Diesel cars: Is it time to switch to a cleaner fuel?

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Of the 1.2 million affected cars in the UK, Willis said 400,000 - believed to be those with the 1.6-litre version of the EA189 diesel engine - would need additional corrective work beyond a software upgrade, including new fuel injectors, and that this would "take a longer period of time".

However, he said that the installation of exhaust after-treatments, likely to be fitted to some cars affected in the US in the form of a urea tank, would not be necessary in the UK. "My understanding is that the addition of urea tanks is not part of the solution in Europe," he stated. "There's a different technical configuration on the cars and different technical regulations apply. My understanding is that the costs are different, too."

The remaining 700,000-odd units - 2.0-litre diesels and around 30,000 1.2-litre diesels - can be fixed by software patches alone.

...

Speaking to Autocar, a DfT spokesman confirmed that the UK won't follow the example set by the German authorities in issuing a mandatory recall for affected cars. Volkswagen has already started a voluntary recall program for cars in this country, but the DfT has made clear that "this is VW's position and VW's problem."
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/indus ... gularities

So, no Urea tanks for European cars, new injectors for 1.6l diesels and software changes for the rest, including my 1.2l diesel. Presumably because EU regulations were less strict to start with.

The recall won't be mandatory in the UK, so the UK general public can go and quietly die of NOx poisoning. That should save VW a few hundred million. VW claims MPG won't be affected, so presumably performance will be cut instead. Given the acceleration on my car is class trailing already, that will be an interesting experience.

With the incorrect CO2 emissions vehicles, which may face higher tax bands, VW is offering a buyback option 'at market price' for affected vehicles. Is this the 'buy before scandal hit' price, or the 'sell after scandal hit ' price?

I will probably will get my car fixed. I don't want to poison passers by, and I certainly want VW to suffer financially. I do not know if it will be worth more or less after the fix, but it won't be much either way, and I don't plan selling it any time soon anyway. If I buy electric I will need to keep it for longer distance journeys.

Suing VW for a few hundred in compensation is just too much like hard work.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34857404

BBC confirms that VW diesels also cheat in European tests, test emissions 3 times higher than official results when the cheat device is fooled.

The implication is that the car's mpg will be cut sharply if it is forced into low emission mode all the time.

That will impact driver's costs and will also invalidate it's UK tax class.

Except the UK government has already ruled out changes to tax ratings, or forcing cars to be recalled.
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

PS_RalphW wrote:invalidate it's UK tax class
It's not clear that it would invalidate its tax class. The class is related to the V5 CO2 figure, not the cars actual CO2 figure. If a 10 year old car has some fault increasing its CO2 emission, its tax class does not change. MOTs don't test/require actual emissions to match the V5 value.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

By actively cheating the NOx emissions test, they improved mpg at the expense of illegal levels of NOx emissions. It is not the test mode that breaks the law, it is the default mode. The 'simple software fix' most cars will be given will be to switch the car into test mode permanently.

The car will almost certainly then fall into a higher CO2 tax band, and if it had been in that band all along, the government would have had considerably higher tax income, so VW have also defrauded the government.

Both drivers and government will be out of pocket. Some drivers will sue, the government will be the biggest loser , and with Tories in charge almost certainly will not demand compensation.

I also suspect the sluggish performance by car currently has will become glacial when the car is 'fixed'.

This also begs a question. A lot of cars come with driver switchable performance modes, which will certainly have different emissions profiles. Which one is used during emissions tests?
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

Also note it is legal to remap, or 'chip' a car - changing its performance and emissions; the tax class stays the same.

http://amdtuning.com/
http://www.polestar.com/uk/products/drive-e-optimised/

The VW fix could be considered an after market remap.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

The BBC programme also tested a Vauxhall Zafira, which showed emissions off the measurement scale under some conditions, whilst only 2 times over the legal limit when following the official cycle.

And also Renault-Nissan:

http://gas2.org/2015/11/24/germany-rena ... emissions/

My guess is that the engine control unit limits emissions only when within the operational parameters of the test. If speed or acceleration is outside the maximum values encountered in the test, then all attempt to limit NOx is abandoned, safe in the knowledge it is not being tested. It is not a 'cheat' device, because it is not actively monitoring for test conditions. It is, by any reasonable definition of the term, cheating.

I would not be surprised to find ALL major manufacturers use this level of deceit.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

http://www.afr.com/news/world/vws-omiss ... 220-gls2yw

First decent analysis of how VW came to cheat on it's diesel emissions.

First time I have heard this
a group of the company's engineers decided to cheat on emissions tests in 2005 because they couldn't find a technical solution within the company's "time frame and budget" to build diesel engines that would meet United States emissions standards. When the engineers did find a solution, he said, they chose to keep on cheating, rather than employ it.
I would like to know more about that last sentence.
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Post by biffvernon »

Just been to Amsterdam. Along with a zillion bicycles there are lots of street-side electric recharging posts, mostly with electric cars tied to them, and a city-centre Tesla showroom!
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Post by fuzzy »

When I used to go to North Sea Jazz in the Hague in the '90s I was amazed by the number of wheelchair users. It wasn't because Holland is a right-on place - it was because people drove around the Hague like they do around India/Bangkok/Paris
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Post by AutomaticEarth »

Another emissions probe, this time it's Renault.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35309674
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

EU waters down regulations further.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-volksw ... KKCN0VC1K0

Victory for polluting corporate profiteers.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

More details

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... ions-tests

Majority voted against, but not enough to overturn commissioners. If they
had voted against, UK and Germany would have simply vetoed Euro 6 standard altogether.

European democracy? That would be a good idea!
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Post by AutomaticEarth »

Mercedes diesel car owners complaining that their diesels might have a 'defeat device' fitted:

Owners of Mercedes diesel cars filed a new class-action lawsuit in the United States saying the vehicles likely contained a "defeat device" used to cheat emissions testing, an accusation that Daimler, which owns the carmaker, denied.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/08/mercedes ... tates.html
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Post by Little John »

PS_RalphW wrote:EU waters down regulations further.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-volksw ... KKCN0VC1K0

Victory for polluting corporate profiteers.
Regulations are being watered own across the board in preparation for TTIP
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Post by emordnilap »

Here's a survey from global warming activists "Fair Fuel", who are worried about being taxed enough.

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I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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