EU Faces Time Crunch To Agree New CO2 Limits For Cars And Trucks

From Forbes

Dave Keating

Dave Keating Contributor

Emissions-producing diesel trucks and cars pass windmills (David McNew/Getty Images)Getty

2018 was an important year for EU energy legislation, as lawmakers rushed to complete the promises of President Jean-Claude Juncker before the end of the term in just four months time. But it is still uncertain whether these new energy laws, including the bloc’s first limits on CO2 emissions from trucks, will be passed before the March deadline.

If lawmakers run out of time, it could mean that new lawmakers have to start over from the beginning when they take office this summer, following the pan-European election in May.

The end of the five-year term of the European Commission, the EU’s executive which drafts legislation, and the European Parliament, the directly-elected chamber that adjusts and approves that legislation, is fast approaching. And this time, the end-of term crunch is even more stressful because of Brexit.

The EU’s other co-legislating body, the Council of Ministers, also must approve legislation. The Council and the Parliament each draft their own versions of a new law and must agree to reconcile them into one version, much like the House and Senate in the United States. The Council is made up of ministers from the national governments of each of the 28 EU member countries, whereas the Parliament is made up of directly-elected representatives of EU citizens, bypassing the national governments.

Each minister in the Council gets a weighted vote based on the size of their country’s population. The U.K., therefor, has had the third-strongest vote in the Council, giving it a huge influence over legislation. But as of March 29, the U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU and will no longer be involved in these votes. That will majorly change the voting dynamic in the Council and would in theory mean that all votes taken before March 29 are no longer valid.

Even though the U.K. is scheduled to leave, the country’s ministers have not been behaving that way in Brussels – taking tough lines on legislation being crafted over the past year that will in theory not affect them.

This means that several Council positions on open legislation could be invalidated in three months unless they have already been passed into law. This could affect the pending legislation to set the EU’s first limits on truck CO2 emissions.

Keep On Trucking

In May, the European Commission made good on a promise made by President Juncker when he took office in 2014 to propose the EU’s first truck CO2 limits – joining countries like the US and Japan which have had such limits in place for several years. European retailers have been pleading for such standards for years, eager to get their shipping costs down.

The proposal would require truckmakers to lower fleet average emissions by 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, based on 2019 levels.

In November the European Parliament voted to increase this to 20% by 2025 and 35% by 2030. They also voted to add a zero and low-emission vehicle mandate, requiring automakers to make a minimum number of such vehicles (most likely electric) or face penalties.

Last week, national environment ministers in the Council voted to back the Commission’s proposal exactly, rejecting any raising of ambition or minimum electric vehicle targets.

Instead, ministers backed the commission’s ‘supercredit’ approach, which allows for such vehicles to count more toward the fleet average – thus rewarding vehicle makers for making electric vehicles rather than punishing them for not making them. However they adjusted the Commission’s methodology and replaced it with a a sales benchmark.

According to an analysis by environmental NGO Transport & Environment, the parliament’s position would deliver an additional €14,000 in fuel savings per new truck in its first five years compared to the council’s position.

It will now fall to Romania, which takes over the rotating presidency of the Council on January 1, to negotiate with the Parliament on behalf of the 28 national governments. The pressure will be on, because if a deal can’t be reached in three months, the whole thing could fall apart and the newly-configured Parliament and Council will have to start over in the Autumn, probably delaying the entry into force of the legislation, and therefor the emissions savings, by several years.

But the negotiations will be tough. ACEA, the industry body representing automakers, has said the Parliament’s position is “aggressive”.

“Members of the European Parliament seem to be blatantly ignoring the fact that the potential for electrifying the truck fleet is far lower than for cars, due to issues such as extremely high upfront costs, range limitations, insufficient infrastructure – particularly along motorways – as well as reluctant customers,” said ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonneart.

But the environmental lobby is heaping pressure on the Romanian government to come more toward the Parliament’s position. “The upcoming Presidency should now move towards the European Parliament position and adopt higher CO2 targets and sales targets for zero-emission trucks,” said T&E cleaner trucks officer Stef Cornelis. “It will help the logistics sector to become more sustainable and competitive. That’s exactly what EU regulation should do”.

Both sides are aware, however, that too much rancour in these talks over the next three months could delay the legislation for years. This would be bad for the automakers as well, since they rely on forward visibility and need to know what the future regulatory landscape is now so they can start adjusting their vehicle design.

Traffic Jam For Car Legislation

Last week the Austrian government, which currently holds the Council presidency, and European Parliament negotiators reached a deal on updated car CO2 limits setting a 15% reduction by 2025 and a 37.5% reduction by 2030.

The agreement is halfway between the Council’s position of a 35% CO2 cut and the Parliament’s 40%. The legislation would also set a 31% target for van emissions by 2030.

But many in the Parliament are disappointed that so many provisions in their version of the legislation, adopted in October despite intense pressure from the auto industry, have been negotiated away.

