Stuttgart – the home town of Mercedes Benz and Porsche has banned Diesel cars from entering the city.
All diesel vehicles not meeting the Euro 6 Emission Norm will be banned by 2018.
And some other European cities like Paris are likely to follow suit. This announcement has resulted in an immediate re-sale value loss of up to 230% over night – German media estimates up to 4 billion Euros of lost value.
The automotive online blogs, media and forums are buzzing with discussion about alternatives to the very popular Diesel cars. This will irreversibly alter the used-car market as well as the new vehicle registrations. What public transport alternatives or solutions will the government provide for commuters relying on their cars?
The European limit of particles is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. If this number is exceeded on more than 35 days of the year, authorities receive a penalty from the EU.
The engine-driven and transportation industry can’t be imagined without diesel engines. Diesel engines are also increasingly popular amongst passenger cars, however scientific evidence shows that diesel engine emissions profoundly affect human health. The Volkswagen emission scandal certainly has shone a light on this and accelerated the change in this area of our industry.
Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy has explained: “Studies have linked exposure to particle pollution to a number of health problems including respiratory illnesses (such as asthma and bronchitis) and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the chemical components of some particles, particularly combustion products, have been shown to cause cancer. These effects are often more pronounced for vulnerable groups, such as the very young and the elderly.” The Department further states that: “The Australian, State and Territory Governments have also agreed on a National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient1 Air Quality. (See factsheet on National Standards for Criteria Air Pollutants) The Measure sets an air quality standard for PM10 of 50 micrograms per cubic metre (50 µg/m³) in outdoor air averaged over a 24-hour period. The goal, to be met by 2008, is for the standard to be exceeded no more than five days a calendar year.”
On the other hand I think vehicle efficiency is no longer seen as valuable as it used to. Some are attacking the diesel engine, others have already written it off. However there are some arguments, why Diesel will be around for a while.
Low fuel consumption is one of these arguments. Diesel fuel has more energy that petrol and drivers can get more out of one litre at a ratio of 9.86 to 8.77 kilowatt hours per litre.
The bans in Europe are mainly relating to diesel particulates and the health issues related to that. All new diesel engines are compliant with the EU6 and are fitted with DPFs. But officials and researchers also know that particulates are also produces elsewhere as well. So air-pollution also requires a further top level view including a review of traffic congestion. An official German body ‘Dekra’ stated that: “… out of a daily 475 kilograms of particulates, about 77 kilograms are generated by exhaust fumes and around 398 kilograms are caused by the wear of tires, brakes and re-dispersion, which equally occurs in petrol and electric engines.