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Transportation EU

Diesel Cars Produce More Toxic Emissions Than Trucks and Buses, EU Study Says (theverge.com) 154

Modern diesel cars produce more toxic emissions than trucks and buses, according to European researchers. That's because heavy duty vehicles in the EU have much stricter regulations than cars, and so even if they meet lab tests, cars end up producing much more nitrogen oxides (NOx) when driven on actual roads. From a report: The new report, released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), shows that trucks and buses tested in Germany and Finland emitted about 210mg NOx per kilometer driven, less than half the 500mg/km produced by diesel cars that meet the highest "Euro 6" emission standards.
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Diesel Cars Produce More Toxic Emissions Than Trucks and Buses, EU Study Says

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Instead of driving them on actual roads, drive them on theoretical roads, like the rest of us.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Euro 6 requires 80 mg/km NOx for diesel cars. 500 mg/km CO though, a typo/misreading that lead to an incorrect conclusion?

    • Re:Euro 6 (Score:4, Informative)

      by sugar and acid ( 88555 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @10:37AM (#53616631)

      You remember dieselgate right, where VW cars were cheating the lab based regulatory tests, by going into a state where the NOx emission are within standards, but when driven on real roads the cars exceeded the standards by 20 fold and higher. The point of the article is because the car standards are lab based, they bear a very poor relationship to the actual NOx emissions in real world conditions. The real world testing of heavy vehicles has ensured that they are actually lower in output than many dieshttps://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/01/06/142229/diesel-cars-produce-more-toxic-emissions-than-trucks-and-buses-eu-study-says#el cars under similar conditions.

      • You remember dieselgate right, where VW cars were cheating the lab based regulatory tests, by going into a state where the NOx emission are within standards, but when driven on real roads the cars exceeded the standards by 20 fold and higher.

        but then I'm looking at the PDF of the brief and all the VWs in their study produced next to no NOx...

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        You remember dieselgate right, where VW cars were cheating the lab based regulatory tests, by going into a state where the NOx emission are within standards, but when driven on real roads the cars exceeded the standards by 20 fold and higher. The point of the article is because the car standards are lab based, they bear a very poor relationship to the actual NOx emissions in real world conditions. The real world testing of heavy vehicles has ensured that they are actually lower in output than many dies

        This, and VW couldn't even pass the lab tests without cheating. If you've seen the difference between a 9L Cummins and a 1.9L Fiat JTD you'd see a lot of things on the Cummins designed to restrict, recirc and reduce emissions.

        The problem Europe has is that it has traditionally given concessions to diesel drivers. They still do now as diesels have lower tax rates in the UK and pay a reduced congestion charge. Places like the US and Australia never gave concessions to diesel passenger cars so they're very

    • Re:Euro 6 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by voislav98 ( 1004117 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:26AM (#53616975)
      Technically yes. In practice no. Passenger cars with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems can apply for low temperature operation exemptions. Basically, the system losses efficiency at low temperatures, so the automakers are allowed to turn it off as not to waste the SCR fluid. Some of these exemptions are ridiculous, one Mercedes (if I remember correctly) vehicle is exempt from turning the SCR on at ambient temperatures below 15 C.

      Most of the diesel passenger vehicles are exempt below 5 C, so especially in the winter there is almost no NOx emissions control on any of these vehicles. If you are a heavy duty vehicle, there is no exemption. You have to put an electric heater on your exhaust system to keep it at operating temperature. Also, as there are very few labs that can accommodate large truck testing the testing, the certification test for heavy duty trucks is on the road with a portable emissions measurement system.

      The whole issue is that a bug truck hauling 70-80,000 pounds doesn't care if it needs a 100 pound heater or a 200 pound urea tank to bring emissions down. Space and weight are not an issue. Much more difficult to do on a 3,000 pound passenger car.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Renault-Nissan and Opel (GM Europe) switch off SCR completely below 17 degrees and above 33 degrees in some models, to 'protect the engine'. The emissions test for the type approval process has to be performed between 20 and 30 degrees, which is of course just a coincidence. Fiat-Chrysler simply turn off NOx emissions controls after 22 minutes. The test lasts 20 minutes.

        Pretty much every car has, as you say, a low-temperature cutoff, some more reasonable than others. Most cars also perform differently after

      • Most of the diesel passenger vehicles are exempt below 5 C, so especially in the winter there is almost no NOx emissions control on any of these vehicles. If you are a heavy duty vehicle, there is no exemption. You have to put an electric heater on your exhaust system to keep it at operating temperature. Also, as there are very few labs that can accommodate large truck testing the testing, the certification test for heavy duty trucks is on the road with a portable emissions measurement system.

