Jun 162012
 

Co2 Emissions Reduced

Co2 Emissions Reduced

Eco-Technology for Vehicles Program

The Canadian government has announced a $38 million investment into the safety regulations of eco-cars. Named ‘The Eco-Technology for Vehicles Program’, this five year project by Transport Canada will involve researching the green car safety standards currently used in the US and putting processes in place to comply with them.

The project aims to reduce Canada’s emissions by 17 per cent in the next 18 years. Studies have already begun on some aspects, such as noise alerts for silent electric and hybrid cars, and EV performance in cold weather.

Ensure Candada Keeps Up

According to Denis Lebel, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the aim of the project is to ensure Canada keeps up with the ever-developing innovations in the automotive industry for at least the next four years. Transport Canada’s spokesperson, Patrick Charette, added that it will also investigate and analyse the safety and environmental effects of eco cars, including electric, hybrid, liquefied gas and hydrogen vehicles. It will also look into the most up-to-date innovations in hybrid technology, with a view to using them to improve large commercial vehicles, such as trucks and trailers.

Concern Over Battery Technology

This project has been raised due to concerns with the safety of battery technology used in eco-cars. During extreme testing at a GM research facility, an EV battery explosion occurred, which has triggered the Canadian government’s interest in safety issues. An investigation by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that the incident was a one-off and that the battery did not pose a fire risk, but this did little to quell the concerns.

Develop Best Green Technology

This programme plays an important part in the future for eco-cars, because in order to develop the best green technology, Canada must align its safety standard with those of the US. Using the same standards across a larger scale will ensure maximisation of the environmental benefits of this technology. Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer’s Association agrees. He compared Canada’s situation to the US, referring back to how a regulation that was originally only used in California was applied nationwide, which brought greater benefits. He said that this situation will be much the same.

British Columbia Plans

In contrast, British Columbia plans to cease its testing programme for emissions. Teryy Lake, the Environment Minister, announced that the AirCare testing programme is no longer required because newer vehicles are becoming less of a contributor to pollution as cars become more efficient. The programme will run in certain areas until the end of 2014 before ceasing completely.

New and Innovative Testing Equipment

Thankfully, Ontario is not following in British Columbia’s footsteps with its DriveClean campaign. The local Environment Ministry Spokesperson Kate Jordan acknowledged that technology is constantly evolving, but said that instead of stopping, these programs should simply evolve with it. The main focus of this program is heavy polluters, which means that hybrid and electric cars are not tested. However, dual-fuelled vehicles that use natural gases or propane are. The scheme aims to reduce vehicle emissions by up to 20 per cent by introducing new and innovative testing equipment.

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