Carmakers rev up emissions cuts as tough rules loom

March 5, 2017 by Tangi Quemener, With Estelle Peard In Frankfurt
Every gram of CO2 counts as carmakers race to cut emissions before tough new rules kick in

Global carmakers, stung by emissions scandals, are racing to hunt down every gram of harmful CO2 spewed out on the roads as tougher pollution rules kick in.

Auto manufacturers gearing up for Europe's biggest annual car show in Geneva are celebrating the end of the sector's crisis. European sales have returned to levels last seen in 2008 before a global financial meltdown inflicted deep dents on their business.

But a dark cloud has gathered over the outlook because of emissions scandals, especially involving European market leader Volkswagen, and the road to recovery will be paved with unprecedented efforts to fight auto pollution, involving equally unprecedented costs.

Accelerating costs

"Solutions are more and more expensive," said Marc Charlet, at Mov'eo, an automotive and mobility research network. "There is much at stake here, and the competition is fierce."

European rules for combustion engines were always going to become more stringent, but Volkswagen's emissions cheating, the industry's biggest pollution scandal to date, has turbo-charged regulators' eagerness to crack down on pollution.

Sales of cars with cleaner alternative technologies are still only marginal, with electric cars accounting for just 1.2 percent of new car sales in the EU in 2015, according to the European Environmental Agency.

The Volkswagen emissions scandal has made regulators more determined to enforce pollution rules

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to having installed software in 11 million diesel engines worldwide to circumvent emissions tests.

Carmakers are now having to steer toward engines that emit no more than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2021 to meet European requirements, compared to 130 grams in 2015.

But as have been getting a bad rap because of emissions scandals, that target looks harder to meet.

"Diesel cars emit 15 percent less CO2 per kilometre" than gasoline-fuelled models, said Christophe Aufrere, a technology strategist at car parts maker Faurecia.

That means gasoline-powered cars have to take up the slack, requiring the industry to squeeze more efficiency out of engines and to reduce vehicles' weight.

Every gram counts

If they don't manage, the bill will be high.

Cars will become more expensive to build as research and development costs spiral

Automakers failing to meet the CO2 targets—capping petrol consumption to 4.1 litres per 100 kilometres and diesel to 3.6 litres—will have to pay 95 euros ($100) for every extra CO2 gram emitted by each car—potentially adding up to tens of millions of euros of fines.

"We will have to look for grams to save in every part of the car, particularly in components," said Guillaume Devauchelle, head of innovation and research and parts maker Valeo.

This includes air conditioning, second only to the engine for energy use, electric compressors, self starters, right down to lightbulbs. Every weight gain of 12 kilos, meanwhile, translates into one gram of CO2 saved.

Better electronics and aerodynamic designs will also help.

Research and development costs "have practically doubled in the past decade" said Remi Cornubert at AT Kearney, a consulting firm, adding that half the increase was forced on carmakers by regulators.

"The car of the future will be significantly more expensive to design and to build," said Guillaume Crunelle, auto expert at the Deloitte consulting group.

There's always the glamour as car makers showcase the stuff of dreams like Renault's new Alpine model

There's always the glitz

Executives needing a break from nagging worries about rules and money can always take time to enjoy the glamour for which the Geneva show is famous.

The legendary Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, McLaren and Bentley have picked Lake Geneva's shore to present new models. Renault will showcase the final version of its Alpine A110 sports car.

"Geneva has always been the show of beautiful automobiles and prestigious racing cars," said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer at the CAR institute.

But the greatest buzz may come from so-called "crossover" vehicles (CUVs), which combine features taken from sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with those of passenger cars.

The segment, including fashionable urban four-wheel drive vehicles, now makes up nearly 30 percent of the European car market and features the Volvo XC60, the Citroen C-Aircross, the DS7 Crossback and the Land Rover Velar.

Some 180 companies will be present at the 10-day show which opens to the public on March 9 after two press days during which most major corporate announcements are expected. Last year's show attracted 687,000 visitors.

