The mission statement of CALSTART (calstart.org) is “CALSTART is dedicated to the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry that will: Clean the air; Secure the nation’s transportation energy future; Create high-quality economic opportunities; and Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Members of the organization include, among others: Audi of America, Allison Transmission, Caterpillar, Eaton, Ford, General Motors, Hino Trucks, Kenworth, Meritor, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck, New Flyer Industries, Parker-Hannifin, Schneider Electric, Toyota and Volvo Group.
Clearly, not exactly a crowd of environmental zealots.
CALSTART commissioned a study earlier this year that was conducted by Ricardo Energy & Environment, which is an organization within the world-renowned engineering consultancy Ricardo plc (ricardo.com). According to the company’s self-description on its website: “And, across everything we do, in every assignment we undertake, we remain committed to the ethos of our founder, Sir Harry Ricardo, one of the most innovative engineers of his time, who in 1915 set out on a mission to ‘maximize efficiency and eliminate waste.’”
Which is the thing that good engineers do. Engineers generally operate in ways that are methodical and data-driven in order to accomplish their goals.
The study is titled “Survey of Tier 1 automotive suppliers with respect to the US 2025 LDV GHG emissions standards.”
The standards that are presently under what is known as “notice of proposed rulemaking.” Or what is less precisely known as a “proposed rollback.”
The objectives of the study, which was conducted among a group of Tier 1 suppliers in the U.S. during the first two months of 2018, were to:
- Understand suppliers’ views of the 2025 standards and whether they are driving innovation and investment in the United States
- Understand how changes to these standards might affect suppliers’ business
- Determine if and how views have changed since commissioning a similar survey in 2016
- Understand the importance of timing in establishing post-2025 standards in the U.S.
- Identify which automotive technologies suppliers feel are most likely to contribute to meeting the 2025 targets.
So, what did they discover?
Well, to quote extensively from the executive summary of the report:
- The majority of survey respondents (16 out of 25) either agreed or strongly agreed with the policy decision to set the current U.S. 2025 LDV GHG standards when it was announced.
- The majority of respondents (17 out of 25) also agreed that the standards should be maintained in their current form and should not be adjusted over the 2021-2025 period. An additional 12% (3 out of 25) felt the standards should be more ambitious.
- The reasons given for maintaining the standards emphasized the need for regulatory certainty so investments and strategies can be planned in advance. They also emphasized that fuel efficiency standards will be a driver for innovation in the sector.
- Stakeholders generally agreed that it is important to start planning and setting targets now for beyond 2025. New technologies have long development lead times so regulatory certainty is essential.
- There was a large level of agreement (21 out of 23 respondents) that the 2025 standards tend to encourage job growth at their companies.
- The majority of respondents agreed (12 out of 23) or strongly agreed (7 out of 23) that companies that are leaders in vehicle efficiency technologies will be more successful over the next 10–15 years.
- All but one respondent either agreed (16 out of 22) or strongly agreed (5 out of 22) that more ambitious U.S. LDV standards tend to encourage more innovation and investment in the U.S.
Wonder if anyone in Washington is thinking about the suppliers, which are the ones that drive innovation and employment throughout the auto industry?
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