Carmakers Say Regulatory Rollback Won’t Slow Engine Work

April 16, 2018 at 12:25 AM

Powertrain executives assert that they will continue to seek gains in fuel economy and emissions even if U.S. regulators roll back standards for both.

“We are not going to change our plan,” declares David Philipe, who heads powertrain engineering at Ford Motor Co. Automotive News reports that representatives from General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda made similar assertions during last week’s SAE International conference in Detroit.

Honda senior r&d chief engineer Tomonori Niizato says his company’s goals are governed by global trends that transcend national regulations. Honda, he adds, won’t change its pursuit of advanced technologies or plans to deploy them.

The executives suggest that the focus of regulations should shift from fixed tailpipe emission measurements to an approach that recognizes new options to lower the overall impact of personal transportation on air quality.

Dan Nicholson, GM’s leader for global propulsion systems, cites vehicles in car-sharing and autonomous ride-sharing services that operate around the clock. Such vehicles should count more toward meeting future standards than do single-owner cars, Nicholson says.

AN also quotes Jeff Lux, who leads powertrain engineering at FCA, as applauding likely regulatory changes in the U.S. that acknowledge shifts in customer behavior and “economic realities” since the current rules were set six years ago.