Like with trucks, the Council also rejected a European Parliament idea to set mandates for producing electric cars. Instead, they proposed an incentive scheme, which the Parliament negotiators accepted in the end. Under the scheme, countries that have low electric vehicles sales will get a bonus multiplier of 0.7 for electric cars produced. This multiplier would end once electric vehicles represent more than 5% of a country’s fleet.

T&E says the agreement is “a good deal for citizens,” but “well below what’s needed to achieve the EU’s 2030 climate targets”. ACEA says the deal “will be extremely demanding on Europe’s auto industry”.

Read the full post here.

 

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97 thoughts on “EU Faces Time Crunch To Agree New CO2 Limits For Cars And Trucks

  1. It keeps a lot of politicians and bureaucrats in their well-paid posts, with minimal tax to pay, with massive pensions and huge allowances, all paid for by taxpayers who get no say in where their money is wasted (or disappears in a corrupt black hole). No wonder we voted for Brexit.

    • And a good vote it was, Phillip, because the European Union you are leaving behind is dysfunctional and proud of it. The Paris Agreement gives a pass to emerging economies and penalizes the USA, where there is already actual CO2 emission, at least in energy generation, already achieved.

    • Folks should take note of this and contact their members of parliament. They need to quit fooling around and they need to get their act together.

      Crap like this should increase public support for Brexit as long as said crap is properly publicized.

  2. I advocate they start with electric powered commercial airliners.

    When they get that right we can move on to trucks.

    Never going to happen.

    Start big and fail – so much better than wrecking the economy by a death of 1000 cuts.

      • Government demands can’t get past the laws of physics, griff. A 30 seat electric plane just won’t fly.

        • Since Diesel trucks effectively convert carbon to CO2 and must via the laws of physics produce a certain amount of power for a certain amount of CO2 output – then they are shist out of options.

          If anyone thinks that we can improve the efficiency the can dream on (the manufacturers do what they can to be competitive – there are no magic bullets out there).

          There is therefore no way to reduce the CO2 footprint of a truck – other than reduced horsepower – or hybridised battery assistance.

          Switching to LPG/Propane or other hydrogenated gas based fuels will reduce the footprint but then the Europeans need to loosen up fracking.

          Look forward to flocks of underpowered lame duck vehicles clogging the roads.

          The industry will of course resort to cheating and obfuscation as the only means of dealing with political idiot law making with no comprehension of the laws of thermodynamics or basic engineering. (Diluting the exhaust with bypass air, playing the rules for all they are worth – as has happened in the past with cars).

          Bunfight looming.

          • What you get is what we have in the USA , a monopoly , only one engine manufacturer makes over the road engines , everyone else gave up trying to meet the emission standards , you now pay enormous prices for new engines and parts

          • And to add , all the crap now fitted to engines to make them ” clean ” lowered the average fuil consumption fro 8 to 3 miles to the gallon , zero savings there !!

          • Actually quite a bit can be done to improve the efficiency of logistics and fleets before getting to the engine, and even with a conventional ICE there’s much that can be done to improve its efficiency before even contemplating clean fuels. There are a number refs you’ll find with a simple search.

      • For very short range when there is a guaranteed landing place then perhaps electricity can be used. This normally means flights of 15 – 20 minutes. The problem arises when there is no available landing place or severe weather that requires diversion. Aviation generally requires aircraft carrying fare paying passengers, sufficient endurance to allow the aircraft to divert after attempting an approach to a diversion airport for another instrument approach, or around 30 minutes of endurance is required on landing at destination. Electric aircraft currently takeoff with 30 minutes of endurance.

        Although an attractive thought the energy density of batteries will need to be comparable to aviation fuel for any real passenger carrying commercial aviation applications. The batteries will also need to be as safe as aviation fuel – currently aircraft are not allowed to carry Li-Ion batteries as freight and have significant restrictions on carriage of personal Li-Ion batteries in passenger aircraft – as these batteries are not safe and have caused aircraft fires and total losses in the past. Batteries with high energy densities are very dangerous something that people repeatedly underestimate.

        Politicians and greens may think that commercial electric aircraft are possible by 2030 but the technology for anything larger than a small very very short range aircraft does not exist today. Even if it did, design, certification and production by 2030 starting now is barely possible regardless of virtue signaling legislation.

        • The problem with battery powered commercial transport is that the weight of batteries displaces the carrying capacity of the vehicle making it less profitable. Makes no sense what so ever. Griff has no idea what he is talking about again.

        • The announced Tesla truck, I calculated the weight of the battery based on their sales pitch to be about 14 tonnes. I can’t recall distance on a single charge. How much does a tank of diesel on a truck weigh and how far can you truck 48 tonnes on a single fill? I would wager quite a bit more than a 14 tonne battery on a single charge.

