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Environmental Stewardship

Cars and trucks represent only 20 percent of America’s annual carbon emissions, yet automakers are the only industry committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions of new products by 30 percent in just five years. This reduction is the carbon equivalent of
eliminating 50 coal plants.

The EPA estimates that achieving this standard could cost automakers nearly $52 billion in research and development costs alone. Retooling, materials and manufacturing costs will also be substantial.

Already, automakers offer more than 150 new hybrids, all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Chrysler, Ford and GM alone are putting millions of flex fuel vehicles on the road each year.

Jul 14 2014
Written by Alisa Priddle | Posted on Detroit Free Press

Aluminum is closing in on silver bullet status for the auto industry.

The industry has long viewed the metal as a way to make vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient, but obstacles such as cost and manufacturing technology relegated it to niche applications, usually luxury vehicles, while steel remained the material of choice for the majority of the industry.

Jul 10 2014
Written by Quinten Plummer | Posted on Tech Time

A 1.0-liter option, described as small enough to fit inside an airplane's overhead compartment, is available to car buyers seeking a fuel-efficient vehicle that doesn't sacrifice too much in the way of power.

It's the Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine which is driving the 2014 Ford Fiesta and it's also planned to be available in the automaker's 2015 Ford Focus.

Jul 08 2014
Written by Laura Barron-Lopez | Posted on The Hill

In an effort to expand its renewable energy, General Motors is building three acres of solar arrays at two of its Michigan plants.

The U.S. automaker is teaming up with Consumers Energy to build multiple 150-kilowatt ground-mount solar arrays to be installed later this summer, Grand Rapids Press reports.

The company said the solar panels will generate roughly 400,000 kilowatt hours of power, and are projected to power two plants and add renewable energy to the power grid in the surrounding region.

Jul 08 2014
Written by Chris Woodyard | Posted on USA Today

Chrysler Group may have found a hit with the light-duty diesel engines that it putting in its Ram full-size pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The number of buyers opting for the 240-horsepower V-6 EcoDiesel is substantial enough that Chrysler is asking its Italian supplier, a Fiat subsidiary, to send more of the engines, Automotive News reports.

Jul 07 2014
Written by Larry P. Vellequette | Posted on Automotive News

CHELSEA, Mich. -- Fiat Group executives are looking at ways to produce more light-duty diesel engines for Chrysler Group vehicles.

So far, Chrysler's diesel experiment, which it launched last year, is working. Brand executives said demand is brisk for diesel-powered versions of the Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, the two vehicles that offer the 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel.

EcoDiesel engine maker VM Motori, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Group, has capacity to build about 100,000 of the diesels per year, a source in Italy said.