Mercedes-Benz is petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA to start awarding what are being called “Off-Cycle Credits,” that would be added to a car’s overall efficiency score on account of any additional fuel-saving tech it might come fitted with, according to Automotive News.
As the EPA itself states, “Off-Cycle technologies achieve CO2 reductions that are not reflected in the current test procedures,” and “might include solar panels on hybrids, engine start-stop or active aerodynamics,” concluding that “for model-years 2014 and later, EPA is finalizing a pre-approved list of technologies and credit values. Further, manufacturers will be able to apply for off-cycle technology credits beyond those listed (…) if they present sufficient data to the EPA.”
Actively shutting grilles also count, even though they weren’t directly mentioned – utilization of such tech is on the rise, and not necessarily in the more expensive cars (like Mercedes); Ford, Chrysler and GM are trying it too.
The Germans have no choice but to stop the tradition of having to pay fines for not always meeting efficiency goals. Shockingly, they “paid 27 such fines to the U.S. government from the 1985 to 2011 model years totaling $349 million, records show; the rest of the auto industry paid a combined $495 million over that span.”
Now, new standards are in place, and paying fine after fine is not an acceptable way to move forward. Still, we, and according to our source, “environmental groups” too, are skeptical of the likelihood of actual palpable success in the case of this program, but right now, it’s too early to tell which way it will all go down.
By Andrei Nedelea