Diesel Scrappage Scheme

BigH47 posted:

Trees can help.

That's right. I mentioned above that the Victorians planted plane trees in London to absorb atmospheric pollutants. They also absorb CO2 and pump out Oxygen.

OTOH, I suspect that Storm Doris has done a great job today sweeping away most of the UK's atmospheric pollutants from both petrol and diesel vehicles plus a few power stations. Should be able to start again tomorrow with a clean sheet !

Derek Wright posted:

My question regarding removing the "nasties" was more to do with the nasties that have pushed into the urban environment.

Is there a possibility that street located air conditioners could be placed in the streets to suck in the dirty air and blow out cleaner air.

Would it be possible to design such a device?

Hmmmm.

I'm sure there are clean air filters (special laboratories and hospitals must have them ?) but I don't know about large volume, weather-resistant, devices that run on...........local diesel engines ? or more distant nuclear power stations ?

Who would be responsible for disposing of the captured contamination ?

BigH47 posted:

You blokes driving these massive miles letting powdered plastic from the tyres into the sea.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie...environment-39042655

Just to complicate things further, there are also reports about road gritting salt getting into the environment and causing wildlife deaths and river pollution etc.

It would seem whatever transportation technology they come up has a negative environmental effect somewhere down the line. I suppose with electric cars it will be more nuclear power stations built to sustain the extra demand in off grid power, and then millions of knackered batteries in landfill a decade down the line.

They need to hurry up with the intention of teleportation : )

Debs

Derek Wright posted:

My question regarding removing the "nasties" was more to do with the nasties that have pushed into the urban environment.

Is there a possibility that street located air conditioners could be placed in the streets to suck in the dirty air and blow out cleaner air.

Would it be possible to design such a device?

Hi Derek,
A good idea with a couple of slightly surprising answers.

First, planting trees & shrubs is a very good idea for a number of reasons including shade in the summer, which reduces atmospheric ozone at ground level.  It also turns CO2 into oxygen.  Third, foliage is an excellent acoustic diffuser, softening the reverberation that happens between the sheer glass walls of today's modern buildings.

Second, cars.  Volvo introduced a PremAir catalytic coating to the outside of its cooling radiators in order to turn 75% of the ozone which passes through its car radiators into oxygen.

Third, cars.  Hard to believe, I know, but in a number of the world's major cities, the exhaust gases from a modern European or US car are less toxic than the air they breathe in.  There was an interesting legal case in 2016 between Tata/Jaguar Land Rover on the one hand and the Indian Government on the other over this very point.  This only applies to the latest specification of cars though.

There is an excellent Economist article called "Cleaner than what?".  It looks at the consequences of running cars on 11 different sources of power.  Electric vehicles in France do very well indeed, as the "pollution" comes from French nuclear power stations & renewables. No surprise there.  

France's power companies have been playing the power company CO2 game brilliantly.  First, they have installed their nuclear capacity and substantial renewable capacity in France, exporting this base load power to France's European neighbours such as Italy, UK etc.  Then, those same power companies have also topped up their capacity with flexible, rapid response gas power stations - in France's neighbouring countries.  So they end up with the right power generation mix but with the CO2 being produced outside France.  Absolute genius.

However, electric cars in China and many parts of the USA are rated as considerably more harmful to health than a modern petrol or Diesel car. Why?  Because the electricity is largely generated in coal fired power stations.  So the source of pollution moves from the city centre to the power plant but there is much more of it.

Hope this helps, if only a bit.  FT

Foot Tapper

Coal fired plants on the way out in both China and the U.S. though more rapidly and accelerating here in the US where mandated control of coal fired plant emmissions requires expensive scrubbers. Cheaper natural gas and alternative power generation is taking up the slack. This has caused no small amount of angst in coal country and President Trump promised to revitalize the industry but that's really not going to happen. Coal fired plants just no longer pencil out. 

So FT no hope for diesel over electric there!

Cheers

Foot tapper posted:
Derek Wright posted:

My question regarding removing the "nasties" was more to do with the nasties that have pushed into the urban environment.

Is there a possibility that street located air conditioners could be placed in the streets to suck in the dirty air and blow out cleaner air.

Would it be possible to design such a device?

Hi Derek,
A good idea with a couple of slightly surprising answers.

