Ford talking to govt about hybrids’ fuel economy

Updated 15 December 2012
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Ford talking to govt about hybrids’ fuel economy

DETROIT: Ford said Friday that it is talking to the government about the fuel economy of its hybrid cars after a report suggested they are falling short of targets.
Consumer Reports said last week that Ford's new C-Max hybrid didn't meet the published fuel economy of 47 miles per gallon (5 liters per 100 kilometers), averaging 38 mpg (6.2 liters per 100 kms) in the magazine's testing. Other hybrids — including the Ford Fusion and Toyota Prius V — have also fallen short in the magazine's tests.
Ford said it followed the Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines when it set its fuel economy standards. But the EPA's tests don't exactly mimic real-world driving, Ford's global vehicle development chief Raj Nair said.
For instance, Nair said driving a hybrid car 75 miles per hour (120 kms/hour), instead of 65 miles per hour (104 kms/hour), can cost the driver seven miles per gallon. Hot or cold temperatures can also affect the numbers.
Nair said Ford is talking to the EPA to see if the agency needs to change the way it tests hybrids.
Fuel economy dominated the conversation Friday as Ford introduced two new commercial vehicles that will go on sale late next year.
The Transit, which will eventually replace Ford's E-Series vans, will haul 300 pounds (136 kilograms) more than the current E-Series and has twice the volume. Ford will offer three engine choices and three roof heights.
The company also unveiled a smaller Transit Connect commercial vehicle, which is getting its first big makeover since it went on sale in Europe a decade ago.
The new Transit Connect can tow up to 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms ) for the first time. It comes in short and long versions. Ford will also offer an optional EcoBoost engine in the Transit Connect that is expected to get more than 30 miles per gallon (7.8 liters per 100 kms).
Ford didn't release prices or final fuel economy numbers for the vans.


Iran rial plunges to new lows as US sanctions loom

Updated 24 June 2018
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Iran rial plunges to new lows as US sanctions loom

  • The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday
  • The currency has been sliding for months because of a weak economy

DUBAI: The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange website Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market.
Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA said the dollar had climbed to 87,000 rials on Sunday from about 74,000 before the weekend on the black market, and several Iranian websites carried similar reports.
The currency has been sliding for months because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians who fear the pullout by Washington from the nuclear deal and renewed US sanctions against Tehran could shrink the country’s exports of oil and other goods.
The fall of the national currency has provoked a public outcry over the quick rise of prices of imported consumer goods.
Merchants at the mobile phone shopping centers Aladdin and Charsou in central Tehran protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial by shutting down their shops on Sunday, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
A video posted on social media showed protesters marching and chanting “strike, strike!” The footage could not be authenticated independently by Reuters.
Hours later, Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi said on Twitter that he visited the protesting merchants.
“I will try to help provide hard currency for (mobile) equipment (imports),” Azari-Jahromi wrote, adding: “The merchants’ activity has now gone back to normal.”
Some of the US sanctions against Iran take effect after a 90-day “wind-down” period ending on Aug. 6, and the rest, most notably on the petroleum sector, after a 180-day “wind-down” period ending on Nov. 4.
The rial has weakened from around 65,000 rials just before Trump’s announcement of the US withdrawal in early May, and from 42,890 at the end of last year — a freefall that threatens to boost inflation, hurt living standards and reduce the ability of Iranians to travel abroad.
In an effort to halt the slide, Iranian authorities announced in April they were unifying the dollar’s official and black market exchange rates at a single level of 42,000, and banning any trade at other rates under the threat of arrest.
But this step has failed to stamp out the unofficial market because authorities have been supplying much less hard currency through official channels than consumers are demanding. Free market trade simply went underground, dealers said.