For Today: Surfs up for VW ID Buzz, Valero leading biofuels blend campaign

VW Buzz ready for surfer dudes and van lifers:  Volkswagen is preparing the I.D. Buzz electric microbus to show up at dealerships in 2022. Tapping into the spirit of surfers and road travelers who loved their old VW microbuses, it’s taking the design shape of one of these classic models. Announced Saturday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, VW CEO Herbert Diess said the demand has been strong since the initial unveiling of the concept earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show – coming through a lot of letters and emails. “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle,” he said.

Maybach electric cabriolet:  There’s another launch scheduled for the Pebble Beach event this week – an all-electric Maybach cabriolet that the company says will have a lot of range. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet is being pitched as the “ultimate in luxury of the future,” a two-seater offering electrified transportation with a tribute to hand-finished cabriolets. The company said that its drive system has an output of 750 hp (550 kW). The shallow underfloor battery will provide a per-charge range of over 200 miles, but its not clear what that real range will be. Mercedes-Benz said it will get 500 kilometers (310 miles) according to the NEDC standard in Europe, which is much higher than the EPA standard in the U.S.

Oil refiners want biofuels rules to change:  Reuters has done a detailed study, tapping into previous company executives who’ve chosen to remain anonymous, that Valero Energy Corp. is leading a lobbying drive to change the way the Environmental Protection Agency views and enforces the biofuels blend mandate. Valero and other oil refiners have taken a costly hit in recent years from the federal Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) the 10% ethanol blend in gasoline. Valero had to spend about $750 million last year buying RFS credits, according to the company’s securities filings. The company wants the rule to be revised so that the “point of obligation” moves over to retailers and shippers instead of oil refiners. Their coalition has brought in billionaire Carl Icahn, owners of the CVR Energy refiner and who’s served as a special advisor to Trump since his election. Icahn resigned Friday as a Trump advisor after taking a lot of pressure under claims he had a conflict of interests while playing this role.