First, planting trees & shrubs is a very good idea for a number of reasons including shade in the summer, which reduces atmospheric ozone at ground level.  It also turns CO2 into oxygen.  Third, foliage is an excellent acoustic diffuser, softening the reverberation that happens between the sheer glass walls of today's modern buildings.

Second, cars.  Volvo introduced a PremAir catalytic coating to the outside of its cooling radiators in order to turn 75% of the ozone which passes through its car radiators into oxygen.

Third, cars.  Hard to believe, I know, but in a number of the world's major cities, the exhaust gases from a modern European or US car are less toxic than the air they breathe in.  There was an interesting legal case in 2016 between Tata/Jaguar Land Rover on the one hand and the Indian Government on the other over this very point.  This only applies to the latest specification of cars though.

There is an excellent Economist article called "Cleaner than what?".  It looks at the consequences of running cars on 11 different sources of power.  Electric vehicles in France do very well indeed, as the "pollution" comes from French nuclear power stations & renewables. No surprise there.  

France's power companies have been playing the power company CO2 game brilliantly.  First, they have installed their nuclear capacity and substantial renewable capacity in France, exporting this base load power to France's European neighbours such as Italy, UK etc.  Then, those same power companies have also topped up their capacity with flexible, rapid response gas power stations - in France's neighbouring countries.  So they end up with the right power generation mix but with the CO2 being produced outside France.  Absolute genius.

However, electric cars in China and many parts of the USA are rated as considerably more harmful to health than a modern petrol or Diesel car. Why?  Because the electricity is largely generated in coal fired power stations.  So the source of pollution moves from the city centre to the power plant but there is much more of it.

Hope this helps, if only a bit.  FT

FT, another excellent post it's not just down to the actual emissions that vehicles produce but the whole life Carbon Footprint of the vehicle which includes the manufacturing and disposal process which is as important and as you said there is much more to it than meets the eye..

As I said in an earlier post I retired early a couple of years ago after working in Motor Transport for a shade over 40 years many of those as a Group Transport Manager for Company that run a large fleet of HGV vehicles supplying Heavy Side Building Materials to the Road Building and Civil Engineering Sector.

During this time they TFL (Transport For London) introduced the LEZ limits within the confines of the M25 corridor ironically buses and taxis which were and still are the most polluting vehicles were exempt from these new limits probably goes a long way to explain the extremely high emission levels recently.

They reckon that vehicles produce around 50% of the pollution in the Capital the rest by heating buildings, construction and the day to day running of the City so you need to tackle the Carbon Footprint of all areas reducing Transport emissions on its own won't solve the problem.

It can be done Copenhagen have had a long term commitment and will be Carbon Neutral by 2025.

The planning of sustainable cities is such a complex and involved profession.  There seem to be so many interlocking and interdependent systems involved in the life of a city that it is really, really hard to find simple causal relationships; there are so many unintended side effects.  

I find it fascinating, especially as we all know so little about how to do it well.  What if mega cities are entirely the wrong answer.  Wouldn't it be nice if the answer was small, semi self-sufficient garden cities such as Letchworth or Welwyn, or Quaker inspired communities such as Bournville in Birmingham?

Time will tell. 

In the meantime, if we are concerned about particulates, could we all stop every now & then to pick up the tyre wear particles, brake dust and "char-grilled burger" smoke fumes that we find by the roadside?  These are likely to be the next area of emissions control...

Time for another LP.

We've just got back from Amsterdam, our first visit. Everyone goes on about how there are thousands of bikes, but until you see it you don't quite understand it. A great tram service, good buses and segregated bike lanes everywhere. There seemed to be so few cars and nearly all the centre is pedestrianised. Yet where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile to the shops and I always walk. Yet the neighbours drive and look at me as if I'm bonkers. Since being unable to drive and having my bus pass I've discovered the bus network, which is ok though infrequent and it takes ages to get anywhere. Both diesel and petrol cars pollute in their own ways and the real way forward seems to be to encourage walking, provide safe cycle routes and promote decent public transport. 

Carwise, though, we have a brilliant 150ps 1.4 turbo in our Golf, which seems to deliver pretty good economy as well as going like shit off a shovel. 

Hungryhalibut posted:

We've just got back from Amsterdam, our first visit. Everyone goes on about how there are thousands of bikes, but until you see it you don't quite understand it. A great tram service, good buses and segregated bike lanes everywhere. There seemed to be so few cars and nearly all the centre is pedestrianised. Yet where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile to the shops and I always walk. Yet the neighbours drive and look at me as if I'm bonkers. Since being unable to drive and having my bus pass I've discovered the bus network, which is ok though infrequent and it takes ages to get anywhere. Both diesel and petrol cars pollute in their own ways and the real way forward seems to be to encourage walking, provide safe cycle routes and promote decent public transport. 

