Automotive

Exhaust from new VW Beetle more harmful than fumes from a 20-year-old diesel car

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  • Feb 6th, 2018 3:42 pm
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Exhaust from new VW Beetle more harmful than fumes from a 20-year-old diesel car

Remember the animal testing VW and other German automakers were just recently involved? Well, the results are in!

Suppressed: rigged diesel tests on monkeys showed new cars more harmful than 20-year-old models

I know there's another thread on the ethics of the testing itself, but this topic is about the results, which I think warrants a separate discussion.

Interesting that the car makers are distancing themselves from the study based on the ethics of animal testing (although, BMW is denying any involvement at all, which allegedly is a lie), but you have to wonder if it didn't have more to do with the results.
In the tests, monkeys were forced to inhale exhaust fumes from the VW Beetle for over eight hours and then examined for harmful effects. A second control group of monkeys were made to inhale fumes from a 1997 diesel Ford pickup.

But to their surprise the scientists found the monkeys who were exposed to the exhaust from the new Volkswagen suffered more inflammation of their internal organs than those exposed to the old Ford.
There's been other types on research on this for a while, claiming that the fine particulate matter in the exhaust from modern engines is very bad for the local environment. It was one of the really irritating things with the VW diesel scandal, where all the hysteria was about NOX, while other harmful pollutants were not mentioned at all.

Nobody is really attacking this problem properly. Governments design inadequate tests, automakers design cars for the tests, but in the end it is us that suffer.
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Diesels are probably going to be banned from major EU cities pretty soon. With advances in gas turbo direct injection engines, they're basically as efficient as diesels with fewer environmental problems.
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GDI engines may have fewer problems, but they're not exactly clean. In some cases, the fine particulate matter emissions is actually worse in GDI engines than in port fuel-injected engines or diesel engines. And, currently there is no incentive for automakers to fix this problem. We have had a relentless drive by regulators to reduce CO2 emissions (which is beneficial globally), but other types of emissions haven't been prioritized as highly (which is harmful locally).

There's definitely no 'win' in this for the consumer. We're getting way more complex engineering to satisfy fuel economy requirements, while the exhaust is still harmful. I hope EVs are the answer, and studies do suggest that cradle to grave emissions are lower for EVs over combustion engines even when battery production and coal powered electricity are factored in. Still, this personal transportation business is messy no matter what, nevermind what the commercial transportation business side of things brings to the table (or air).
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Little Tim wrote: GDI engines may have fewer problems, but they're not exactly clean. In some cases, the fine particulate matter emissions is actually worse in GDI engines than in port fuel-injected engines or diesel engines. And, currently there is no incentive for automakers to fix this problem. We have had a relentless drive by regulators to reduce CO2 emissions (which is beneficial globally), but other types of emissions haven't been prioritized as highly (which is harmful locally).

There's definitely no 'win' in this for the consumer. We're getting way more complex engineering to satisfy fuel economy requirements, while the exhaust is still harmful. I hope EVs are the answer, and studies do suggest that cradle to grave emissions are lower for EVs over combustion engines even when battery production and coal powered electricity are factored in. Still, this personal transportation business is messy no matter what, nevermind what the commercial transportation business side of things brings to the table (or air).
Agreed.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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