We all have heard about the scandal around Volkswagen manipulating emission numbers. It certainly isn’t a positive news for the VW and for the diesel car users. However, let’s have a look at the EU politics and discuss why this even happened and why VW is not the only one with this issue.
Crazy EU Politicians and Green Lobby
In the European Union, we all are aware how bad the politicians work. They are easily influenced by lobbists, or worse, corrupted. The EU parliement often deals with completely crazy ideas, such as the shape of bananas or cucumbers, whether it is appropriate to place a picture of bear on kids food, etc.
Green lobby is very strong in EU, and they always need money for their projects that have no economical sense. Ecological factor is also questionable. Let’s see how the Euro Norms for car engines developed to the point, where car manufacturers are not able to satisfy them.
Car Emission Norms – Euro x
For many, Euro norms seem to be numbers made up by without any understanding of the technology and physics. While it is definitely positive trying to reduce emissions of CO, CO2 and NOx, it is necessary to keep the technological options in mind. Plus, it is extremely important to see the big picture.
If it means to add a filter to exhauster to meet the emission norm and this filter raises the overall fuel consumption by 0.1-0.3 l/100km, you end up saving x grams of CO2. However, the truck bringing the fuel from a rafinery to the pump produces xx additional grams of CO2 and NOx. The overall balance is likely to be negative.
What are the consequences of filters, catalyzers, particle filters, etc? The engine is much more difficult. It contains more parts, more material is used, the development is significantly more expensive. The car is heavier and consumes more fuel.
Where Ecology is Supposed to Begin?
EU bureaucrats were persuaded by the green lobby that punishing the buyers of new cars is the best way to reduce pollution. But, is this really a good decision? Let’s consider a few examples.
According to the EU statistics (source), the average age of a passenger car is 8.6 years. In many EU countries this is much higher – Estonia around 14 years, the Czech Republic over 14 years, etc. Wouldn’t it be a smater decision to support people in buying a new car and get rid of the too old ones? Apparently not for the EU politicians.
Another great example worth considering is big-scale transportation. Check this source for more information. World’s 15 biggest cargo ships create more pollution than all the cars in the world. The question is, wouldn’t it be faster and more effective to deal with the extremely high polluting ships? They often use very low quality fuel with old engine technology. And consider this. If all the cars in the EU consumes 0.1-0.3 l/100km more fuel due to the particle fitlers, these big smoky ships will have to make even more rounds with the additionally needed gas.
Higher gas consumption than the official numbers
All car manufacturers tweak the emission and gas consuption measurement procedure. The result is, each car model has a higher gas consumtion than stated in the car documentation. There is a consequence for us, business people. We cannot put all the consumed gas into the company expenses. We are only allowed to report what is stated in the car documents.
My car “officially” consumes 5l/100km. If I was driving extremely gently outside the city, I might be able to achieve this consumtion rate. However, because I often drive in traffic jams, or small distances within the city, the average consumtion rate is around 6.6 – 7l/100km. The price for the extra consumed gas cannot be enterred into the accounting books as expenses, even though it is certainly an expense. It is simply paid with the taxed profit.
In my opinion, VW should not dramatize the scandal and they should stand up for their cars. Yes, the data was not honest, but the truth is, only a very little people buy a car for their emission limits. The issue did not start at VW. It startet at the EU parliament and politicians who have no idea about the technology.
VW should emphasize that they invested billion dollars into development and modern technology and some crazy numbers are simply not possible to satisfy.
What do you think about EU norms, politcians without any clue about technology and the VW scandal? Discuss and share!