Carwise, though, we have a brilliant 150ps 1.4 turbo in our Golf, which seems to deliver pretty good economy as well as going like shit off a shovel. 

I was a frequent traveller to Amsterdam. Took my organ lessons in the Westerkerk next to Anne Franks house.

Public transport in Amsterdam is brilliant. Have you also seen mothers on their bikes having 3 kids being extremely busy updating their social network on their phones?

Bikes are there far more dangerous than the cars.

Hungryhalibut posted:

We've just got back from Amsterdam, our first visit. Everyone goes on about how there are thousands of bikes, but until you see it you don't quite understand it. A great tram service, good buses and segregated bike lanes everywhere. There seemed to be so few cars and nearly all the centre is pedestrianised. Yet where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile to the shops and I always walk. Yet the neighbours drive and look at me as if I'm bonkers. Since being unable to drive and having my bus pass I've discovered the bus network, which is ok though infrequent and it takes ages to get anywhere. Both diesel and petrol cars pollute in their own ways and the real way forward seems to be to encourage walking, provide safe cycle routes and promote decent public transport. 

Carwise, though, we have a brilliant 150ps 1.4 turbo in our Golf, which seems to deliver pretty good economy as well as going like shit off a shovel. 

HH, use to go to RAI Commercial Show in Amsterdam regularly and as you say you don't realise how many bikes are there until you see it for yourself everywhere you look they just seem to be piled up against one another.

The tram system is fantastic so quick and cheap.

Trust you had a good time.

Hungryhalibut posted:

We've just got back from Amsterdam, our first visit. Everyone goes on about how there are thousands of bikes, but until you see it you don't quite understand it. A great tram service, good buses and segregated bike lanes everywhere. There seemed to be so few cars and nearly all the centre is pedestrianised. Yet where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile to the shops and I always walk. Yet the neighbours drive and look at me as if I'm bonkers. Since being unable to drive and having my bus pass I've discovered the bus network, which is ok though infrequent and it takes ages to get anywhere. Both diesel and petrol cars pollute in their own ways and the real way forward seems to be to encourage walking, provide safe cycle routes and promote decent public transport. 

Carwise, though, we have a brilliant 150ps 1.4 turbo in our Golf, which seems to deliver pretty good economy as well as going like HOT shit off a GREASY shovel. 

 

Talking of cycling, it amazes me the extent of cycling now in central London.. really is noticeable compared to most U.K. cities apart from Cambridge in my experience.. I suspect Londoners might take it for granted?. Yes not to the level of Amsterdam, but probably on a par with central Berlin for example.. but my feeling is that it is way higher than it was say ten  years ago..

As far as mega cities and garden cities.. wasn't the the original driver for garden cities about sustainability and moving from early industrial shanty / slum conditions and high industrial pollution. I feel mega cities of the future can be and need to be more sustainable with high quality living environments with green spaces .. perhaps even built into structures.. and perhaps also encourage ccontaining districts of semi sustainable but integrated  communities.. like a mega city of semi sustainable mega villages.. or another way of looking at it our future mega cities might be an integrated collection of garden cities.. or garden city 'structures'. Many post industrialised cities have evolved over a concept of commuting to the centres or hot spots of concentrated employment  centres... a very late nineteenth and twentieth century phenomenon, and I suspect our work patterns of the future like increasingly now will be more distributed allowing our cities to grow in a clustered rather than an energy inefficient and usually highly polluting centralised model...

I notice this week that Chris Grayling has stated the electrification of the Great Western between Bath and Bristol is unnecessary.

Some years ago, Network Rail recommended electrifying the routes out of Paddington down to South Wales and Newbury. This is currently in progress but the project is behind programme and well and truly over budget.

Also, the train sets that will operate these routes are bi-modal ie they can draw their electricity supply from either the overhead wires or an on-board diesel driven generator.

Grayling is of the opinion that the cost of the infrastructure to  supply the external electricity is not cost-effective.

Looks like he is about to stop the Bath - Bristol electrification, saying the trains can use their on-board diesel generators.

