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The new Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV III) regulations officially adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) on March 22, 2012 will establish the world’s most stringent tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions standards for new passenger vehicles.
With LEV III, California’s new light-duty vehicle tailpipe emission regulations are to be phased in during model years 2017-2025. In that time, all vehicles sold in California will have to meet Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) tailpipe standards.
“The fact that diesel technology is both proven and widely available today is also critical to making early progress toward California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Some of the other more exotic fuels and vehicle technologies, while promising, remain in the very earliest stage of development or at minimal market penetration levels.
These new clean diesels will now help in meeting California’s near-term and long-term environmental, energy and climate goals,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.
“Just as Californians are experiencing some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, with an average of$4.23 a gallon according to the Energy Information Administration, the interest in diesel cars is at its highest level ever,” Schaeffer said. “Last year, clean diesel car sales in the U.S. increased 27% and sales in 2012 are up more than 32%. The high fuel prices and stricter emissions regulations are playing a key role in the increases sales of clean diesel autos.”
Schaeffer cited several recent North American examples of the environmental advances in clean diesel technology and lower emissions. This included the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where the all new 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI clean diesel was voted the winner of the 2012 Earth, Wind & Power Car of the Year of the Most Earth Friendly Vehicle and the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Clean Diesel was named Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year.
Several new clean diesel autos are to be introduced to U.S. market. Chrysler announced that it will be introducing a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel in 2013 or 2014 while a diesel powered Porsche Cayenne would be coming to the U.S. in 2012. Mazda on the other hand will become the first Asian car manufacturer to sell diesel cars in the U.S. when it introduces its SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesel engine.
“While most auto makers have clean diesel autos on the market in Europe, Asia and Australia, there are growing indications that even more diesels are on their way to the U.S. market,” Schaeffer said.