Explore further: Renault-Nissan CEO at Paris auto show: Diesel isn't dead yet

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37 comments

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AKron
5 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2017
The solution to this is to quit having so many babies.
This is really the only conversation that we should be having at this point.
MR166
2 / 5 (4) Mar 05, 2017
"Global carmakers, stung by emissions scandals, are racing to hunt down every gram of harmful CO2 spewed out on the roads as tougher pollution rules kick in."

Well if they only have to reduce the amount of "Harmful" Co2 they should not have to do anything at all since Co2 is not harmful.
katesisco
2 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2017
Cars spew CO which is why we have OVER 50% MORE CO IN THE ATMOSPHERE EVEN THO IT DEGRADES WHEN IT COMBINES WITH O TO MAKE CO2. Catalytic converters aside.
The greatest gift humanity could receive would be for our cars to stop. All at once, stop. We could begin to live again speaking to each other and not listening to media.
We actually created as big a problem as population with our car pollution.
A true analysis of past history would indicate that we only just eluded another 70,000 y extinction when science says only 10,000 or less of us survived during the period of recent history when the Med experienced toxic gases that depopulated the area known and the Greek Dark Ages.
Apologize for philosophizing.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Mar 05, 2017

Another reason for EV transportation.
dogbert
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2017
When you burn hydrocarbons, you are going to get CO and CO2. Efficient engines can do this well, and most modern engines are reaching the engineering limits of efficiency.

The only way to effectively reduce CO and CO2 at this point is to make the car structurally lighter. That means smaller cars and that means cars that crumple when they hit anything.

Improving cars by making them more dangerous is not really an improvement.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
That means smaller cars and that means cars that crumple when they hit anything.

Improving cars by making them more dangerous is not really an improvement
@dogbert
crumpling doesn't mean more dangerous - in fact, it is the reason cars have become safer today

designing the vehicle to crumple and absorb energy rather than being stiff and transferring energy to the occupants is one of the reason cars are safer to drive today than, say, in the 1950's when it took a 55Mph impact with a wall to scratch the paint from a typical sedan [intentional hyperbole]
http://news.wyote...-a-mile/

dogbert
1 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2017
Captain Stumpy,
Planned crumple zones are indeed safety measures. But much further reduction in metal will make the whole car a crumple zone. That is not safe.

The problem is not with the car, it is fear of CO2. It is sad that so many people have been brainwashed into thinking CO2 is bad.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 05, 2017
doggie, take about 1% of it for a while, and tell us again.

As for the greenhouse,

"At very high concentrations. . , carbon dioxide can be toxic to animal life, so raising the concentration to 10,000 ppm (1%) or higher for several hours will eliminate pests such as whiteflies and spider mites in a greenhouse."

- wiki
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
But much further reduction in metal will make the whole car a crumple zone. That is not safe
@dogbert
that depends on what replaces the metal, don't you think?

though i don't think it is very functional now, we also have to consider AI and continuing research with avoidance or other systems

you could make something from cardboard and fly at mach 6 and be safe if you have systems that don't allow accidents or injury [hyperbole intended]
it is fear of CO2. It is sad that so many people have been brainwashed into thinking CO2 is bad
you and i have been through this already - your argument that it is a good thing is based upon faulty knowledge and i gave you studies to demonstrate that one

if you wish to continue that here, i can provide more studies - if you are willing to learn or accept facts over your beliefs

remember: iodine isn't "bad" either, until you get too much
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
crumpling doesn't mean more dangerous - in fact, it is the reason cars have become safer today


The reason why the crumpling zones make cars safer is because of the energy absorbed as the material gets deformed. That however requires that there is some significant mass of material to deform. When cars are made lighter by making the structures finer, they become like soda cans - they crumple without any significant resistance.

Of course there's still the rigid cabin to protect the passengers from being crushed, but they must start wearing four-point harnesses and neck braces to deal with the uncushioned impact forces - just like in rally cars.