Given that he is the Secretary of State for Transport I wonder what his views are on the infrastructure needs for electric HGVs, Buses and Coaches, Cars. I presume we will start with six new Nuclear power stations built and operated by our Chinese friends who will sell us the electricity delivered by new cables and substations built by EdF.................

So, the railways should ditch their electrification ideas and continue to use diesel whilst the motorist should ditch their diesel cars and switch to electricity.............

.........and you wonder why I have doubts about this Government ?

Don,

It's pretty bizar how the railway system is. There are some places in the world where one can experience the 19th century, and as foreigner I can say that UK railways is one. I once had to stay in Birmingham because I missed my connection from Manchester to Bristol. Lifetime experience.

I expect that India is having more electric engines now than the UK.

I have good memories of railways which were abandoned and converted into hikers / bikers trails.

I just exited a 28 year old BMW E-28 M5 and entered a Cayenne Diesel.   Nice road trip today.   This is the expressway portion.  The surface road portion was 90-100mph at 25mpg.  

These are US, not Imperial, gallons.

If scrapping this vehicle is the answer, what is the question?  

I think our regulators have lost the plot.

What an interesting and topical thread this is!!  Where to begin...

I live in central London and have moved from having a fairly large petrol engined car through two fairly large engined diesel engined cars to a fairly large engined petrol/ hybrid.  One of the pressures brought to bear was the action of the local authority (Islington). The petrol car faced an increased road tax when the trend was towards diesel and my kindly local authority increased my resident parking permit by 4x the increase in road tax.  I took the hint and bought diesel (admittedly there were other considerations!).  My local authority have now begun introducing a new polluter tax and slapped £99/ annum on the parking permits for having a diesel powered car - irrespective of engine size, etc.  I suspect that is just the beginning.  So I find I have moved from a 535d estate to a Lexus 450h and economy has gone from mid 40s to mid 30s - now that's what I call progress!

Unfortunately, I still suspect I have, for selfish economic reasons, done the right thing.  My thinking is that the Greater London Authority/ London Mayor will push for increasingly robust measures to force diesel vehicles off London roads.  Islington Council will happily jump on this bandwagon and be keen to lead the charge on this.  Starting with taxation and congestion charges and moving on to introduce no diesel zones - these are already being trialed in small areas of London. 

By far my biggest economic concern relates to the UK car market and particularly the sector I have bought from.  Unless you buy an M5 or AMG etc, there are very few petrol engined vehicles in the 5 series/ E Class sector on the pre-owned dealer stock sheets.  That is, most of the vehicles sitting on their front courts are diesel.  My suspicion, and of course i could be completely wrong, is that it would not take much of a change in market sentiment to make the value of second hand diesels fall through the floor.  Perhaps not such a factor for company car users (unless the lease costs suddenly increase) nor for private lease arrangements (until time for change when market conditions will kick in) but for private owners, the potential depreciation bomb awaiting us is one I was very keen to avoid.  The Lexus uses old battery technology which, in its favour, is established for reliability and concerns about lithium battery temperature stability (eg recent Samsung note problems) and achieves a silly low capacity for operating on battery power alone, but it ticks quite a few boxes today and hopefully for the next few years.  I have no doubt it will come under pressure from my beautiful local authority when they have forced diesel vehicles off the road, but hopefully they will be engaged on that battle for a good while yet!

Despite the economy dip, (I only manage around 5,000 miles a year so not a massive factor for me) it has been fascinating changing from the 535d to petrol hybrid.  Because I live in town, quite a bit of my journey time is spent driving very slowly and the engine takes a while to warm up.  This is the worst time for diesels when, even with the 6 cylinder engine, I found it was still relatively rough and the gearbox slow.  The programming of the auto box I found frustrating, it insisting on holding on to more revs than I would choose with a manual box especially when on an incline.  I can understand why but I still found it annoying!  The Lexus by comparison is whisper quiet from the get go, with or without the engine running.  The bimmer was magnificent when cruising on the motorway, 70mph being around 1,500rpm and the torque available from the twin turbos was immense.  Slightly lost on me now though, with the quantum of speed restricted motorways and cameras everywhere.  Really did make me question what the point of all that power would serve!  Interestingly, once up to cruise speed (I'll gloss over the 'slipping clutch' feel of the elastic band transmission when accelerating!), the Lexus is very refined and sits at a very low rev with contributions from the electric drive.  I have no idea how this has been programmed, but it works an awful lot better than I envisaged - a very pleasant surprise.  The radar cruise control is amazing, but I really do digress!

