Diesel Scrappage Scheme

Foot tapper posted:
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

Exactly, a report I heard was that private cars were responsible for approx 10% of NOx in London ... heating, lorrys, non electric trains, non transport engines, and significantly  aeroplanes, commercial vehicles all add NOx to the air pollution.

Interextingly modern Diesel engines have similar NOx levels of petrol engines of a few years ago... CO2 emissions from petrol has improved but is still well above diesel per km, and disproportionate. I think the incentive should be to remove diesel and petrol engines that are 10 years or older .. these are the real polluting engines... whether it be CO2 or NOx. 

I use a petrol 1000cc car for short journeys of less than 10 miles now.

Just looked at the new toxin tax details for London - and it appears it applies to private diesel cars that don't meet Euro 6 regulations and petrol cars that don't meet Euro 4 regulations - at least that is encouraging. Most diesel cars from the last couple of years and petrol cars from the last six or so years surely meet this level? Mine certainly does... even so I don't tend to use the diesel BMW for short journeys

This is great. Another reason for me to not go to London. I detest the place, hate the crowds, hate the constant pressure to buy buy buy. The tube is miserable, buses are only for bus wankers (joke!) and I'm not into feeling like a foreigner in my own country. 

 

So the upshot is, I won't be directly contributing to London's choking stench:'

 

Hopefully my diseasel Merc will do me for a few years yet, and then it'll be replaced by either an EV or a motobilty scooter. Same thing really.  

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Just looked at the new toxin tax details for London - and it appears it applies to private diesel cars that don't meet Euro 6 regulations and petrol cars that don't meet Euro 4 regulations - at least that is encouraging. Most diesel cars from the last couple of years and petrol cars from the last six or so years surely meet this level? Mine certainly does... even so I don't tend to use the diesel BMW for short journeys

Well, my diesel Volvo from summer 2015 is a Euro 5 engine and I don't think that the manufacturers were obliged to move to Euro 6 until September 2015, so there will be a large number of quite recent vehicles that don't meet those requirements.

Anyhow this is an interesting thread and shows that we are in a complete mess, which is a real indictment of politicians and manufacturers across Europe. There's an interesting article on the Guardian website today. Various parties are arguing that the manufacturers should bear the cost by retrofitting improved emission control technology to cars. How far this is practicable, I have no idea. However, the arguments against scrappage schemes seem quite strong. We certainly seem a long way from solving the problem in a coherent and fair way.

Clive

...and mass takeup of EVs isn't the solution either.  The power generating "grid" couldn't cope*...

Note *: obviously generating capacity could be increased, but that would require the kind of joined up thinking this country / country's governments sorely lacks!

Eloise posted:

...and mass takeup of EVs isn't the solution either.  The power generating "grid" couldn't cope*...

Note *: obviously generating capacity could be increased, but that would require the kind of joined up thinking this country / country's governments sorely lacks!

Good point.  

Equally, it is great to see people willing to pay £70-110k for a thoroughly delightful Tesla model S or model X EV.  I would like one myself.  The battery alone costs more than £15,000 in one of these vehicles. And that's the cost to Tesla, not the retail price for an aftermarket replacement.

But this is very different to saying that the mass market is adopting EVs.  Mainstream, mass market cars cost £10,000 - £25,000 in the UK, less in the USA.  This means vehicles like the VW UP!/Ford Ka, the Ford Fiesta/Renault Clio and the Vauxhall Astra/VW Golf.  Mass uptake of electric versions of these cars requires a battery to be less than £5,000, with a decent range (i.e. 200+ miles) and the charging infrastructure to support it.  

Early pilot vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe both have genuine talents and show real promise for the future. We should be encouraged by vehicles like these two.  However, they also show that the technology and above all the costs need more time before they can take a sizeable share of the mass market (i.e. 20%+ share)

In the meantime, let's all hope that the Government regulates with both foresight and wisdom.  So do punish those OEMs who have cheated, perhaps using the fines to finance a buy-back scheme for Euro 4 and older Diesel cars, trucks, taxis and buses.  Don't punish those OEMs and vehicle owners who have followed the rules and made or bought Euro 5 Diesel cars with the encouragement of the Government.  Perhaps even think about raising fuel excise duty, which has been frozen for years, even when the real pump price to the consumer is lower than it was a few years ago.  Oh, and sort out the test regime for new cars, so that the test conditions resemble real world.