Furthermore, as stainless steel doesn't have a definite yield point but will undergo plastic deformation under the cycling stresses of a car chassis, you have to build the main frame out of normal steel - and that means it's susceptible to corrosion. The less material you have, the faster the chassis rusts through.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2017
that depends on what replaces the metal, don't you think?


That will be a tought nut to crack. There are few good alternatives to ordinary steel.

Different fiber composites do not fail gracefully, aluminium will develop cracks under the cycling stresses, as will magnesium. What else do you have? Wood?

Airplanes are made of aluminium, and they have to be inspected every so many hours to find the cracks before they grow too large, and replace the affected structures. Otherwise they'd just come apart in the air.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2017
gkam,

Everything is toxic at sufficient concentrations. You can kill yourself drinking water.

That CO2 can be toxic at high concentrations is not a valid reason to fear CO2. Without CO2, the earth would not have developed complex life and could not support complex life if CO2 were eliminated from the environment. It is not a pollutant. It is a necessary component of our atmosphere.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 05, 2017
"you could make something from cardboard and fly at mach 6"
------------------------------------

Probably not.

https://tacairnet...ht-ever/
Eikka
5 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2017
The greatest gift humanity could receive would be for our cars to stop. All at once, stop. We could begin to live again speaking to each other and not listening to media.


That would make our societies stop, which would kill about 90% of the world's population in a matter of months.

You'd be more humane to start a global thermonuclear war.
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
Here's a nice artice about the use of aluminium in cars:

http://www.tms.or...108.html

Simply stated, it is proven that aluminum can be used to replace steel, iron, and copper for various parts in a car. In all cases, this substitution reduces weight without reducing performance, but in most cases cost increases significantly.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 05, 2017
That will be a tought nut to crack. There are few good alternatives to ordinary steel
@Eikka
yeah
but i think it is more about there being few *cheap alternatives to ordinary steel* more so than just few alternatives

appreciate the elaboration on crumpling - some folk likely didn't read the link, so it likely helped
use of aluminium in cars
i know that there are some cheap processes to treat Aluminium for protection - mind you, that is from corrosion (sulfuric acid anodize, for starters), and it won't work for stress.

Sulfuric anodize with a thick powdercoat or similar paint would help with corrosion - it's used for parts that are exposed to things like fuel in the aircraft industry

I wonder if they have some Al prototypes out there? (running long term experiments)

.

.

@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
you ignored the part where i stated "[hyperbole intended]" - it wasn't a factual physics lesson
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2017
That said, aluminium is being used for cars despite the cost exactly because of the fuel economy demands. The technical challenges of using aluminium and making sure it survives the life of the car limit the weight savings. For example:

http://articles.sae.org/11744/

GM managed to save 45 kilos by using aluminium instead of steel for the whole frame. That's on the order of <10% of the curb weight, which is to say - not very much. Further optimization is still possible, but they're quickly approaching the point where you simply can't make a car any lighter without making it physically smaller.

But here's another issue: the cars have already gotten smaller. Hatchbacks are very popular in Europe again thanks to high fuel taxes, and the emissions regulations are so tight that even they have trouble passing the new standards. In fact, they've only been passing the standards as they are because they can cheat the fuel economy tests.
rrrander
2 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2017
CO2 is not a pollutant that harms anyone. All the rest, NO2, SO4, and the disgusting, filthy fly-ash from diesel the Eurotrash love so much DO kill people on a global scale. You ignore them and concentrate on C02, you end up with another 10 million DEAD each year. The global warming scam must be eliminated.
gkam
1 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2017
"CO2 is not a pollutant that harms anyone"

Ask the sailors on the Kursk. They did not die from loss of oxygen, they died from CO2 poisoning.
antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2017
CO2 is not a pollutant that harms anyone. CO2 is not a pollutant that harms anyone. All the rest, NO2, SO4, and the disgusting, filthy fly-ash from diesel...

Tell that to people who are starving to death because their crops got destroyed due to global warming events. CO2 might not be killing them directly - but they certainly would prefer to inhale a can NO2 right about now if they could make the CO2 problem go away.