For both 5 series I always used Shell V power (or whatever they call it) for the very reason stated earlier - I had read that the additives would help keep all the sophisticated bits and pieces clean and prolong the engine life.  Rather lost on me given that I disposed of both before 20,000 miles had been covered....  I'll do the same with the Lexus, albeit there seems less of a case for this.  Having said all of this, I have little doubt that hybrid technology is very much an interim sticking plaster awaiting major battery or other technological developments.

Closer to topic, I remember back in the day, when diesel power was being given a major push in UK, that Ford and Mazda were engaged on lean burn technology joint development which looked to be very promising.  Ford abandoned it due no doubt to the commercial pressures of diesel market requirements whilst, I think, Mazda continued to work with lean burn.  I suspect this is evidenced today in their current range of engines but I can't help think that the motor industry in general more or less joined Ford in abandoning petrol development (other than for uber powerful models) and concentrated their resources on the capital intensive diesel sector.  The big German manufacturers are still launching diesel-centric motors but articles in the motoring press are emphasising a major change on the horizon, early 2020's is when I suspect we'll see it come to market in a serious way.  VW has announced they will no longer develop diesel engines less than 2.0 litres and I agree with the sentiment that the cheating scandal has blown the roof off the diesel house.

I've noticed recently that Autocar are running two hydrogen powered vehicles on their fleet.  The infrastructure in UK is in its infancy and the Toyota model which looks similar to a Prius is rather expensive.  Only to be expected with new technology.  I'd really appreciate feedback from industry experts on this forum whether hydrogen is the big step change we've all been waiting for, or another red herring.  What's not to like about a vehicle with truly zero contaminant emissions?  Please telll all!!

Peter

Northpole posted

I've noticed recently that Autocar are running two hydrogen powered vehicles on their fleet.  

Interesting Aberdeen Council have just installed two Hydrogen refilling stations and have Hydrogen fuelled vehicles on order, Cologne have just committed around 140 million to install Hydrogen refuelling stations and a fleet of  Hydrogen powered buses.

 

Hungryhalibut posted:

We've just got back from Amsterdam, our first visit. Everyone goes on about how there are thousands of bikes, but until you see it you don't quite understand it. A great tram service, good buses and segregated bike lanes everywhere. There seemed to be so few cars and nearly all the centre is pedestrianised. Yet where I live it's about 3/4 of a mile to the shops and I always walk. Yet the neighbours drive and look at me as if I'm bonkers. Since being unable to drive and having my bus pass I've discovered the bus network, which is ok though infrequent and it takes ages to get anywhere. Both diesel and petrol cars pollute in their own ways and the real way forward seems to be to encourage walking, provide safe cycle routes and promote decent public transport. 

Holland is a bit special re cycling as it is so flat, unlike many parts of the British Isles - however that certainly doesn't mean Britain can't learn from them: some of the so-called cycle lanes in some of our towns are a joke (or would be if the subject matter allowed for jocularity) not leaving enough room for bikes, or placing them in positions that simply cause annoyance to other road users reducing the respect then shown to cyclists, or making bikes stop and give way too often when the one thing a cyclist needs is to be able to maintain momentum, or mix cyclists with pedestrians, without enough space for both.  In some places I prefer to take my chances cycling on the road rather than the cycle track.

Re vehicle fuel, last summer I visited Florence, where all the taxis and about half the numerous scooters in the city were electric, with private cars seemingly almost non-existent (maybe banned from the centre). And more recently I visited Budapest, where many of the buses are electric, as well as having electric trolleybuses and also trams. At present in British towns and cities electric vehicles are very much the exception.

On Friday I was stuck behind the best reason for a diesel scrappage scheme - a V (yes you did read that correctly) registration, bone shaking excuse of a bus.  Every time it even vaguely needed throttle, half the street disappeared.  I was the person behind and I swear I can still get a whiff of its foul stench in my leather seats.  Going up a mild incline we were down to 18mph (having started at 30mph).  Most of the buses plying the routes close to where I work are in excess of 10 years old.  They tell us to be green and use public transport but I am certain 30 newish diesel cars don't output what one of these things do.  I am now going to go and scrub my seats!!!

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Talking of cycling, it amazes me the extent of cycling now in central London.. really is noticeable compared to most U.K. cities apart from Cambridge in my experience.. I suspect Londoners might take it for granted?. Yes not to the level of Amsterdam, but probably on a par with central Berlin for example.. but my feeling is that it is way higher than it was say ten  years ago..

