Anger over German stance on auto CO2 emissions

Oct 15, 2013
Employees of German carmaker BMW work on the production of the new electrical vehicle i3 at the plant in Leipzig, eastern Germany on September 18, 2013

Environmentalists voiced anger Tuesday that Germany is seeking to soften European carbon emission limits for passenger cars to protect its powerful auto sector.

Greenpeace said "the European parliament must stay firm and reject Germany's demands, which only serve to harm the climate, drive up costs for consumers and stifle technological innovation".

Chancellor Angela Merkel has cited the need to protect jobs as she has opposed stricter EU carbon limits that aim to reduce the role of gas-guzzling cars in warming the planet's climate.

EU environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg Monday delayed a decision on whether to tighten the limit to an average of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2020.

Germany wants the limit to be phased in until 2024, and to apply to only 80 percent of cars in 2020.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said he could understand Merkel defending her country's industrial interests but said that in her position "you can't afford to do that much lobbying every day, only once in a blue moon", according to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

Germany's luxury car makers such as Daimler and BMW tend to make larger cars on average than other European manufacturers and believe the stricter limits would put them at an unfair disadvantage.

Germany's manoeuvring sparked media criticism.

"Daimler and Co can breathe easy again," said a commentary in German daily the Neue Presse of Hanover. "Germany's biggest auto lobbyist is sitting directly at the levers of power.

"For years Angela Merkel has portrayed herself as a climate activist, and for years she has prevented stricter carbon dioxide levels for new cars."

Industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer of Duisburg-Essen university has said the delay would hurt investment in cleaner electric and hybrid designs and bore the risk "that electric mobility in Europe will die".

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said he was confident a compromise would be reached before year's end that could be backed by the auto industry, governments and environmental groups.

A deal could involve a temporary exception for larger vehicles, or rewards for a greater share of electric and hybrid cars, he said, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

He also defended Mercedes-maker Daimler, saying that half of the more than 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion) it would spend on research and development in the next years would go into carbon reduction efforts.

Meanwhile, German media seized on a report that the country's wealthy Quandt family, who own a 17.4 percent stake in BMW, donated 690,000 euros to Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union party on October 9.

The family denied there was a link to the emission issue, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily reported, quoting a family spokesman as saying that the family had for decades donated to parties.

The spokesman also said the donation had been agreed months ago and was intended to reward "the very successful effort of the chancellor in resolving the eurozone crisis".

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Shootist
1.5 / 5 (17) Oct 15, 2013
Watermelons voiced anger Tuesday that Germany is seeking to soften European carbon emission limits for passenger cars to protect its powerful auto sector.


Watermelon, n. Green on the outside, red on the inside. And generally of lower than average intelligence (which explains how they are so easily led about like so many sheep).
Eikka
1.8 / 5 (16) Oct 15, 2013
The thing is, you can't squeeze the carbon limit on internal combustion engines indefinitely, because cars need energy to move, and that amount cannot be made arbitrarily small without seriously compromising on what you mean by "a car".

So, as long as there is no actually viable alternative to the internal combustion engine that people can actually buy and afford, lowering the CO2 limit is not driving innovation or lowering prices but simply forcing people to make and buy feebler cars. You might as well make a directive that says you can't have cars with more than 1.0 liters of engine displacement and 55 kW of power and then watch as all cars become Toyota IQs.

Politics can't rule over physics.
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 15, 2013
"compromising on what you mean by "a car" - Eikka

Then compromise.

The Target....

http://www.autogu...car.html
Eikka
1.8 / 5 (13) Oct 16, 2013
Then compromise.


Like I said, if your ultimate aim as a government is to force everyone to drive a moped with a fiberglass shell for protection, then just say so. Then people know not to vote you.

The way politicians are driving the case right now is exactly like in the joke where Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill and Hitler were trying to make a cat eat mustard as test over whose leadership methods were most effective.

Churchill argued he could reason the cat to eat the mustard voluntarily. Mussolini said he would flatter the cat into eating it. Hitler scoffed and said he would simply grab the cat and stuff mustard down its face. Each took a turn and failed - the cat would simply run away. Then Stalin took the cat in his lap, soothed it, scratched its back until it lifted its tail and quickly spread the mustard on its anus. The cat yowled and ran under a cupboard to lick it off.