Eurotrash love so much DO kill people on a global scale. You ignore them and concentrate on C02

Because the sensible thing to do is to concentrate on stuff that kills most and is the longest lasting, compounding problem. If you only concentrate on the small, quick fixes then you're doing something wrong.
Not to say the other pollutant problems are small - but by comparison to CO2 the problems they cause in terms of health and mandatory future tax spending on damage control are tiny
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2017
The greatest gift humanity could receive would be for our cars to stop. All at once, stop. We could begin to live again speaking to each other and not listening to media.

And in about two days' time we'd be fighting for food in the cities and would start living in building up mountains of rotting trash on the streets (and about a billion people would get fired for not turning up to work). I don't think you've thought this one through.

And how listening to media and speaking to each other is related to driving a car is one you'll have to explain a bit. Because I'm not seeing the connection. Cars don't make you watch/not watch the news. They also don't exactly sew your mouth shut.
691Boat
5 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2017
"CO2 is not a pollutant that harms anyone"

Ask the sailors on the Kursk. They did not die from loss of oxygen, they died from CO2 poisoning.


@gkam:
that would be incorrect. a flash fire occurred when one of their oxygen candles fell in the rising seawater in the ninth compartment. This either burnt the remaining survivors or consumed the remaining oxygen, subsequently killing them after the flash fire.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2017
Not to say the other pollutant problems are small - but by comparison to CO2 the problems they cause in terms of health and mandatory future tax spending on damage control are tiny


That's assuming quite a lot - especially when passenger car CO2 emissions are a minority of CO2 emissions in the society - only about 12% in the EU - not to mention the other CHGs. Spending a ton of money on solving a relatively small portion of the issue, especially one where no good solutions exist for the moment, is complete folly.

That's because money means work, and work means energy consumption, and energy consumption means more CO2. Making people pay more for transportation to cut CO2 just makes more of it elsewhere.

If you only concentrate on the small, quick fixes then you're doing something wrong.


Getting rid of CO2 emissions from automobiles would be a "small quick fix" if it was practically doable, so there you're absolutely correct.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 07, 2017
"Spending a ton of money on solving a relatively small portion of the issue, especially one where no good solutions exist for the moment, is complete folly."
---------------------------------

Real economists and environmentalists know better. They use real life and actual studies, not emotional impressions, to make their decisions. Take a course in Environmental Economics to see the truth.
Eikka
not rated yet Mar 17, 2017
Real economists and environmentalists know better. They use real life and actual studies, not emotional impressions, to make their decisions. Take a course in Environmental Economics to see the truth.


You will find that economists and environmentalists disagree strictly on this issue. The economists tend to point out as I did, that the fuel taxes and mileage regulations aren't producing the intended result - which is plainly obvious even to the man on the street due to the the growing mileage gap - while the environmentalists are going "la la la la..."

Part of the issue is that the environmental cause overlaps with political causes - both the greens and the left are trying to "save people from themselves", and this has created an de-facto alliance where the green cause is being used by the political left to further their ends on social and cultural reform - part of which is the removal of private car ownership.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2017
"part of which is the removal of private car ownership."
---------------------------------

Are you really Trump?

Where do you come up with this stuff?

Bannon?
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2017
Part of the issue is a problem of perspective. The urban left seem to think that people don't need cars because food comes from the corner shop and the bus goes around every 20 minutes...

They don't see the whole reality where the cities in themselves don't produce anything, because the property prices and rents are too high to set up factories, and all the resources are out in the countryside anyhow. Long gone are the days when a city was actually built around a mill on a brook that provided them with the productive energy - now the city is just a logistics nightmare centered around trade and shops and you can't make anything but money in there.

So they believe the owning class is keeping all the jobs away just out of spite and greed, and if they'd tax and regulate the private vehicles away so people wouldn't drive out of the city to work - I mean, who needs cars, right? - they'd have to bring the jobs back and everything would be more efficient.

Would it?
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2017
Are you really Trump?


Trump is trump. I am I. Even Hitler can be right about some things.