 

You are right to notice. Cycling in London is way up. There is a lot of work going into improving the safety. Just the sheer number of bikes helps. Motorists expect bikes to everywhere in London now. The emergence of e-bikes is potentially a further catalyst for cycling. The electric assistance makes hills a non-issue and extends the practical range for any rider (or speeds up the trip for a fixed distance).

Pcd posted:

Northpole posted

I've noticed recently that Autocar are running two hydrogen powered vehicles on their fleet.  

Interesting Aberdeen Council have just installed two Hydrogen refilling stations and have Hydrogen fuelled vehicles on order, Cologne have just committed around 140 million to install Hydrogen refuelling stations and a fleet of  Hydrogen powered buses.

 

I don't think hydrogen is the way forward, at least not for passenger cars. Battery electric for me. But for buses and trucks, it might make more sense to go hydrogen.

Christopher_M posted:

£20 a day 'toxin tax' being considered by Andrea Leadsome, to be levied on diesel drivers in 35 UK towns and cities, according to today's i. (p8, 3/4/17).

As a cyclist and petrol car driver, yes please.

C.

As a person who was misled into believing they had reduced diesel pollution to similar to petrol, but more mpg., and so have a diesel car, I feel that is entirely inappropriate and, to use a phrase I usually avoid, unfair. tax should be applied on fuel only (being proportional to usage and thus pollution) only at least 10 years after notice is given. (And 10'years is a shot like for a decent diesel car)

I must say, I agree with you IB, I don't think it's fair either.

Sometimes things are done which are unfair because they are for the greater good. I think the 'toxin tax' might be one of them. Academics and Whitehall will have done the research, and predicted the number of lives that will be saved and and what cost. Leadsome will decide after she's sat on it for a while. If she likes it, and May likes it, they will push it through. Middle England will hate it though and not forgive them.

C.

Have to agree, as, like so many folks, I was encouraged by the government of the day to buy a diesel car, as they were considered to be kinder to the environment.

However, I believe there's two separate punitive measures being proposed, insofar as Increased road tax will be levied on new registrations from April, whilst existing cars will remain taxed at current levels, depending on their "clean" rating, as at present.

This "toxin tax" doesn't follow the above principle of not doing things retrospectively, and, as far as I'm concerned, is simply local authorities taking the opportunity of squeezing more from our pockets, and jumping on the (non diesel) bandwagon.

The local authority where I live have had an unsatisfactory dabble with electric buses, which still leaves all the buses under the control of private operators, not to mention all the "white van man" and council vehicles, the vast majority of which, diesel powered, will continue to run.

So, it's really any sort of attempt to clean things up, it's simply a way of increasing revenue.

Tax is sometimes used to drive responsible behaviour e.g. Land fill Tax.  Road Fund Licence has for some years been differentiated to encourage us to drive lower CO2 emission cars. Benefit-in-kind tax charges on company cars have done the same.  This seems to have worked and drivers in the UK have 'behaved' in the way that HMG wanted.  However with the new road fund licence changes wef 1st April it's hard not the avoid the feeling that someone has decided 'we've got want we wanted with most people now driving relatively low CO2 emission cars, so now we're going to tax every car the same [after year one], because we just want the money and no longer care as much about the environment'. But maybe that's just me.

 

I don't know why they don't just increase the duty on diesel and reduce it on petrol, say up and down by 5p, then 10p. That would have a neutral impact on inflation. Better, of course, to invest in a decent rail service, trams, buses that don't stop when it gets dark, and cycle lanes. Look at Amsterdam and see how it can be done. 

Christopher_M posted:

£20 a day 'toxin tax' being considered by Andrea Leadsome, to be levied on diesel drivers in 35 UK towns and cities, according to today's i. (p8, 3/4/17).

As a cyclist and petrol car driver, yes please.

C.

Well I have one petrol car and one diesel car (in the UK) and a petrol one in Canada. The aeroplane burns Avgas which is effectively petrol. Bikes don't feature as IMHO they are personal coffins on wheels.

There is an increasing number of "diesel" engined aeroplanes these days. They burn Jet A1 fuel. Why ? it's cheaper. The same as what a 737 burns and costs c. 65p per litre as opposed to £1.65. Why the difference in price ?........no fuel tax on the Jet A1. Why public transport doesn't pay fuel duty beat me !