          • Patrick,
            On-Highway Class 8 trucks can carry up to 400 gal of fuel. Diesel weighs about 7 lbs/gal so the fuel load is 2800 lbs. This can move a fully loaded 80,000 lb vehicle with 40,000 lbs of cargo at least 2000 miles. When a battery vehicle can meet this performance at the cost of fuels and engine/transmission, it will become economically viable.
            If my calculations are correct, 400 gal of fuel is equivalent to 15,000 kW-h of power. Li ion batteries have specific power density of 250 W/kg so the battery equivalent of 400 gal of fuel is 60,000 kg or >130,000 lbs.
            About the only way a battery powered truck would work is to have battery swap stations every 100 miles or so where quick change fully charged batteries can be swapped out quickly. But this constant stopping to replace batteries will kill efficiency as most truckers drive a minimum of 4 hours straight before stopping. Team drivers will go even longer without stopping. Batteries are untenable in this application especially with diesel <$2/gal now.

          • Dr. Bob. Very few OTR big trucks in the US have the tanks to carry more than 300 gallons and the majority run 200 to 250 gallons. On average you can figure about 8 gallons per tank is unusable also. The 2015 Frieghtliner I drive is pretty typical having 240 gallons max. the 2008 Volvo I drove before this one carried 220 gal. Really in the US with all the fuel points available there is not reason to carry all that extra weight and it cuts down on the weight of the freight you can haul also.

        • Quite right Ian, except that…

          In aviation there’s no such thing as “guaranteed landing place”. Situational awareness calls for permanent alternate assessment, inclusive suitable for forced (crash) landing with minimal air&ground casualties.

          Then comes the chapter of go-rounds and other things nice after final approach.

          The 15-30 minutes segment is commercially nonviable except for charters, including policymakers and climate conference delegates. Big time.

          Anything less than 1 hour will not have the time to cruise above the weather or even get close to fuel efficient air densities.

          Furthermore there are some international rules on how long a commercial aircraft has to remain airborne on reserve fuel and so on,

          And no electric battery powered aircraft seems to demonstrate endurance long enough for, be it, just the reserve requirement.

          Anything commercial above 10’000 feet should be pressurized and air conditioned. Which is a huge energy demand that no one in the electric dreamland takes into account.

          Heating, additional systems, assisted controls, navigation equipment, all things necessary for a safe commercial flight require energy.

          Anti-icing alone is already more than a huge problem for energy challenged turboprops (check the ATR 42/72 polemic).

          And anything operating below 24’000 feet is energy inefficient, exposed to weather and therefore reserved to marginal operations.

          It’s sad how easily politicians and brainwashed zombies come to ignore the cumulative experience of millions of flight and engineering hours worldwide,

          • Quite right Flight Level….. so bring back the Airship !
            The lift is free, power for propulsion only. Rigid hull, vectored thrust hull mounted power units, unlimited wait time relative to heavier than air craft, no need for runways. Point to point go anywhere.
            Bit slow, 150kts. +/- but city center to city center makes it quicker up to 600 mile or so trips.
            Then there’s freight.. ship to store direct, no ports, handling, unions… need I say more?
            You could even fly LendiCap and a hundred or two fellow Earth-savers complete with champagne and caviar to a Mutual Congratulatory Gathering in Poland or wherever, with a tiny little carbon footprint.
            I rest my case!
            Cheers
            Mike

          • @Mike Mcray

            There is a reason that commercial airships even now are not successful and that is their susceptibility to the weather particularly strong winds and turbulence. They are also slow due to the huge form drag of the dirigible. There may be some specialist freight areas that they are suited for but not a lot else. And of course the longer range the heavier the batteries and the larger the dirigible and associated drag and the trade off rapidly leads to shorter range.

          • @Flight Level,
            Indeed – but I was not going to quote part 135 (and similar) and bore people 🙂
            Suffice it to say that politicians should really talk to the appropriate engineers before legislating for these unicorn powered aircraft.

          • Griff already booked a flight to Hawaii, on the new Tesla ePlane 00-OH. I just cashed his check, and the ticket is in the mail. Should be getting it any day now, Griff. Enjoy your trip, and if there is a momentary lack of power, pedals are supplied for your flying pleasure.

        • The current to power each motor of an airliner would have to pass through every cell of the battery. There is no way to physically achieve that within the energy density needed. All you would get is a massive arc followed by an intense fire. Wishful thinking cannot overcome physics.

      • Aint gonna happen Griff.
        I’ve designed built and flown dozens of electric aircraft. Current and even future battery technology simply not fit for purpose for commercial applications.

        Lithium air might just do it., 30 years away tho.

        • There are people who believe that non-fossil fueled powered aircraft, powered by solar, *CAN* recharge batteries with wind turbines on the wings in flight! Serial!

          • *CAN* recharge batteries with wind turbines on the wings in flight!

            “HA”, that would give new meaning to …. “dressed in drag”, …. now wouldn’t it?