From Trump's point of view I would be a damned communist. From the modern leftist view, I'm a Hitler. Go figure.

Where do you come up with this stuff?


Observation.

Though the above is an inaccurate description of what I mean, but 1000 letters is too few, and people are already complaining.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2017
"Long gone are the days when a city was actually built around a mill on a brook that provided them with the productive energy - now the city is just a logistics nightmare centered around trade and shops and you can't make anything but money in there."
---------------------------------

Never been to Silicon Valley?
Eikka
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2017
Never been to Silicon Valley?


And what does Silicon Valley make, exactly?

Also, the silicon valley is not a city. It's a huge sub-urban sprawl that consists of cities and towns and the countryside between. Exactly the kind of place where you need a car to get anywhere - not at all like the European cities that are made for walking with streets too narrow for cars.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2017
"And what does Silicon Valley make, exactly?"
-----------------------------------

It invented the electronics we use now. My job was to produce consumer integrated circuits, for everything from TV sets to fish-finders, to automobile controls, timers, comparators, amplifiers, and the stuff you see on circuit boards. That was back in the Dark Ages of IC manufacture, 1972-74.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2017
And what does Silicon Valley make, exactly?
@eikka
according to mr-stolen valor it is the nirvana of the world, where meat grows on tree's, no one ever hunts or needs a gun, crime doesn't happen and food is beamed down from the martian overlords so there is no need to have rural farming areas
[in case liar-kam doesn't get it - that's satire mixed with hyperbole]

.see @Eikka? completely missing your whole point, idiot goes off on an irrelevant tangent

LOL

geriatric afflictions + drug abuse = gkam
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2017
Get over your embarrassment of being so average or less. This thread regards vehicles and the need for clean transportation, not your need to "get even".

I contend it is now practical for many to produce their own house and car electricity. It is a major change. The transportation part will be especially disruptive.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 17, 2017
My job was to produce consumer integrated circuits


Actually, you told previously that all you did was wire up an IC testing machine. What I don't remember is your story about why you left that job too after six months.

But I guess it's old man privilege to pile up more accolades every time you re-tell the story.

I contend it is now practical for many to produce their own house and car electricity.


Then why are you still wired up to the grid?
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2017
The Rumpification of Eikka. I worked for National, and you do not even know what Silicon Valley is all about.

We tested ICs using Teradyne J-283 for digital and others such the J-259 for linear ICs. They had measurement systems, voltage and current sources, switches, modest memory, an 18-bit word in their M-365 Computing Controllers.

We used Kelvin circuits with op-amps for cabling and a token ring network for connecting the multiple machines to the Teradyne. That let us actually sample the voltage at the device itself, getting rid of voltage drop of other cabling factors which can contaminate the reading.

Since the wiring was shielded against electric fields, we had to watch carefully to take a reading after the line capacitance was charged. Electricity does not flow at the speed of light.

It was an interesting field, but not mine. Two years was enough.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2017
Why doesnt it occur to you that its obvious you couldnt hold on to all these jobs because you couldnt do them?

Why are you so eager to let us know what an incompetent you are?

And what could possibly make us think that they are evidence that you are competent to discuss issues related to them?

What a loser you are.
Get over your embarrassment of being so average or less
You live in a tiny little house in an overcrowded neighborhood, living off your wifes money. You sat idle for 10 years after losing 14-16 jobs due to imcompetence and untrustworthiness.

And you share this info with us freely.

And you call other people below average.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Mar 17, 2017
Who doesnt it occur to you that its obvious you couldnt hold on to all these jobs because you couldnt do them?

Why are you so eager to let us know what an incompetent you are?

And what could possibly make us think that they are evidence that you are competent to discuss issues related to them?

What a loser you are.
Get over your embarrassment of being so average or less
You live in a tiny little house in an overcrowded neighborhood, living off your wifes money. You sat idle for 10 years after losing 14-16 jobs due to incompetence and untrustworthiness.

And you share this info with us freely.

And you call other people below average.

Maybe you wish you were at least below average.

Its worth posting twice.

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