Automakers Pleased with Proposed EPA Sulfur Regulation

- March 30, 2013

Major automak­ers praised the EPA announce­ment that it wants to cut the amount of sul­fur in fuel by two-thirds by 2017.

Find out more about the search for clean­er fuels.

“Our clean­er cars will need even clean­er fuels like those already sold across Europe and Asia, so we are pleased EPA is propos­ing low­er-sul­fur fuels,” said Glo­ria Bergquist, a spokes­woman for the Alliance of Auto­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers, which rep­re­sents Detroit’s Big Three automak­ers, Toy­ota Motor Corp., Volk­swa­gen AG and oth­er automak­ers. “Clean­er fuels don’t dis­able our new tech­nolo­gies, and clean­er fuels pro­vide day-one ben­e­fits to the 250 mil­lion cars on our roads — as well as every oth­er engine using gaso­line, like boats and lawn­mow­ers.”

Car­mak­ers need clean­er fuel in order to meet emis­sions reduc­tions. The indus­try will spend about $200 bil­lion to dou­ble the effi­cien­cy of the fleet by 2025 to 54.5 miles per gal­lon.

The cat­alyt­ic con­vert­er is the pri­ma­ry emis­sions con­trol device on auto­mo­biles. When work­ing cor­rect­ly, they vir­tu­al­ly elim­i­nate smog-form­ing emis­sions. But over time, sul­fur in gaso­line reduces the abil­i­ty of the cat­alyt­ic con­vert­er to do its job.

In 1999, the EPA reduced allow­able sul­fur in gaso­line from 300 parts per mil­lion to 30 ppm. Cal­i­for­nia, the Euro­pean Union, Japan and South Korea require fuel with sul­fur lev­els of 10 ppm or less. The EPA said its pro­pos­al will pre­vent up to 2,400 pre­ma­ture deaths per year, as well as 23,000 cas­es of res­pi­ra­to­ry ail­ments in chil­dren. Total health-relat­ed ben­e­fits in 2030 will be between $8 bil­lion and $23 bil­lion annu­al­ly, EPA esti­mates.

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