Auto News for Feb. 26 – Why electrics may be in your garage soon

  Volkswagen is facing a March 24th deadline to report back to a California judge on how it plans to fix emissions controls on 600,000 diesel powered cars. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said VW has had six months, or “long enough” to determine if this is a problem that can be repaired. In Germany, VW has hired a law firm to advise it on the liabilities that it may face.

Honda expects electric vehicles to account for two-thirds of its lineup by the year 2030. It will introduce a plug-in electric in North America by 2018 and then will make plug-in versions of its major models. For more on the future electric cars, see the April 2016 edition of Motor Trend. It points out rising government mandated fuel economy standards here in the U.S. coupled with stricter CO2 regulations in Europe and increasing fuel economy requirements in China will push automakers toward hybrids, plug-ins, battery-electric and fuel-cell cars by 2020. I recommend the article highly.

The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog group is warning Southern California drivers they are facing sticker shock at the gas pump as oil refiners raise wholesale prices in the changeover to the summer blend of gasoline. Californians now pay, on average, 68 cents more per gallon than motorists in other states because, the group said, four refiners control nearly 80 percent of the gas production and 75 percent of the stations in Southern California. It said prices may go up 37 cents a gallon on the switch to the summer blend.

It might surprise you to learn that 30 years ago a small company from Korea came to the U.S. to sell cars. Today Hyundai is the fifth largest automaker in the world and its lineup of vehicles has increased from just one, the Excel, to 14. It also is expanding its luxury car line here. “The U.S. is an incredibly important market for Hyundai and we will continue to invest in the American market and economy, said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai’s U.S. branch.

Ford will invest $145 million to upgrade its Cleveland Engine Plant to support production of a second generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine for the 2017 F-150. It will create or retain 150 jobs at the plant.



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