          • The comment about turbines on wings of solar powered aircraft was made by someone I was in discussion with some years back who claimed methane, CH4, had 4 carbons!!

            There are people who still believe if floating sea ice at the north pole melts it will raise sea levels. They don’t have a clue that the floating sea ice has already displaced it’s volume and thus would not affect sea levels.

      • Hi Griff,

        Did you read the article about the electric plane? They had to lose weight to take the flight which lasted for a few minutes and consisted of three people… hilarious. Commercial airliners are a pipe dream as of yet, so let’s stay within the realm of reality please.

        • We could have electric airliners right now if we wanted. Question is, do you put the reactor under economy or business class?

          • They actually built a nuclear powered airplane.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear-powered_aircraft

            But it lacked the power to take off which was accomplished by conventional engines – it could then cruise but carry no payload – not even enough radiation shielding for the crews.

            They couldn’t do it with nuclear power not even on a weapons grade budget.

            Non-fossil fueled commercial flight is unlikely in any of our lifetimes.

    • There are already a few electric big trucks on the road in the US doing local runs where they can safely be back to their terminals to be plugged in at the end of the shift. Actually quite a few natural gas fueled day cabs in the US doing line hauls. Next time you pass a truck with Frito-Lay or Keebler on it, check it out. Odds are good it’s running on natural gas. Look for a big rectangular box on the back wall of the day cab.

      Really the thing is a properly maintained big truck of the newer model years have already achieved a marked reduction in the SO2 and CO2 they emit with future standards getting even stiffer. https://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/fe_hd.php

      • Rah your comments are naïve and overlook the obvious— at least to us knowledgeable engineers:

        The load density of hauling potato chips and cookies may make this feasible but the amount of torque required for long hall trucking with 44,000 lb. hauling capacity is not realistic or feasible when compared to diesel powered trucks.
        It is a niche application and northing more.
        The standards you refer to are unrealistic and amount to nothing more that intellectual masturbation and will be repealed.

        • Your comment denote a lack of knowledge about the language of trucking and logistics. LINE HAUL is generally out and back, not OTR. It means terminal to terminal or terminal to a location where drivers exchange trailers and return to the terminal they left from.

          The electric trucks are being used locally. One place I know of their use is down to the port of LA and back to the local terminals in that vicinity. From those terminals diesel powered trucks take the stuff going to points afar to their destinations.

          I cannot foresee electric powered big trucks being used for long haul under any circumstance.

        • Rah your comments are naïve and overlook the obvious— at least to us knowledgeable engineers:

          Torque has nothing to do with it,
          Electric motors can easily exceed any diesel for torque. Cf electric trains.

          What is the issue is simply one of energy per unit weight of the batteries.
          #
          Electric vehicles are superior to fuel vehicles in EVERY respect bar the crucial one. Batteries for longer ranges at economical costs and weights DO NOT EXIST and CANNOT EXIST by the laws of physics, with one possible dubious exception. Lithium air, No one has made a production scale lithium air rechargeable battery yet.
          .

          • Leo my torque comment was limited to the comparison between NatGas fueled engine vs. diesel –sorry for not clarifying. Here is a study worth your time:
            https://www.waste360.com/mag/waste_trucks_fueling_diesel

            In terms of batteries in EV with current technology range is 1 mile per pound of batteries. ICE vehicles you get 6 miles per pound of fuel.
            Even if you double the efficiency of whatever battery you choose that’s only 2MPF.
            In gasoline engines with tweeking you can get as much as 12 miles per pound of fuel.

            IMHO it will be centuries before diesel will be replaced long haul trucking—I’ll be dead so I don’t give a rat’s ass.

  3. I can’t every recall posting a criticism like there but this one kinda hits home for this trucker.
    A stock photo of big trucks passing through a wind farm in the US (San Gorgonio pass in CA?) for a post about possible EU CO2 emissions action? Couldn’t find some image suitable from Europe?

  4. “a good deal for citizens”

    In the same way that, “chopping your head off next year, instead of today”, is? These EU lawmakers are crazy!

  5. Every day, more people who voted for the UK to REMAIN in the EU now understand how stupid the EU leaders are and have changed their mind and wish to leave, and leave quickly.

  6. A little on Over The Road trucks in the US. I drive a 2015 Freightliner Cascadia. It has a 12 speed “automatic” transmission. When I say “automatic” I mean it shifts automatically, but is not hydrostatic. Think of a computer controlled standard transmission actuated by air.
    The truck carries 240 gallons of low sulfur diesel fuel and I average 7.6 mpg. Under ideal conditions driving at the optimum Hwy speed of 62 mph I could get up to 8.2 mpg.

