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Alternative Method for Calculating Off-Cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Alternative Method for Calculating Off-Cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation

Byron Bunker
Environmental Protection Agency
June 3, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 106 (Wednesday, June 3, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31598-31601]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-13503]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL--9928-70-OAR]


Alternative Method for Calculating Off-Cycle Credits Under the 
Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From 
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors 
Corporation

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 31599]]

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting 
comment on applications from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC (``FCA''), 
Ford Motor Company (Ford) and General Motors Corporation (GM) for off-
cycle carbon dioxide (CO2) credits under EPA's light-duty 
vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards. ``Off-cycle'' emission 
reductions can be achieved by employing technologies that result in 
real-world benefits, but where that benefit is not adequately or 
entirely captured on the test procedures used by manufacturers to 
demonstrate compliance with emission standards. EPA's light-duty 
vehicle greenhouse gas program acknowledges these benefits by giving 
automobile manufacturers several options for generating ``off-cycle'' 
carbon dioxide (CO2) credits. Under the regulations, a 
manufacturer may apply for CO2 credits for technologies that 
result in off-cycle benefits. In these cases, a manufacturer must 
provide EPA with a proposed methodology for determining the real-world 
off-cycle benefit. FCA and Ford have submitted applications that 
describe methodologies for determining off-cycle credits from high 
efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar 
reflective paint, and active seat ventilation. Ford's application also 
proposes methodologies for determining the off-cycle benefits from 
active aerodynamic improvements (grill shutters), active transmission 
warm-up, active engine warm-up technologies, and engine idle stop-
start. GM's application proposes a methodology to determine the real-
world benefits of an air conditioning compressor with variable 
crankcase suction valve technology. Pursuant to applicable regulations, 
EPA is making descriptions of the manufacturers' off-cycle credit 
calculation methodologies available for public comment.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- 
OAR-2015-0282, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the On-Line 
Instructions for Submitting Comments.
     Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: (202) 566-1741.
     Mail: Air and Radiation Docket, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OAR-
2015-0282, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 22821T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, EPA 
West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
20460. Attention Air and Radiation Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OAR-2015-0282. 
Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Online Instructions for Submitting Comments: Direct your comments 
to Docket ID No. Attention Air and Radiation Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- OAR-
2015-0282. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
for which disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, 
such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard 
copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and 
Radiation Docket, EPA/DC, EPA WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the 
telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roberts French, Environmental 
Protection Specialist, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, 
Compliance Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 
Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Telephone: (734) 214-4380. Fax: 
(734) 214-4869. Email address: french.roberts@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    EPA's light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) program provides 
three pathways by which a manufacturer may accrue off-cycle carbon 
dioxide (CO2) credits for those technologies that achieve 
CO2 reductions in the real world but where those reductions 
are not adequately or entirely captured on the test used to determine 
compliance with the CO2 standards, and which are not 
otherwise reflected in the standards' stringency. The first pathway is 
a predetermined list of credit values for specific off-cycle 
technologies that may be used beginning in model year 2014.\1\ This 
pathway allows manufacturers to use conservative credit values 
established by EPA for a wide range of technologies, with minimal data 
submittal or testing requirements. In cases where additional laboratory 
testing can demonstrate emission benefits, a second pathway allows 
manufacturers to use a broader array of emission tests (known as ``5-
cycle'' testing because the methodology uses five different testing 
procedures) to demonstrate and justify off-cycle CO2 
credits.\2\ The additional emission tests allow emission benefits to be 
demonstrated over some elements of real-world driving not captured by 
the GHG compliance tests, including high speeds, hard accelerations, 
and cold temperatures. These first two methodologies were completely 
defined through notice and comment rulemaking and therefore no 
additional process is necessary for manufacturers to use these methods. 
The third and last pathway allows manufacturers to seek EPA approval to 
use an alternative methodology for determining the off-cycle 
CO2 credits.\3\ This option is only available if the benefit 
of the technology cannot be adequately demonstrated