        Whoa! You are very confused. I'm a diesel emissions engineer. Electric heaters are not used to heat the exhaust by any manufacturer that I'm aware of. That would require a ridiculous amount of electricity. Electric heaters are only used to keep the DEF lines from freezing.

        Furthermore, the same low temperature exemptions that are made for passenger vehicles apply to heavy duty trucks. Details on the US EPA rules can be found here. [dieselnet.com] The difference in the US, is that heavy duty trucks are subject to in

  • European countries should just do themselves a favor and begin killing off excess humans. Humans emit carbon dioxide and the march towards completely green fascism must never stop! /sarc
    • European countries should just do themselves a favor and begin killing off excess humans.

      They tried that in the 1910s and again in the 1940s. Didn't work either time. Just depressed the population growth for a while and generated a lot of rubble in the process.

    • by calexontheroad66 ( 975611 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:11AM (#53616865)
      Green facism?... Surelly some wimpy Social Justice Warriors cause you worry?
      In my time there were hardcore Maoistes, Trotskistes and Stalinists, those I was scared of, now these guys going on a gluten free diet, meh.
      Screaming quotas, lower emmission, more recycling can be annoying, but facism?
      Now if you want to breathe NOX gases, take some lead compounds into your system, drink water with benzene, please do.
      But please, do it quickly. You need to increase the dosage it is clearly not working well enough.
      • by MercTech ( 46455 )

        Nitrous Oxide emissions from diesel engines that under hot summer conditions can lower the pH of rainwater to slightly acidic conditions as opposed to internal combustion engines that exhaust carcinogenic petroleum fractions are are less of an environmental hazard to people and the environment.
        The main reason that passenger car diesel engines create more NOX gasses than commercial trucks has little to do with catalytic exhaust treatment and more to do with how the engines ar

    • Wasn't that already tried in the 1930s and 1940s?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Something is fishy about this, I mean just my own very sensitive nose can barely tell a diesel car in front vs trucks/buses I must pass(or stop) or have breathing trouble... Didn't read the referenced post but if it's true at all it must be pound for pound? Cause diesel cars dont' even come close to being as offensive.

    • NOx odor (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @11:03AM (#53616797)

      just my own very sensitive nose can barely tell a diesel car in front vs trucks/buses I must pass(or stop) or have breathing trouble... Didn't read the referenced post but if it's true at all it must be pound for pound? Cause diesel cars dont' even come close to being as offensive.

      Nitric Oxide (NO) is colorless and odorless. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) has a reddish brown color and a pungent smell. So if the majority of the NOx emmissions are Nitric Oxide you couldn't smell it even if you wanted to.

      • So if the majority of the NOx emmissions are Nitric Oxide you couldn't smell it even if you wanted to.

        An engine without any emissions equipment will output >90% NO emissions. However, once exhaust catalysts [dieselnet.com] are installed, they shift the ratio closer to 50%.

    • by Higaran ( 835598 )
      Or you could be a redneck https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    • by caseih ( 160668 )

      Smell comes from particulates primarily, not NOx. Related but separate issues.

  • Just go EV already (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Morgaine ( 4316 )

    All of this drawn-out study and deliberation and the protracted uncertainty and wasted manufacturing and expense for users makes very little sense, when it's abundantly clear that all road transport is set to become electric in a very short space of time.

    Just go there now and save everyone a lot of time and effort, and improve air quality at the same time.

    • All of this drawn-out study and deliberation and the protracted uncertainty and wasted manufacturing and expense for users makes very little sense, when it's abundantly clear that all road transport is set to become electric in a very short space of time.

      I'm as big a fan of electric cars as anyone here but even I'm not naive enough to believe that gasoline/diesel powered vehicles are going to go away any time soon. Even if electric cars eventually do take over the market it's going to take decades to happen. The average age of a car on the road today is 11.5 years. That number isn't going to drop dramatically any time soon. And right now EVs are more expensive than their equivalent gas/diesel powered cars in most cases. That's going to keep the dino-ju

      • A few places in the UK have already started having tolls for vehicles that emit pollution at the point of use. It's not much of a stretch to imagine congestion fees for non-electric motor vehicles in urban areas. Most plug-in hybrids can manage 20-30km on the electric, which is enough for the in-city part of most trips, and the people with old cars would have a financial incentive to upgrade. This would do a huge amount to improve air quality in cities.
        • A few places in the UK have already started having tolls for vehicles that emit pollution at the point of use.