    It has the scrubber system using DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) which is a urea solution and has a ceramic filter which captures the particulates. Here is a comparison of diesel exhaust emissions of older diesel trucks compared to the newer ones that meet the current emissions standards like those that I drive which use ultra low diesel fuel and make up the vast majority of OTR diesel trucks on the road these days.
    https://www.nettinc.com/information/emissions-faq/what-are-diesel-emissions
    There are new tougher standards coming into effect for new tractors in the near future.

    The truck I drive has two banks of batteries. The standard bank positioned below the drivers seat and the environmental system bank located between the frame rails below the utility deck (the deck one sees in the space between the rear of the tractor and the front of the trailer). It has a system called “idle management”. When I park the truck while on the road to take my 10 hour break or any time I may idle very long I use the “idle management” system. This system shuts down the truck and runs the environmental system of the batteries. The A/C unit is located high up on the back outside wall of the sleeper. For heat there is a WEBASTO type heater which is essentially a little furnace that uses diesel fuel and typically uses one gallon every 10 hours compared to 1 gallon every hour when the truck idles. When the environmental bank of batteries runs low the environmental system starts drawing off the standard bank of batteries. When the voltage drops the truck automatically starts up and idles to charge the batteries and then shuts down. In cold weather the truck will automatically start up if the oil temperature drops below a certain level. I am quite satisfied with the environmental system in all conditions except when parked in the sun and the temperature gets close to 100 F. Then the A/C can’t keep up and I have to idle if I want some sleep. Another system commonly used these days is a single cylinder diesel APU to provide power when the main engine isn’t on.

    The company I work for has already asked me to move into a new truck and I refused. The new trucks have a proximity warning system that beeps when there is a vehicle it judges to be too close in front and one that beeps when there is a vehicle in the blind spot on the passenger side. They also have a “dead axle” meaning the front axle lifts up when the load is light and has no drive capability but just idles when down. Having driven a 2017 Volvo with those features I know I want nothing to do with either system. The beeper cannot be legally disconnected and it drives me nuts. And I have used the interlock which makes both axles on my tractor drive many times in inclement weather with slick road surfaces or in muddy conditions and it has kept me from getting stuck several times.

    • I love reading about this stuff. I used to be like everyone else and have no regard for truckers. Until I owned a 34′ 5th wheel. Now tremendous respect for what you guys do. I’m one of those on the road who try to be courteous and helpful when you’re around. No one ever says it, but thanks for the work you do. I know it ain’t easy.

        • Under the law we are considered “professional drivers” and thus the way it works is the trucker is at fault until proven otherwise. To give you and idea. Another drive in our company was parked. There was an accident between two other vehicles and one ran off the road and hit his parked truck. The lawyers went over the qualcom records for that truck and it was determined that the driver would not have been able to reach that point without violating the legal hours of service and thus the company was found liable for the damage to the truck and some medical for the driver that had hit it.

          Qualcom monitors and records everything from speeds at any given point to where the truck parks and how long, to how many Gs experienced in a turn, to any hard braking. When any reading goes outside the set safety parameters it isautomatically reported by the system as a “critical event”.

          The number of law suits and the inequity of it all is resulting in more and more companies going to dash cams and in some cases cameras that monitor the driver and cameras facing to the rear from each large west coaster mirror. The company that I work for will be installing both dash cams and driver cams soon. I agree with the dash cam and in fact already have my own to cover my own ass. But the one facing the driver is another matter altogether and I don’t want it. A OTR drivers truck is his living space, bedroom, office, kitchen, and sometimes his bathroom.

          • BTW concerning using the phone and driving. A commercial driver can be fined up to $3,000 for having a phone in their hand while driving and the company he or she drives for can be fined up to $13,000. Thus any commercial driver with two working brain cells is set up to go as hands free as possible when using the phone. Thus it pisses me off to no end when I see a State Police person using a handheld phone driving down the road and it is not that uncommon a sight.

      • Hey man, thanks, but if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be doing it. I Love the independence and like to travel. Though I get along well with others generally many a trucker, especially those that do only long haul are loaners that when they were kids in grads school got an unsatisfactory grade for “works well with others” and long haul trucking is a perfect job for them.

        • In the EU we already had that ” I Love the independence and like to travel.”

          Behind them we found some thrown away dead women. After “Sonntagsfahrverbot”.

          Look that up.

      • Your welcome. I have been in the business for over 14 years now and I still learn new things all the time. There really is a lot more to it that it may appear.

    • Thanks rah,
      all very interesting.

      ” a proximity warning system that beeps when

      One review of a new Subaru mentioned the “nanny” things being installed.
      I found the beep for crossing the center line to be a pain on narrow county roads.
      And yes, we live 10 miles out on a narrow county road.

  7. “Trucks and busses already well electric.”

