Guest post by Albert Parker
There is the impression that the “science” of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), as well as of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been “settled” recently to favor specific Californian Green Mobility companies, rather than to pursue legitimate air pollution goals. In the ploy, the German car makers are always those to blame for something, just to keep them down, and at the same time, one roasted German car maker always helps to intimidate other car makers of other countries, as well as of other US states, such as Ford, GM or FCA. Here below some examples.
The BMW hydrogen 7 is not a zero-emission vehicle …
In 2005 BMW proposed the Hydrogen 7 as a zero emissions vehicle. Burning hydrogen, at the tailpipe there was mostly water vapor, and no carbon compounds.
There was the opportunity to have some pollutants such as nitrous oxides, however easily removed with the after treatment. The US EPA didn’t agree with the zero-emission stuff.
Even though nothing this time went public, the US EPA said that the engine was still internal combustion, hence there was oil used for lubrication, hence there was the opportunity of having oil ending up within the cylinder, hence there was the option to produce evil carbon dioxide molecules at the tail pipe.
Although the oil consumption could have been as low as 0.04 liters of oil every 1,000 km, or 0.06 liters of oil every 1,000 miles, the irrelevance of the carbon dioxide emissions was not considered.
The range extender of the battery electric BMW i3 must be used only to reach the nearest recharging point
Regarding battery electric vehicles with range extender, BMW proposed the i3 as a concept car in 2011, with a version battery only, and with a version with a range extender. The range extender was a small internal combustion engine, burning gasoline, stored on board in a small tank, and then driving a generator recharging the battery. By introducing the range extender, it was possible to increase the range of the car, and reduce the cost, weight and space of the bloody batteries, that are a disaster for the economy as well as the environment.
While production only started in 2013, the CARB immediately rushed to set up rules to prevent the optimization of this concept. In 2012, the CARB issued an overlong regulation,
requesting for a range extended battery electric vehicle compliance, among the others, with the following criteria:
· the vehicle must have a rated all-electric range of at least 75 miles;
· the auxiliary power unit (APU) must provide range less than or equal to battery range;
· the APU must not be capable of switching on until the battery charge has been depleted.
As a result, of these limitations, BMW struggled to make the range extended battery electric vehicle competitive, and recently, they eventually dropped the production of the i3 with range extender
Fear of possible bans of everything using a combustion fuel was also part of the decision.
The diesel engines have excess pollution over real world driving
As everybody remember, the combustion engine phobia growth rapidly in the aftermath of t6he 2015 diesel gate targeting the Volkswagen group.
Diesel engines were not that bad in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, quite competitive with battery electric vehicles in life cycle analyses. Passenger cars were tested for compliance with emission rules over a prescribed cycle, in a laboratory, under repeatable conditions with accurate equipment.
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), requested to some academics in need of research moneys a random driving on the road of different diesel vehicles and measurements of pollutant with portable emission analyzers. They obviously found “the horror”. Vehicles optimized to produce low specific (per km or miles) carbon dioxide emissions and specific (per km or miles) pollutant emissions within the limits in certain conditions, were not able to ensure the same specific pollutant emission limits under other conditions that however were not specified in any rule.
As everybody knows, whatever is the specific limit, there is always some operation where the limits may be exceeded (try switching on a car without engaging any gear …. the specific emissions will be +infinite). And lean burn diesel engines emit lot of nitrogen oxides as soon as they are hot ….
Instigated by the ICCT, the EPA obviously issued a notice of violation against Volkswagen and eventually sanctioned Volkswagen.
The scandal has so far cost VW more than 26 billion euros, more than 29 billion $, in fines, compensation and buybacks, mainly in the United States.
Obviously, part of the Volkswagen billions ended up in supporting the battery electric vehicle mobility, directly funding the electric vehicle recharging infrastructure in the United States.
The fact that diesel vehicles are not that bad as depicted by the ICCT and the US EPA based on inadequate assessments, is confirmed by the tests now properly performed.
Diesel vehicles work well also for what concerns the pollutant emissions, including nitrogen oxides, and particulate matters.
Obviously, these results are not acknowledged by any policy maker, they will not change the future of the combustion engine in general, as the European car makers have already terminated their research and development plans for combustion engines to focus only on electric cars.
The link in between science and politics will bring nothing good. Science is supposed to be right, not to be popular, or politically correct.