Stalin commented, "See, the cat ate the mustard voluntarily out of necessity. That's how I rule."
Rockinghorse
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 16, 2013
Tesla Model S is the safest car in this planet and it is the safest, because it is fully electric. It is also best seller electric car in United States and Europe and also best seller car in rich Norway. It is just mater of creating demand for electric vehicles that the price of the EV batteries is halved.

Therefore, there is a real alternative.
Modernmystic
1.4 / 5 (12) Oct 16, 2013
Didn't one of those catch on fire recently?
Eikka
1 / 5 (10) Oct 16, 2013
It is just mater of creating demand for electric vehicles that the price of the EV batteries is halved.


When it comes to markets, electric cars can magically reverse the laws of supply and demand in such ways that when more people want a product, the producers out of their good heart will lower their prices and profits so that everyone could buy one.

Increased demand requires increased production, requires increased investments, requires higher prices to provide the surplus with which to make the investments. The prices start to fall only once the market is starting to saturate, i.e. when almost everyone already has the product.

And, the technical development of batteries does not speed up from buying more of them. Asian copycat manufacturers produce last generation tech at cheaper prices because they don't invest in R&D, which robs sales from the companies that do invest in research. That's why mass-manufacturing to lower the prices actually slows down the technology.
Noumenon
2.6 / 5 (23) Oct 16, 2013
Germany is correct that environmentalists are more of a threat than AGW.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Oct 19, 2013
and that amount cannot be made arbitrarily small without seriously compromising on what you mean by "a car".

While it cannot be made arbitrarily small it can be made a LOT smaller than what we have today and still be a real car.
Example:
http://en.wikiped...itre_car

Forcing the auto makers to innovate isn't exactly bad. It increases their competitiveness on the global market. It's not like they don't have all the concepts ready to roll out in their R&D departments already. So there is no threat to their existence at all.

The only 'threat' is to force them to abandon (or upgrade) their current cash cows a bit early. An Merkel - being a full paid up lobbyyist (and only a politician in name) - is just doing her job of lobyying.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (7) Oct 19, 2013
"compromising on what you mean by "a car" - Eikka

Then compromise.

The Target....

http://www.autogu...car.html
Sorry but I could not fit much firewood in that thing.
Example:
http://en.wikiped...tre_carr

-Or that thing either. I can understand cutting carbon emissions. Carbon is nasty black sooty stuff which stains everything. But vehicles emit CO2 which is a harmless environmental gas produced by plants and animals and soft drinks the world over.

If god didnt like it he would have had us exhaling helium or something.
VendicarE
3.2 / 5 (5) Oct 19, 2013
"Sorry but I could not fit much firewood in that thing." - Otto

You can't fit an elephant or a battleship in your existing car either.

So how do you move your elephants?
Eikka
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 19, 2013
While it cannot be made arbitrarily small it can be made a LOT smaller than what we have today and still be a real car.


I think the XL1 runs in the same category as the Toyota IQ. It's a small two-seater that is clearly made to be a fair weather inner city car. It's more of a niche thing than a real everyman's car, which is just the kind of compromise that I was talking about.

And Volkswagen gets to "cheat":

The test cycle allows for a re-charge of the battery every 75 km (47 mi) which results in a high mpg value.


The non-hybrid diesel version is supposed to use 2.0 liters per 100 km, which will probably turn out much higher once through the NEDC test, and more still in the real world.

At the extreme ends of efficiency, your fuel consumption depends a lot on ambient conditions. For example, dropping the air temperature by 40 C increases your air drag by roughly 18% which is why Volkswagen has been showcasing the car in Saudi Arabia of all places.
Eikka
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 19, 2013
The temperature effect on air drag is also why things like the World Solar Challenge are run in Australia. It's not just that it's more sunny there than say, California, but because it's basically a hot desert most of the way through so the cars get a speed boost and the numbers look more impressive. Then the press comes and writes articles about how it's possible to do this and that.

Everything involving hyper-economic vehicles tends to be a bit of a sleight of hand, because it's really easy to use all sorts of tricks that are not really practical in the mundane everyday world where you have to care about things like, will my car go when it's -5 outside and the snow plow hasn't yet come to clear the street, or will my ultra-economic bicycle wheels keep me on the road when it ices over?

So how do you move your elephants?


By telling it to move.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) Oct 21, 2013
"Sorry but I could not fit much firewood in that thing." - Otto

You can't fit an elephant or a battleship in your existing car either.

So how do you move your elephants?
I dont burn elephants in my wood stove. Duh.

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