    Don’t recall seeing any of your posts so I’ll just tell you that personal attacks, name calling, profanity, etc are not allowed on this site. Respond to the post, not the person. If you want to call the ‘EU’ stupid, that’s fine, but it is not fine to engage in personal attacks on a poster. Before you ask it is not a foolproof system and sometimes that type of post slips through. Maybe if Anthony triples the volunteer mods salary …. 🙂 If you want to clean up your rather lengthy response and repost it, it will go through. I just didn’t have the energy to go through the whole thing to edit out the problematic statements. MOD

  8. Don’t know about the rest of the EU but France is suffering from national Schizophrenia. There is a petition with a about 2 million signatures demanding action on climate change at the same time as the Gilets Jaune still have popular support for their protests against high taxes and energy prices caused by carbon taxes.

    There’s only one politician in power who has twigged that CAGW/CACC, cheap renewable energy and low carbon energy are anything other than a delusion is Trump. Untl there are other leaders who are prepared to be pragmatic and realistic then edicts from the UN on climate and energy will be blindly followed Brexit or not, EU breakup or not at the moment politically the green zealots have the upper hand.

    • “edicts from the UN on climate and energy will be blindly followed Brexit or not, EU breakup or not at the moment politically the green zealots have the upper hand.”

      Wouldn’t it be ironic if do-gooder victories lead to ultimate do-gooder defeat.

      “But though the immediate victory may thus go simply to the better gladiator, I believe it is safe to say that he often ruins his cause, if it is intrinsically a bad one, by winning. The Prohibitionists scored a glorious triumph in 1920. They not only got their law; they also converted at least four-fifths of all the morons in America. But they began to go downhill from that moment. The history of controversy, in truth, is a long history of winners losing and losers winning.”
      —H.L. Mencken

  9. And talking about compression-ignition engines, I am quite excited by the Mazda HCCI “Sky Active X” petrol engines being released next year. Claims are up to 30% increase in fuel economy. If Mazda pulls this off, which I am sure they will, petrol power won’t be seen as too much a problem. Given petrol is “distilled” out of oil before diesel to about 47% of every barrel of oil, this looks good for petrol engines.

      • Yes the Wankel engine is well known for having by far one of the least efficient chamber shapes for burning, serious emissions problems, low dynamic compression ratios, and whole host of other nightmares such as fast wearing seals, low quality control, and general dreadful low thermal efficiency.

        Only an engineering illiterate would rate anything from Mazda highly.

        Honda YES
        Bosch maybe.
        Ricardo certainly.

        If you don’t know anything about the subject don’t speculate.

        The main reason why diesel engines outperform petrol engines hand over fist for most important torque related tasks is because there is a LOT more energy in a litre of diesel than there is in a Litre of petrol.

        This physical law is not gonna change tomorrow, so don’t try to pretend it’s not so!

        • “pigs_in_space December 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

          Only an engineering illiterate would rate anything from Mazda highly.”

          Really? The industry is rating the new HCCI engines and what I have read is interesting. Their current Sky Active engines are also very well designed and made. I mean, how many mass produced engines have drop forged crankshafts and con-rods, steel molybdenum piston liners and rings and 4 into 2 in to 1 tuned exhaust manifolds?

          BTW, I worked for Honda in the 1990’s at their plant in Swindon, England.

          • “how many mass produced engines have drop forged crankshafts and con-rods, steel molybdenum piston liners and rings and 4 into 2 in to 1 tuned exhaust manifolds?”

            Nearly all of them.
            The (now ancient) Peugeot 205 had all those so called innovations.
            Substantial numbers of French engines continued with wet liners, while major piston ring innovations were actually scrapped.
            Even the Rover K series had all that stuff.

            The really dramatic story is how the industry put “lean burn” technology under a bus.
            It was something the British were world leaders in,- NOT Mazda.
            Remember Spen King?

            Being as catalytic converter technology is dreadfully inefficient we have quite deliberately thrown away millions of barrels of oil just producing heat instead of useful motion.

          • Almost all EU (French etc) mfg engines are supplied by PSA, esp diesel. Rover K, really? What mfg uses Rover K “technology” now? Was that after Honda?

            Mazda still makes the RX8 with the rotary engine. They are bringing the Sky Active X to the market this year. It’s not an experimental engine.

            Sheesh!

        • “pigs_in_space December 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

          The main reason why diesel engines outperform petrol engines hand over fist for most important torque related tasks is because there is a LOT more energy in a litre of diesel than there is in a Litre of petrol.”

          You are correct however, MORE petrol is refined from a barrel of crude oil than diesel fuel regardless of the chemical energy in that fuel. And that is the point.

  10. In May, the European Commission made good on a promise made by President Juncker when he took office in 2014 to propose the EU’s first truck CO2 limits – joining countries like the US and Japan which have had such limits in place for several years

    It’s news to me that the US has had CO2 limits on trucks for several years. Is this true, or is an indirect limit as a result of CAFE rules?

