Earlier this fall, not long after Senate Republicans sank their party’s seven-year assault on Obamacare, the House of Representatives did something almost unthinkable in the era of Congressional inaction. Two-hundred-and-forty Republicans and 194 Democrats voted unanimously to approve a bill. That bill did not propose a pay raise for Congress or publicly suggest Kim Jong-un suck on a uranium rod. It was actual policy. Citing the potential safety benefits and economic payoff of robocars, House members established an early framework for driverless-vehicle regulations. Or, more accurately, they established that, in the near term, the rules will be few and far between for such vehicles. When it comes to future regulations in this area, lawmakers appear ready to let go of the steering wheel and hand over control to auto manufacturers and tech companies. The crux of the SELF DRIVE Act (less coherently known as the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment … [Read more...] about Autonomous-Car Regulations: Lawmakers Are Ready To Let Go of the Steering Wheel
Democratic national convention 2016
01) Is our fearless leader really going to turn back fuel-economy regulations? Fuel-economy requirements through the 2021 model year were set five years ago and are as impervious to change as German dietary preferences. Model years 2022 through 2025, on the other hand, are at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency pulled its final decision for that period ahead by more than a year during President Obama’s last months in office, but, in March, President Trump ordered the EPA to review the regulation and potentially cut back from the 54.5-mpg fleet-average goal set for 2025. Despite the EPA concluding in January that current rules would become permanent, the agency also has the authority to, well, backtrack. Those opposed to rolling back regulations will point to the EPA’s 1217-page technical report from July 2016, which determined that automakers would have no trouble complying, but the EPA could just as easily write a 1218-page document that explains otherwise. … [Read more...] about 20 Tough Questions about the Auto Industry in 2018
While many will welcome the long-awaited tax reform recently championed by President Trump, it could prove to be a nail biter for electric-vehicle shoppers and enthusiasts. That’s because many buyers of electric vehicles, including relatively affordable ones like the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Bolt EV, as well as some buyers of plug-in hybrids, could be losing the tax credit of up to $7500 they currently get under the federal Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit.Those who buy an EV or a plug-in hybrid are getting a highly sweetened deal on the technology. The federal government has in recent years ramped up subsidies on electrified powertrain costs, from the battery technology to the charging infrastructure and from their development to sales. It’s on the sales side where the tax credit is a great asset, perhaps most in terms of allowing for affordable (in some cases very affordable) leases.The credit, according to some analysts and industry … [Read more...] about If the U.S. Government Nixes the $7500 EV Tax Credit, Then What?