          Which is fine but let's not pretend they are enough to force a mass transition to electric cars. The fees would have to be absurdly high to really force people to accelerate the switch to electric cars and unfortunately the options in EVs and hybrids are still rather lacking unless you want a really crappy eco-cred vehicle like a Prius or an impractical city car like a Leaf. Some like the Chevy Volt aren't bad but the options are rather thin if you don't want a sedan or hatchback.

          It's not much of a stretch to imagine congestion fees for non-electric motor vehicles in urban areas.

          Maybe in the UK it's not

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Electric vehicles just aren't viable though. Half the population have nowhere to charge one at home, let alone when anywhere else.

      What is viable is fucking over every diesel car owner in the country. The nearest city to me is already planning to ban diesel cars, which means I wont be able to drive to work without buying a second car or replacing my current perfectly functional one.

      Save the environment, own two cars not one. Fucking environmentalist cunts.

      • by amorsen ( 7485 )

        This wouldn't have been a problem if you hadn't provided falsified documents to the authorities when getting your diesel car registered. Now obviously you didn't KNOW you did so, since you in turn got defrauded by the car manufacturer. That isn't my problem though, I just need you to stop poisoning me.

        Since the legal system has proven to be completely incapable of dealing with dieselgate, we are forced to turn to local politicians to help. Sucks to be you.

        Either way, hybrid petrol cars provide the benefits

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Hence banning them is the only reasonable option.

          Fine, but compensate me for the loss this causes me. Otherwise I'm happily going to continue slowly killing you with my mostly inconsequential fumes.

          You're the idiot that chose to live in a congested area. How about you move instead of stopping me getting to work? I live near green fields, lovely clean air, the occasional vehicle has no material impact at all.

          • Oh, but that logic can easily be turned around. You are the idiot that chose to live in the middle of nowhere. How about you stay there?

      • Electric vehicles just aren't viable though. Half the population have nowhere to charge one at home, let alone when anywhere else.

        Eyeroll. Electric cars can be charged anywhere there is an electric outlet which is pretty much everywhere. And even if we ignore that piece of reality it still is the case that well over half the population DOES have a place to charge them at their house. Furthermore we can build the infrastructure if we want to and there are hybrid cars as a bridge option until we get there. Frankly electric and hybrid cars appear to be the future whether you care to admit it or not. Won't happen overnight but it is

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          well over half the population DOES have a place to charge them at their house

          I own a house, and I can't. I'd have to run an electric cable across a public throughway. How about the people living here: http://www.johndavies.org/Pic-... [johndavies.org]

          Only 66% of homes in the UK have off-street parking, including those with a garage. Mine is one of them; the garage is 80 yards from the house, has no power and is too small to fit a car into.

          Hybrid cars are an option but you can eyeroll all you fucking want, electric cars are not fucking viable in this country.

          • I own a house, and I can't. I'd have to run an electric cable across a public throughway.

            Oh well then you can generalize your situation to apply to everybody in the world then... Sorry my friend but your situation does not describe everyone else.

            Only 66% of homes in the UK have off-street parking, including those with a garage

            That's still a HUGE number of homes. You are making the mistake of thinking that somehow the options are either gasoline or electric with no other options. Gasoline and diesel powered cars aren't going away any time soon. But electric WILL become a serious player in the near future I think. It has too many advantages both economic and performance t

            • by Cederic ( 9623 )

              The fact that it currently has no power is a choice you can remedy if you want to

              Sure, I could get planning permission, permission from each of the 23 people whose property I'd have to cross and get electric power added to my garage. Probably wouldn't cost much more than a new car.

              Or I could keep driving the car I already own.

              Electric cars may become viable, but right now they are not. Before they are they'll almost certainly be autonomous and the whole personal transport domain will undergo a sizeable shift in scope and nature.

              In the meantime, people that can charge an electric car, do

          • Yes, getting power to garages and sidewalk parking spaces: assuredly, this an insurmountable technical problem that a 21st century 1st world society is powerless to solve....
            • by Cederic ( 9623 )

              What sidewalk parking spaces? We call it a fucking road.

              Shit, I'm lucky when I can park near my house. I could be anywhere within 80 yards. Sure, that's not a lot - unless you have a three metre cable you're trying to connect.

              But then, safety, security and not tripping up pedestrians also comes into play. Sure, a 1st world society can address these challenges. Hasn't yet, hasn't shown the political will to do so, can't afford it.

              I can build a new house with a garage on the roof and an electromagnetic car li

              • Well, you're just a big bowl of sunshine aren't you? I think you need to include more "fucks" and "shits" in your comments so we know you have thoroughly considered things

                If a car is parked on a road, you can call it a road, or you can call it a parking spot. That's a choice I leave up to you.
                Regardless, it's not like we need another Manhattan project to figure out how to get electric power to places where people park their cars.