[[Page 31600]]

using the 5-cycle methodology. Manufacturers may also use this option 
for model years prior to 2014 to demonstrate off-cycle CO2 
reductions for technologies that are on the predetermined list, or to 
demonstrate reductions that exceed those available via use of the 
predetermined list.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(b).
    \2\ See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(c).
    \3\ See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the regulations, a manufacturer seeking to demonstrate off-
cycle credits with an alternative methodology (i.e., under the third 
pathway described above) must describe a methodology that meets the 
following criteria:
     Use modeling, on-road testing, on-road data collection, or 
other approved analytical or engineering methods;
     Be robust, verifiable, and capable of demonstrating the 
real-world emissions benefit with strong statistical significance;
     Result in a demonstration of baseline and controlled 
emissions over a wide range of driving conditions and number of 
vehicles such that issues of data uncertainty are minimized;
     Result in data on a model type basis unless the 
manufacturer demonstrates that another basis is appropriate and 
adequate.
    Further, the regulations specify the following requirements 
regarding an application for off-cycle CO2 credits:
     A manufacturer requesting off-cycle credits must develop a 
methodology for demonstrating and determining the benefit of the off-
cycle technology, and carry out any necessary testing and analysis 
required to support that methodology.
     A manufacturer requesting off-cycle credits must conduct 
testing and/or prepare engineering analyses that demonstrate the in-use 
durability of the technology for the full useful life of the vehicle.
     The application must contain a detailed description of the 
off-cycle technology and how it functions to reduce CO2 
emissions under conditions not represented on the compliance tests.
     The application must contain a list of the vehicle 
model(s) which will be equipped with the technology.
     The application must contain a detailed description of the 
test vehicles selected and an engineering analysis that supports the 
selection of those vehicles for testing.
     The application must contain all testing and/or simulation 
data required under the regulations, plus any other data the 
manufacturer has considered in the analysis.
    Finally, the alternative methodology must be approved by EPA prior 
to the manufacturer using it to generate credits. As part of the review 
process defined by regulation, the alternative methodology submitted to 
EPA for consideration must be made available for public comment.\4\ EPA 
will consider public comments as part of its final decision to approve 
or deny the request for off-cycle credits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See 40 CFR 86.1869-12(d)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Off-Cycle Credit Applications

A. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, Fiat 
Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is applying for credits for model years 
prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits 
becomes available. FCA has applied for off-cycle credits using the 
alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following 
technologies: High efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective 
glass/glazing, solar reflective paint, and active seat ventilation. The 
application covers 2009-2013 model year vehicles. All of these 
technologies are described in the predetermined list of credits 
available in the 2014 and later model years. The methodologies 
described by FCA are generally consistent with those used by EPA to 
establish the predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and 
would result in the same credit values as described in the regulations. 
The magnitude of these credits is determined by specification or 
calculations in the regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements 
(e.g., the area of glass or the lighting locations using the specified 
technologies), but would be no higher than the following established 
regulatory caps:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Off-Cycle Credit-- Off-Cycle Credit--
            Technology                Cars  (grams/     Trucks  (grams/
                                          mile)              mile)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High efficiency lighting..........                1.0                1.0
Solar reflective glass/glazing....                2.9                3.9
Solar reflective paint............                0.4                0.5
Active seat ventilation...........                1.0                1.3
------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Ford Motor Company

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, Ford 
Motor Company (Ford) is applying for credits for model years prior to 
2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits becomes 
available. Ford has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative 
demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: High 
efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar 
reflective paint, active seat ventilation, active aerodynamics, active 
transmission warm-up, active engine warm-up, and engine idle start-
stop. All of these technologies are described in the predetermined list 
of credits available in the 2014 and later model years. The application 
covers 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles. The methodologies described 
by Ford are generally equivalent to those used by EPA to establish the 
predetermined list of credits in the regulations, and would result in 
the same credit values as described in the regulations. The magnitude 
of these credits is determined by specification or calculations in the 
regulations based on vehicle-specific measurements (e.g., the area of 
glass or the lighting locations using the specified technologies), but 
would be no higher than the following established regulatory caps:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Off-cycle          Off-cycle
            Technology                 credit--cars      credit--trucks
                                       (grams/mile)       (grams/mile)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High efficiency lighting..........                1.0                1.0
Solar reflective glass/glazing....                2.9                3.9
Solar reflective paint............                0.4                0.5

