The EPA’s stricter Tier 3 emissions standards that take effect in 2017 are a double-edged sword for most automakers.
Automotive News reported that on one hand, manufacturers no longer will have to certify vehicles to meet two sets of emissions standards, California and federal. One national standard will reduce automakers’ engineering and manufacturing costs.
On the other hand, costs for emissions equipment such as catalytic converters and exhaust manifolds are expected to rise, the EPA estimates, between $50 and $130 per vehicle for most automakers when Tier 3 standards are fully implemented.
The emissions in question are mainly oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, which cause smog.
In the first three years, 2017-19, of the phased-in regulations, light-vehicle technology will need few changes. The regs call for less sulfur in fuel, which by itself will reduce emissions.
To meet the standards in the early years, automakers will adopt well-known technology to increase engine efficiency. Vehicles with eight-, nine- and 10-speed transmissions, for instance, will help engines run more efficiently. More hybrids and electric vehicles are coming. And most vehicles will use more efficient emissions parts, such as catalytic converters with higher volumes of precious metals.
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