The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US today officially declared that greenhouse gases are “the primary drivers of climate change”.
The announcement comes at the beginning of the international climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, and strengthens President Barack Obama’s push to enforce tight fuel efficiency regulations for light vehicles.
The Obama administration is aiming to increase fuel efficiency of all cars and light trucks to 35.5 mpg (6.63 L/100km) by 2016.
The regulations are expected to be introduced in April next year, bringing all of the states in line with the EPA and the Department of Transport.
The EPA’s announcement is expected to have a greater impact on energy companies and producers than the automotive industry, but the National Association of Manufacturers said that it believed the findings would hurt manufacturers’ competitiveness.
The news comes as General Motors announced an eighth production site for the Chevrolet Volt, investing US$336 million (AUD$368 million) in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
The investment takes total capital expenditure for the plug-in hybrid Volt to $700 million (AUD$766 million) and will allow a pilot program to commence in March before full-scale production later in 2010.
GM said the plant – which currently operates just one shift producing the Cadillac DTS and the Buick Lucerne – will become the hub of Volt manufacturing.
Just 33,000 vehicles have rolled off the line at Detroit-Hamtramck this year compared to 85,000 in 2008, and the factory will close next week to re-equip the line and train the employees to build the new all-electric two-seater.
(with Automotive News)