain chief, Dan Nicholson, is preparing to launch a campaign for emissions harmonization globally. According to Automotive News and thanks to GM Authority we can report Nicholson said he will use his upcoming presidency of the International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies to push for an alignment of emissions standards globally, with a focus on the United States and Europe.

“I’m not sure any of the European regulators are happy with the status quo,” he said. He noted the differences between upcoming European Union emissions standards and US EPA were marginally different, but engineering the same cars to pass both costs “hundreds of millions of dollars” a year across the industry.

“We want all our engineering resources focused on improving air quality and reducing CO2. With different sets of rules, we have to put our engineering resources into nuanced regulatory differences rather than working on the root problem,” Nicholson said.

However, the one challenge remains in the California Air Resources Board, which sets its own standards for the state. Though, he noted the EPA and CARB are working more closely than ever.

The call comes at a crucial time, as China works to firm up its own emission standards, too.

“With China in discussions right now, we are at a key pivot point. I’m concerned that if we miss our opportunities now they won’t come again for a long time.”

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