Okay, I'll get off the soap box now.  Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that I care about this stuff! 
Phew, that's better.  FT

We will get there. We have to, and a lot of money is behind the big push. Solar panels everywhere, wind turbines used to the max, Tesla's huge advances in power storage. Forget what happened today, it's going to be changing faster and faster. The national grid, for domestic users at least, will be history.

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.

 

Hydrogen has explosive limits in air of between 4% and 80%: that makes it far too dangerous to consider for general use by untrained people who lack the understanding of what the dangers are or how to mitigate the risks.  It's a little like letting children play with packs of Amatol and detonators or leaving firearms lying around in one's house when children are around.

Another problem with electric cars (including hybrids) is the pollution caused in the mining and refining of the materials needed for the cells (but that occurs in other countries, not ours; so to some people that doesn't count.).

Huge posted: 

Hydrogen has explosive limits in air of between 4% and 80%: that makes it far too dangerous to consider for general use by untrained people who lack the understanding of what the dangers are or how to mitigate the risks.  It's a little like letting children play with packs of Amatol and detonators or leaving firearms lying around in one's house when children are around.

Having worked with hydrogen at times I can only endorse this caution. It has an added danger that it is odourless, so you could be in a vehicle or garage space with sufficient hydrogen to explode with any even tiny source of ignition without knowing it. And a source of ignition undoubtedly includes normal house electricity supply distribution panels, lightswitches, and even potentially a mobile phone, las well as electrics on the car itself - so domestic hydrogen cars perhaps should be restricted to storage in the open air or other well-ventilated space -which includes the ceiling or roof space as hydrogen is lighter than air - and not in a conventional garage because of the risk from even a small leak over sufficient time.

The Hindenburg airship disaster was a good example of hydrogen's flammability - but if it had been an explosive mixture of gas and air at the critical content (just under 30% by volume) there wouldn't be any fotage of it for anyone to see because there would have been no-one left in the vicinity on the ground.

However, I would hope that all manufacturers or converters of vehicles for use with hydrogen will have built in all appropriate failsafe mechanisms both to vehicles and filling stations. Also hopefully, but less confidently, HSE will be on top of it with inspections - but just as occasionally there are petrol explosions, and gas explosions in houses, so occasionally hydrogen explosions are probably inevitable.

I wonder how much those hydrogen buses for Aberdeen cost?  Oh, and who is paying for them?  Could it be a rational purchasing decision by Aberdeen Council, based on an assessment of the running costs versus an electric, natural gas, hybrid or Diesel bus?

If Aberdeen Council had to pay for those buses itself, would it have done so?  Probably not.  But as the EU is stumping up the €1m per bus, why not experiment with someone else's money?  

That €1m per bus compares with around £150k for a conventional single decker bus.  The Council could do a lot of environmental good with the difference...

Then there is the source of the hydrogen.  When assessing the environmental credentials of hydrogen vehicles, it's always worth checking the emissions of the hydrogen production process.

However, if there is a clear roadmap to show how the cost can come down in volume to £150k or so, then a pilot such as this will provide valuable insight & learning.

FT, Cologne are investing 140 million in Hydrogen buses and refuelling points not to sure if that Pounds or Euros.

Aberdeen are looking to run Council vehicles on Hydrogen and have ordered likewise.

When it comes to environmentally friendly vehicles costs will escalate whichever way you look at it.

Then there is the source of the hydrogen.  When assessing the environmental credentials of hydrogen vehicles, it's always worth checking the emissions of the hydrogen production process.

The new vehicle emission test procedures are in the process of being finalized not too sure if they have gone far enough myself but I would like to see the Carbon Footprint of the vehicle to be included this would take into the account of all the factors such as the Manufacturing Process and the end life recyclability of the vehicle as you have pointed out regarding Hydrogen.

 

 

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