Oh dear, poor Volkswagen have had to admit they’ve been cheating the system and that many of their cars emit more pollutants than is stated in their car’s blurb. Shocked – no. Why? Let me explain…
Lets take the three basic elements of the car and what they mean:
Fuel – The fuel is pretty much the same we’ve been using for years, within some tolerance when you burn it, it will emit a load of crap, how much depends on the purity of the fuel.
Engine – Burning fuel in a controlled way to create efficient movement energy. By mucking about with it efficiency and emissions and power can all be made better, but there’s no way you can make all of them better. It’s trade off.
Car – It has four wheels and it takes a certain amount of force to push it forward depending on how heavy this is and that’s the force needed by the engine to drive the car.
The only thing we need to think about here is the engine as the other elements haven’t changed much (ok, cars have probably got heaver needing more force to drive, a bigger engine usually solves this). The last I heard, no-one has found the silver bullet to making a mega efficient engine that delivers the power that we want to as drivers and it’s common knowledge that you cannot get the same miles to the gallon efficiency that that the car blurb also states.
This means when we drive, unless we drive more efficiently, we are not burning less fuel than we thought and therefore we have to be emitting the same amount of pollutants. It’s my suspicion that VW isn’t the only car maker screwing with their emissions data and this is just the tip of a large and ugly iceberg. What this means is that car makers have been easing our conscience by making the driver think they’re helping the environment. If we think about it though were we only kidding ourselves into thinking this?