[[Page 31601]]

 
Active seat ventilation...........                1.0                1.3
                                   -------------------------------------
Active aerodynamics...............   Based on measured reduction in the
                                             coefficient of drag
                                   -------------------------------------
Active transmission warm-up.......                1.5                3.2
Active engine warm-up.............                1.5                3.2
Engine idle start-stop............                2.5                4.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. General Motors Corporation

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, GM is 
applying for credits for model years 2013 through 2015. These credits 
are for a component of the air conditioning system that results in air 
conditioning efficiency credits beyond those provided in the 
regulations. GM has applied for off-cycle credits for the Denso SAS air 
conditioner compressor with variable crankcase suction valve 
technology. GM is requesting an off-cycle GHG credit of 1.1 grams 
CO2 per mile for this technology. EPA currently provides 
Mobile Air Conditioner (MAC) GHG credits for reduced reheat using an 
externally-controlled variable displacement compressor (EVDC), which 
provides significant efficiency improvements compared to the baseline 
fixed displacement compressors that were the norm at the time EPA 
created the GHG program. Under the 2012-2016 light-duty GHG program, 
the credit for using an EVDC is 1.7 grams of CO2 per mile. 
GM has a new EVDC design from Denso that further improves the 
efficiency of the MAC compressor through the addition of a variable 
crankcase suction valve (variable CS valve). The Denso SAS compressor 
improves the internal valve system within the compressor to reduce the 
internal refrigerant flow necessary throughout the range of 
displacements that the compressor may use during its operating cycle. 
The variable CS valve can provide a larger mass flow under maximum 
capacity and compressor start-up conditions, when high flow is ideal, 
then reduce to smaller openings with reduced mass flow in mid or low 
capacity conditions. The refrigerant exiting the crankcase is optimized 
across the range of operating conditions, creating benefits for the 
energy consumption of the MAC system.
    The ``5-cycle'' methodology would not adequately measure the real 
world GHG reduction benefits of either the EVDC or the variable CS 
valve. Only one of the five tests is conducted with the air conditioner 
on and that test cycle represents worse case conditions (e.g., high 
temperature, solar load, and humidity) and would not represent the real 
world benefits of the technology. Therefore, GM has chosen to determine 
the appropriate off-cycle credits through use of an alternative 
methodology.
    GM worked with Denso to perform bench testing of EDVC with and 
without the variable CS valve and quantified the difference. Based on 
this analysis, GM determined an off-cycle credit of 1.1 grams of 
CO2 per mile were appropriate. GM substantiated these 
results by also performing vehicle tests using the AC17 test procedure.

III. EPA Decision Process

    EPA has reviewed the applications for completeness and is now 
making the applications available for public review and comment as 
required by the regulations. The off-cycle credit applications 
submitted by FCA, Ford, and GM (with confidential business information 
redacted) have been placed in the public docket (see ADDRESSES section 
above) and on EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/greenhouse/ld-ghg.htm. EPA is providing a 30-day comment period on the 
applications for off-cycle credits described in this notice, as 
specified by the regulations. The manufacturers may submit a written 
rebuttal of comments for EPA's consideration, or may revise an 
application in response to comments. After reviewing any public 
comments and any rebuttal of comments submitted by manufacturers, EPA 
will make a final decision regarding the credit requests. EPA will make 
its decision available to the public by placing a decision document (or 
multiple decision documents) in the docket and on EPA's Web site at 
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/greenhouse/ld-ghg.htm. While the 
broad methodologies used by these manufacturers could potentially be 
used for other vehicles and by other manufacturers, the vehicle 
specific data needed to demonstrate the off-cycle emissions reductions 
would likely be different. In such cases, a new application would be 
required, including an opportunity for public comment.

    Dated: May 27, 2015.
Byron Bunker,
Director, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air 
Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 2015-13503 Filed 6-2-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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