      • Thanks Rah. I had to put this all in a spreadsheet and calculate grams CO2/gallon fuel to verify, but it looks like virtually all the CO2 “reduction” is simply from burning less fuel. The Final Phase 1 (2017) CO2 emissions vary between 10,138.9 and 10,256.4 gr/gal. The Final Phase 2 (2027) standards are 10,180 for all categories, which looks suspiciously like someone just plugged in a formula mandating a specific fuel economy rating.

        I love the gallons/1000 ton-mile mandates given to 5 decimal places!

        • I believe your probably correct. I have not seen nor heard of any system on a truck specifically for reducing CO2 emissions. The systems are mostly oriented towards converting SO2 and trapping particulates. The particulates are trapped in a ceramic filter. To clean the filter the truck does a “regeneration” which we refer to as a “regen”. The trucks runs in a specific manner to greatly increase exhaust system temperatures which burns up the particulates there by cleaning the filter. The exhaust temperature is high enough that if a truck having vertical stacks is parked under an aluminum awning like those used typically at fuel points, while doing a regen the aluminum will be warped and the paint peeled by the heat. Typically on newer trucks like mine a “regen” is done automatically as needed during normal operation. However if I idle too much I can have to go through a procedure to do a manual regen while parked. If the driver doesn’t do a parked regen when it’s indicated one is required the truck engine will eventually “de-rate” or IOW drop significantly in power. Continuing to drive after a “de-rate” results in the engine eventually shutting down altogether.

        • Yep reading the report all they essentially have done is mandate higher efficiency excluding some of the cheaper dirtier motors and taking out SO2 and particulates.

          Win/win better economy and desired emission reduction .. a sensible thing.

  11. Is everyone actually talking about the same thing….
    From the Forbes article:

    Maros Sefcovic, the EU Vice President for Energy, -blah blah blah in an impact assessment accompanying the proposal showing truckmakers are not adopting the technological improvements available to them.

    “Looking at the table, I was surprised why manufacturers are not using the technology today,” he said at a press conference. “In each of these examples, the investment is dozens or hundreds of euros, and the return is in thousands

    What he’s accusing the truckmakers of is totally insane. – fuel economy is a massive concern to truck users/drivers/owners.
    The UK had its own version of the Gilets Jaunes just a few years ago, ‘cept it was ALL about the truckers, just the truckers, railing at tax on fuel
    What’s it based on……..
    How *can* the EU Vice President for Energy seemingly be so disconnected

    • TRM: As I’ve said here before, I’ll know electric vehicles are good to go when Post Office or UPS goes electric. These businesses have every incentive to save fuel and their fleets already stay close and return to central location, you’d think ev is perfect. Yet even under Obama admin, no electric mail trucks. Why not? Because they don’t agree with your “maybe it’s time” talk. And they are the ones who know.

      • paul
        UPS here in London operated electric trucks as far back as 2002 or so [I was still smoking, then, so was sometimes outside the office when UPS arrived].
        I believe that some of their trucks are still electric in London.
        I can’t give any details of the whole UK fleet.

        Auto

    • It is certainly a nightmare for birds and bats.
      Another nightmare is it taking 10 hours in a big truck to make it the 98 miles to that pass (San Gorgonio pass) on I-10 from downtown LA because of traffic. Back then I was driving a 10 speed Eaton Fuller manual transmission in a Century class Frightliner. The left leg got a heavy workout that day.

  12. These regulations might not even accomplish a net reduction in emissions. By making intra European truck freight more expensive, production will be shifted to where costs are lower — China. You know… where the goods can be manufactured with with energy from coal, and shipped with energy from diesel.

  13. If they just drag it out for several more years, electric cars will be the only one being built and the problem goes away. Volkswagon has announced that they will have 22 electric models over the next several years (GM will have 20) and produce only EVs. They have also stated that their lowest priced electric vehicle will sell for $23,000, which is $22,000 cheaper than the lowest priced Tesla vehicle. Their initial EV, the ID, has received wonderful reviews, and Tesla is being outsold two to one (in Holland) by the Jaguar I Pace, the first direct competitor to any Tesla vehicle. It is also responsible for the 40% drop in Tesla sales in Norway. There are at least a dozen EVs coming to market in 2019 that appear to have the ability to have a strong impact on Tesla sales. One European country sells more electric vehicles than anything else. More than 250 electric vehicles will hit the roads in the next several years. VW, Volvo, GM, and others have committed to an all electric fleet. Once an automaker perfects an electric vehicle chassis,it can quickly spin off dozens of variations.

    • errr…. which begs the question.
      Where is all the damn lithium supposed to come from & who pays the clean up before and after?

      It’s all very well to have wet dreams about lithium powered everything.
      Have you ever seen the vast areas of pollution created to extract it, AND the incredibly finite supply?

      Lithium powered battery sources are only for rich people as play things for the simple reason that “normal” people would never encourage such enormous waste on a truly industrial scale, never mind the darn things catching fire on planes, or in smart phones, or blowing up in a serious accident.