So, we have a government intent on fleecing (and viciously fleecing) millions of motorists who innocently bought into diesel when it suited the government, whilst at the same time, quite happy for another industry to start investing in diesel to avoid tax.

At the end of the day, we will all pay tax for motoring fuel. The government needs the money. It's easy to collect. and is reasonably fair, based on use. But these manipulative swings between petrol, Diesel, electric, aren't based on the overall effect they have on our lives, they are based on how the government can currently squeeze the last drop of "blood" from our veins without actually killing us. next year, the rules will change in order to get yet more "blood" !!

dave marshall posted:

Have to agree, as, like so many folks, I was encouraged by the government of the day to buy a diesel car, as they were considered to be kinder to the environment.

However, I believe there's two separate punitive measures being proposed, insofar as Increased road tax will be levied on new registrations from April, whilst existing cars will remain taxed at current levels, depending on their "clean" rating, as at present.

This "toxin tax" doesn't follow the above principle of not doing things retrospectively, and, as far as I'm concerned, is simply local authorities taking the opportunity of squeezing more from our pockets, and jumping on the (non diesel) bandwagon.

The local authority where I live have had an unsatisfactory dabble with electric buses, which still leaves all the buses under the control of private operators, not to mention all the "white van man" and council vehicles, the vast majority of which, diesel powered, will continue to run.

So, it's not really any sort of attempt to clean things up, it's simply a way of increasing revenue.

Edit : "not"

This tailpipe emissions debate has rolled on for at least 40 years and no doubt has plenty longer to go.

The choice of powertrain technologies and fuels for modern vehicles is really not determined by us as consumers.  This is no "perfect market" in action.  Rather, it is a market in which the regulators of the day apply incentives & penalties which influence what the vehicle makers develop & offer.  By & large, the consumers then choose from a carefully crafted menu of what the vehicle makers then want us to select.  This may be uncomfortable for some and unacceptable to others amongst us but it is what it is.

Regulators have shown over the years that they have a poor track record of picking technologies to promote or punish.  They do best when they focus on the outcomes that they want in a technology agnostic way.  For example, if regulators want tailpipe CO2 reductions, then apply taxes and incentives on the basis of measured CO2 performance or better still on carbon use in the fuel - so lots of tax on carbon based fuels (i.e. petrol/gasoline & Diesel).  The combination of high fuel taxes in Europe plus car benefit in kind tax based on CO2 performance is being noticeably effective across Europe in a good way.

The NOx issue may not be best tackled by penalising Diesel as a fuel.  Instead, if regulators focus on real world driving emissions (not the unrepresentative NEDC drive cycle) and tax on the basis of these NOx limits regardless of the fuel used, then vehicle makers will tend to promote the powertrains that deliver low NOx emissions and good drivability at the lowest cost.  If Diesel struggles on this basis, as it will in small cars, then Darwinian evolution will kill it off in favour of better alternatives such as 42Volt petrol hybrids and EVs.  

However, if someone comes up with a novel Diesel engine that offers both very low NOx emissions and much better fuel economy/CO2 emissions than gasoline, we might feel a little foolish if we regulate it out of existence, letting another country commercialise it ahead of us.  So, don't promote or penalise a technology.  Focus on the desired outcomes and the winning technologies will emerge.

Hydrogen is a special case, in the same way that liquid air or electricity is a special case.  It is not a true fuel like petrol, Diesel, coal, wood or natural gas.  You cannot go to a hydrogen mine and dig it up or pump it out of the ground or harvest it from a field.  Hydrogen, liquid air and electricity are all energy vectors.  They provide a means of transporting fuel energy from one location and state to another, before being used where and how we want to use it.  

For example, most hydrogen used today starts as methane (natural gas).  It is steam reformed by an industrial gases company to produce hydrogen, which is then cooled, compressed and transported to where it is used, e.g. in a fuel cell car or bus.  As an alternative, one could simply take that original methane/natural gas and run the vehicle (with a gas engine) on the methane instead.  A number of studies showed that the well-to-wheels energy cycle is significantly more efficient if the vehicles run on the native methane than if that methane is put through the whole conversion process to hydrogen, then to run the vehicle on the hydrogen.  More CO2 is generated in the industrial gas plant and by the power plant that makes the electricity for the steam reforming process than is saved at the tailpipe.  However, the story changes if the hydrogen is "renewable".  But then why use all that renewable energy to make hydrogen, when you could store or use the energy in a more efficient way?