                I can build a new house with a garage on the roof and an electromagnetic car lift to let me use it, but that also isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future;

                Right, because that's exactly like installing a simplified parking-meter sty

                • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                  Parking meters? Yeah, that's possible. We'll just get the old ladies to walk down the middle of the road now the pavement's unavailable.

                  I'm delighted for you that you live in a big country with lots of space. But yes, I'm a fucking ray of sunshine when people talk shit.

                  • Parking meters? Yeah, that's possible. We'll just get the old ladies to walk down the middle of the road now the pavement's unavailable.

                    Seriously now, do you think a parking meter is as wide as a sidewalk?

              • Your problem is that the only solution you can envision to get power to your car is running a cable from your home directly to your car. A better solution is to install charging points where people park, whether it is on the street or in a garage. Many streets already have power infrastructure (to run streetlights, parking meters, etc.) it's not too big of a stretch to imagine car charging points installed alongside the road where people commonly park. Yes, there is a lot more power required and it proba

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What is really needed to make EVs the mainstream type of car is better charging infrastructure. In Europe and Japan people often don't have a driveway or garage of their own. They either park on the public street or in their building's garage, so can't easily charge at home. In some countries public charging is affordable, but in the UK it's an insane rip-off, an absolute last resort.

      Some countries have started installing charging posts along public roads. If someone in the road requests on, the local gover

  • Nox vs co2 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As i understand it you get more nox if you optimize your combustion for co2. And the other way around. In europe you pay a high tax on co2 so the carmakers try to reduce that heaviley and as a result we get worse nox.

  • If diesel cars are worse than busses per km driven, imagine how much worse they must be per km per passenger (or per km per kg).
  • In fact outlaw all vehicles that are not Pluggable Hybrids or fully Electric. Start with an annual carbon tax and a soot tax on the vehicles. Tax is based on how much pollution the vehicle produces. Then give them a 20 year phase out. You can't build new ones after 10 years and you can't drive one after 20 years.
    • Getting rid of all combustion engines in North America and Europe will still accomplish almost nothing in relation to worldwide pollution output as long as we continue to buy products from SE Asia. The massive manufacturing capacity of this region is mostly powered by dirty power plants. If people are truly interested in reducing actual worldwide pollution output instead of just moving it from one region to another, this issue needs to be addressed.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      As one of the many people who own classic cars, go F yourself.

    • Tax is based on how much pollution the vehicle produces.

      That doesn't stop manufacturers from lying about emissions. The emissions laws are already very strict in the US and Europe. What is needed is better enforcement.

      What you are asking for is analogous to creating longer sentences for murderers, instead of hiring police to catch the ones that are getting away with it.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Friday January 06, 2017 @01:48PM (#53618207)

    While their NoX output might be lower, it is relatively common to watch a diesel truck pull away from a stoplight, and flood the entire intersection with so much exhaust and soot that you can't even see through it. :|

    Rare to see a car or non-commercial vehicle do the same.

    Unless it's a *Red-Neck Truck.
    ( *Requires: Diesel engine, largest pickup truck, gigantic tires, custom exhaust and a ridiculous lift kit. Flag pole and 100,000 watts of lights installed optional )

    Then it has the same specs and problems as their commercial brethren.

    • Some of us have redneck trucks that are gas versions. They work better in the climate where we live!
    • That's hardly an issue. An exhaust soot thick enough to see is a soot thick enough to filter in the AC in the car behind it, and is thick enough to fall to the ground and wash away.

      In general thick soot is one of the least dangerous of the things that come out of an engine. It is just a bit visually unappealing.

  • In other news: OPEC cuts oil output for first time in 8 years [bloomberg.com] and oil prices rise.
    Don't forget that the reason people use diesel cars is that they are significantly more fuel efficient that petrol cars.

    Diesel cars have been getting a real bashing over the last year or so. (e.g. VW emissions scandal)
    I have question; why, now, has diesel become the fuel of the devil for the ordinary man?
    This article effectively says "Diesel good only for commercial vehicles, bad for consumer vehicles".
    Bull. Shit.

    It's like the

  • trucks and buses tested in Germany and Finland emitted about 210mg NOx per kilometer driven, less than half the 500mg/km produced by diesel cars that meet the highest "Euro 6" emission standards.

    The current standard for diesel passenger vehicles in CARB states (California Air Resources Board [howstuffworks.com], which sets the limit for California and 16 other states) is 0.05 grams/mi, which is 80 mg/km [dieselnet.com].

    And if you're curious, here's how much the cheating 2.0L VW diesels were emitting [ca.gov]. If the Euro 6 standard is 500 mg/km (

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