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Alternative Method for Calculating Off-cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Volkswagen Group of America


American Government

Alternative Method for Calculating Off-cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Volkswagen Group of America

Byron J. Bunker
Environmental Protection Agency
2 September 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 171 (Friday, September 2, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60694-60697]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-21217]


=======================================================================
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9951-82-OAR]


Alternative Method for Calculating Off-cycle Credits Under the 
Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From 
BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and 
Volkswagen Group of America

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting 
comment on applications from BMW of North American (BMW), Ford Motor 
Company (Ford), General Motors Corporation (GM), and Volkswagen Group 
of America (VW) 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 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 off-cycle 
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. These four manufacturers 
have submitted applications that describe methodologies for determining 
off-cycle credits. The off-cycle technologies vary by manufacturer and 
include active aerodynamics systems, active cabin ventilation, active 
seat ventilation, solar reflective glass/glazing, solar reflective 
surface coating (paint), active engine warmup, active transmission 
warmup, engine idle stop-start systems, and high efficiency lighting. 
Pursuant to applicable regulations, EPA is making descriptions of each 
manufacturer's off-cycle credit calculation methodologies available for 
public comment.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 3, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ- 
OAR-2016-0503, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The 
EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not 
submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must 
be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered 
the official comment and should include discussion of all points you 
wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment 
contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, 
cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission 
methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or 
multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective 
comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

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 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, as long as the technologies meet EPA regulatory 
definitions. In cases where the off-cycle technology is not on the menu 
but 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

[[Page 60695]]

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 adequately 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 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. BMW of North America

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, BMW of 
North America (BMW) is applying for credits for model years prior to 
2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became 
available. BMW has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative 
demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: high 
efficiency exterior lighting, solar reflective glass/glazing, active 
seat ventilation, active cabin ventilation, and active engine warmup. 
With the exception of active cabin ventilation, EPA has already 
approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 
2014.\5\ BMW's request is consistent with previously approved 
methodologies and credits. 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 BMW are 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 values:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ ``EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler 
Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.'' 
Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          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
Active seat ventilation.............               1.0               1.3
Active cabin ventilation............               2.1               2.8
Active engine warmup................               1.5               3.2
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 became 
available. Ford has applied for off-cycle credits using the alternative 
demonstration methodology pathway for the following technologies: high 
efficiency exterior lighting, active seat ventilation, active 
aerodynamics, active transmission warmup, active engine warmup, and 
engine idle stop-start systems. EPA has already approved credits for 
these technologies for the 2012 and 2013 model years for Ford, and for 
some of these technologies for Fiat Chrysler for the 2009-2013 model 
years.\6\ Ford's request is consistent with

[[Page 60696]]

previously approved methodologies and credits. The application covers 
the 2009-2011 model year vehicles, model years which were inadvertently 
omitted from Ford's previous request. All of these technologies are 
described in the predetermined list of credits available in the 2014 
and later model years. The methodologies described by Ford are 
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 values:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ ``EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler 
Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.'' 
Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Off-cycle         Off-cycle
             Technology                 credit--cars     credit--trucks
                                        (grams/mile)      (grams/mile)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
high efficiency lighting............               1.0               1.0
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, General 
Motors Corporation (GM) is applying for credits for model years prior 
to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits became 
available. GM 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 
engine warmup, and engine idle stop-start systems. EPA has already 
approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 
2014.\7\ GM's request is consistent with previously approved 
methodologies and credits. The application covers the 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 GM are 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 values:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ ``EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler 
Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.'' 
Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

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

D. Volkswagen of America

    Using the alternative methodology approach discussed above, 
Volkswagen of America (VW) is applying for credits for model years 
prior to 2014, and thus prior to when the list of default credits 
became available. VW has applied for off-cycle credits using the 
alternative demonstration methodology pathway for the following 
technologies: Active aerodynamics systems, active seat ventilation, 
solar reflective glass/glazing, solar reflective surface coating 
(paint), active engine warmup, active transmission warmup, engine idle 
stop-start systems, and high efficiency lighting. EPA has already 
approved credits for these technologies for model years prior to 
2014.\8\ VW's request is consistent with previously approved 
methodologies and credits. The application covers the 2012-2013 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 VW are 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

[[Page 60697]]

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 values:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ ``EPA Decision Document: Off-cycle Credits for Fiat Chrysler 
Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.'' 
Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. EPA-420-R-15-014, September 2015.

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

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 BMW, Ford, GM, and VW (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: August 26, 2016.
Byron J. Bunker,
Director, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air 
Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 2016-21217 Filed 9-1-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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