Liquid air, on the other hand, may well prove to be a useful energy vector.  Take a look at what the Dearman Engine company is doing to power refrigerated trucks & containers.  It's a great application.  (I have no commercial or business interest in that company).  Electricity too is proving to be a much more useful energy vector than hydrogen.

Hope this helps a bit.  Apologies for the length of the post.

FT

Jet fuel is not the same as road fuel diesel, a lighter boiling fraction from petroleum, closer to kerosene, (from memory it may be that jet fuel A1 can be regarded as a kerosene variant with a tight specification). It can be used in diesel engines, though believe that jet fuel is more expensive to produce.  Howwever, how polluting one will be compared to the other with regard to particulates, NOx etc will depend on the engine design: it is possible that combustion in a gas turbine (jet engine) Will be different from a diesel internal combustion engine, though I have no comparative data.

As an aside, AVgas 100LL, which I believe may be one of the most commone formulations used in piston engined planes, is a  leaded fuel, although unleaded Avgas is now available.

Fuel specifications aside, I am unclear as to where biodiesel fits in this debate - it can be as polluting as petroleum diesel, but it has been regarded as desirable because in terms of CO2 production it is a 'renewable' energy source, and production and improvement iin this area has generally been encouraged.

As for bikes being coffins on wheels - they're definitely not, as coffins would provide some measure of protection! But yes, their use on roads is inherently more risky to personal safety than being enclosed in a metal box with impact protection - but risk would lessen if more car drivers were to travel by bike.

For clarity, I am a commuting cyclist and a mainly leaisure car driver (currently diesel) and also do a fair number of gas-turbine-powered miles a year. Where I live I would happily choose electric (Tesla), if they were sufficiently affordable.

Hungryhalibut posted:

Look at Amsterdam and see how it can be done. 

Yep - just back from a long weekend in Amsterdam. So nice to be in a big city without the usual smell of traffic. Interesting to see a lot of Tesla Model S cars on the road along with plenty of Hybrids too. Very pleasant. 

james n posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

Look at Amsterdam and see how it can be done. 

Yep - just back from a long weekend in Amsterdam. So nice to be in a big city without the usual smell of traffic. Interesting to see a lot of Tesla Model S cars on the road along with plenty of Hybrids too. Very pleasant. 

Tesla's market cap exceeded both Ford and GM this week.

Christopher_M posted:

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on this topic now, on Today.

C.

I listened to the Radio 4 interview with the Mayor of London this morning.  

When asked the question, " what proportion of London's NOx is due to privately owned Diesel cars?", he replied 50% of London NO2 is due to transport.  The rest is due to construction and other sources (e.g. restaurants etc.)

Tellingly, he could not split public transport & taxis from privately owned Diesel cars.  It is, however, easy to do for Oxford Street in London - the major shopping street in the middle of London.  Ground level NO2 measurements on Oxford Street have been recorded over an extended period as on average 3 times higher than EU recommended safe limits.  And the only vehicles to use that road are buses plus the occasional Diesel taxi.  No private cars are allowed on Oxford Street.  So Oxford Street's NO2 levels are directly attributable to London's Diesel Buses, plus a smaller number of London black cabs.

Ironically, Transport for London was concerned a few years ago about particulate emissions from buses.  So they undertook a large programme to retrofit particulate filters to London's bus fleet.  This has been tremendously effective in reducing particulate (i.e. soot) levels.  But there is a price to be paid.  Every now and then, it is necessary to regenerate these Diesel particulate filters, which is done by burning off the soot that has accumulated in the filter.  The regeneration of the bus Diesel particulate filters gets rid of the soot but produces more...NO2.  So TfL has inadvertently worsened the NO2 problem by improving the particulate situation.

By all means ban Diesel as a fuel in cities, encouraging us to use affordable petrol cars instead.  However, petrol cars generate more CO2 than Diesel cars, if that matters to you.  More importantly though, modern, "clean" petrol cars emit a far higher number of very fine exhaust particles than modern Diesel cars do.  And the particles are much smaller too, so the exhaust filters are far less effective at trapping the particles... In a few years' time, petrol, not Diesel, will be deemed to be the fuel of the Devil.  In the meantime, electric cars are still too expensive for the mass market.

So be careful about joining the current stampede to ban Diesel just yet.

p.s. I now drive a petrol engined car, most of the time

Best regards, FT

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×