Car makers call for cleaner Canadian fuels

    Backed by new report that shows quality of Canadian gas and diesel falls
    behind the rest of the world

    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - The poor quality of Canadian gas and diesel has
a direct negative impact on tailpipe emissions and overall fuel consumption,
according to a new report by a renowned sustainable-energy think tank. The
report, authored by the Pembina Institute and commissioned by the Association
of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC), shows that
Canadian fuel quality directly impacts vehicle performance.
    The report shows fuel economy and vehicle emissions are inextricably
linked to fuel quality. It examines fuel characteristics such as sulphur and
detergency in gasoline and other elements in diesel. "For these fuel
characteristics, Canada is lagging behind best practices," the report states.
    "All Canadians want to save money when they fill up at the pumps and they
want to see reduced fuel consumption and decreased greenhouse emissions," said
John White, AIAMC Chairman, and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group Canada
Inc.. "Vehicle manufacturers are engineering improvements, but we can't do it
alone. No question, we need better fuel quality in this country just to bring
us to the levels utilized in other jurisdictions around the world."
    The report entitled Fuel Quality in Canada: Impact on Tailpipe Emissions,
identifies opportunities to improve fuel quality, investigates fuel quality
characteristics, the impact of fuel on the performance of motor vehicles, as
well as opportunities to improve Canadian fuel quality. The report identifies
several significant shortcomings in the Federal Government's approach to fuel
    "One year ago the Federal Government announced it would be setting
aggressive standards for vehicle manufacturers by regulating fuel consumption
of new motor vehicles," said White. "The reality is improved fuel quality can
assist vehicle manufacturers to better meet fuel consumption targets, and will
further improve the emissions of the 18 million vehicles on the road today."
    Fuel can either optimize or degrade vehicle components. It directly
impacts the performance of the vehicles currently on the road and delivery of
clean vehicle technologies. For example, the report shows 'lean-burn' engine
technologies could result in fuel economy improvements of up to 15 per cent,
but currently gasoline contains too much sulphur and Canadians are not
experiencing the economic and environmental benefits of these technologies.
    "Our members support positive environmental initiatives, but believe that
the government's current regulatory strategy is incomplete. Fuel is a crucial
component to any vehicle emissions strategy," said David Adams, President of
AIAMC. "In order to achieve the government's goal to decrease emissions and
fuel consumption it is imperative that Canada take a more integrated approach
involving vehicle emissions technology and fuel quality.
    The report also highlights several leading international jurisdictions,
such as the European Union, Australia and Japan that have already recognized
fuel quality as a critical pillar in their emissions and fuel consumption
reduction strategies. It identifies Canada as having amongst the fewest
mandatory requirements for fuel quality, combined with weak monitoring and
enforcement practices.
    "This report makes a strong case that Canada's automotive fuel standards
and regulations are both weak when compared with those in similar highly
developed automotive markets," commented Dr. David Checkel, Professor
Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta.
    "The opportunities to decrease emissions and improve fuel economy are
clear and achievable," said Adams. "We have heard time and again this is what
Canadians want, and we encourage the Canadian Government to revisit fuel
quality standards through regulations as the findings of this report strongly
suggest. Improved fuel quality can assist vehicle manufacturers in meeting new
fuel consumption targets."

    About AIAMC

    The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada is
the national industry association representing the interests of thirteen
member companies engaged in the manufacture, importation, distribution and
servicing of light duty vehicles in Canada. AIAMC membership includes BMW
Canada, Honda Canada Inc., Hyundai Auto Canada Corp., Kia Canada Inc., Mazda
Canada Inc., Mercedes Benz Canada Inc., Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc.,
Nissan Canada Inc., Porsche Cars Canada Ltd., Subaru Canada, Inc., Suzuki
Canada Inc., Toyota Canada Inc., and Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.

    About The Pembina Institute

    The Pembina Institute is a national non-profit think tank that advances
sustainable energy solutions through research, education, consulting and
advocacy. It promotes environmental, social and economic sustainability in the
public interest by developing practical solutions for communities,
individuals, governments and businesses. The Pembina Institute provides policy
research leadership and education on climate change, energy issues, green
economics, energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, and
environmental governance.

For further information:

For further information: To arrange an interview please contact: Gwen
McGuire, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, (416) 645-8172,

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