    • Kent:

      I am wondering how all these wonderful EVs coming to market are supposed to be successful with the absence of a recharging infrastructure away from home throughout much–maybe most– of the U.S. It isn’t like a person can conveniently pull up to recharge somewhere the way we can fill up with gas diesel for a ICE automobile in any city or town one is passing through on a trip.

      Furthermore, most people living in condos and apartment buildings probably will not have convenient access to an electrical receptacle for recharging where they park their vehicle at home. And then, of course, there is the recharging time compared to the amount of time it takes to fill a fuel tank.

      All of this is in response to the scientifically questionable notion that CO2 is pollution that threatens us, the climate and the planet. Taking a necessary component of the atmosphere and turning it upside down (into a pollutant) is positively Orwellian. In co-operation with governments and the mass media, a very well orchestrated propaganda campaign would be needed to make that happen, and it has.

      From Orwell’s “1984”…

      “War is Peace”
      Freedom is Slavery
      Ignorance is Strength”

      GM and the other automakers may yet see the day when they realize they have made a bad decision.

      • The real issue is that until you have a way of producing electricity without producing CO2 you are fundamentally burning coal. Generators have an order of merit system of generation and coal is the last supply option.
        As such plug your electric car in and coal is loaded into the hopper QED. This applies in all economies even if they have zero coal and are interconnected as per Norway, because it backs out electric export thus stimulating coal being loaded into the hopper in another location.
        Planes is simply stupid talk other than a landing and take off trainer. the rest is silly who wants coal fired planes anyway.
        ICE efficiency is the best way forward and lower carbon density fuel could help if it can be burnt as efficiently as a high carbon fuel.

    • The problem will be replaced with another – lack of base load electricity to supply the power for the electric cars. It is already probable that there will be grid failures due to insufficiency of supply. So how do our mathematically challenged leaders think that the supply is capable of scaling up to support an all electric vehicle system? Of course as NIMTO’s (Not In My Term of Office) they don’t really care.

    • kent: Great, another ev enthusiast. Sigh. Several years will come and go, and ev’s will remain a niche because the people who buy cars don’t want them. Every point you make is a result of bureaucratic preference, not the preference of 99% of car buyers. If it makes you happy to drive an ev, fine, glad for ya. If it makes you happy to think that ev “will be the only one being built”, then you’re in for some disappointment. But don’t take my word for it, just come back in several years and tell us how nobody makes ICE engines anymore.

      • I will not buy an EV I will just keep my 1992 Ford F 150. They can take their EV’s and shove them somewhere that doesn’t see the light too often.

    • I can get a “good car” for $23,000. Why would I want one I have to plug in all the time? I already have to plug in my phone, my laptop, my hand tools, and my Bluetooth accessories!
      Do you honestly think I want to buy another product that I have to plug in or it won’t work?
      If I paid the exorbitant fuel taxes of Europe, maybe.
      In a nation “Conceived in Liberty”…Not a chance!!

    • I actually think ammonia fuel cells will probably be the next generation of cars because it has all the advantages of refuelling as easily as petrol. It will be easy for fuel stations to integrate it like they did with LPG and that gets rid of all the extra infrastructure junk taht is needed for electric cars.

    • It’s not just HAVING electric vehicles – it’s also having a countrywide, efficient EV recharge system. I had a milder experience when South Africa, with its ‘Arms Deal’ bought a load of Swedish Gripen fighters. Now, the Gripen is only PART of Sweden’s air defence and offence system, but SA didn’t buy all of the rest. So it was up to the Defence electronics guys (of which my employer was part) to make up for all of the missing integrated stuff by fudging and kluging equipment that was made for a different purpose. Now, I don’t see any EU country replacing its filling stations with recharge stations, especially with the lack of reliable 24/7 electricity that is to come.
      So, put it all down to politicians’ dreams of unicorns!

  14. European retailers have been pleading for such standards for years, eager to get their shipping costs down.

    I’m dying to hear how added regulations and unreasonable demands are expected to LOWER shipping costs. That boggles the mind.

  15. Dear EU:

    I know! How about you wait for smart engineers to design better trucks, no matter what the technology used, and let capitalism decide who wins? You can regulate the emissions, but stop trying to pick the winners… If someone builds a better gas-engine that pollutes less, you win. If electric cars advance enough to become popular, you win again!

    We call this principle Capitalism. Take a short course on it. It’s wonderful.

    • Dear Robert of Texas:
      We took a very short course in Capitalism. It is a great way to get all the stuff we need to tax and regulate. We are not the least bit concerned with emissions, that is just lip service. The real goal is to control the economies of the EU, so we can get a good stranglehold on Capitalism. We love Capitalism as long as we get to pick winners and losers, reward our supporters and punish the opposition. CO2 is just a “smoke screen” for our real agenda. Again we love Capitalism as long as it is our version, that puts us in charge of who does what, and who gets what.
      Regards,
      EU

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