The Truth About Cars » global warming The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » global warming Coolant In Daimler-EU Dispute Found Safe Tue, 11 Mar 2014 14:32:50 +0000 Automotive Refrigerants

An automotive coolant Daimler claims is too dangerous to use in their vehicles, despite the warnings from the European Union to cease usage of an older coolant considered harmful to the environment, was found to be safe according to a report made by EU scientists.

Reuters reports the coolant in question, the Honeywell and DuPont co-developed R1234yf, posed “no evidence of a serious risk in the use of [the] refrigerant in mobile air-conditioning systems under normal and foreseeable conditions of use” as reported by the Joint Research Council in their findings last week.

Daimler, who claimed the coolant emits a toxic gas when burned, defended their position against using R1234yf, claiming the research “too restrictive,” preferring an option to develop a system using carbon dioxide as the cooling method, though said system is years in the making.

Meanwhile, the automaker uses R134a, an older coolant that the European Commission has found to have a global warming potential 1,000 times that of carbon dioxide while developing an air-conditioning system; EU rules state new coolants must have no more than 150 times said potential. As a result, the Commission has begun legal proceedings against Germany over Daimler’s current action on the matter.

R1234yf is currently 500,000 cars according to Honeywell, who expects the coolant will be in more than 2 million units by the end of 2014.

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Introducing Toyota’s Tropospheric Ozone-Concentration Simulator. Eat Your Heart Out, Bob Lutz Tue, 24 May 2011 11:46:33 +0000
According to one car guy, global warming is a crock of excrement. Toyota wants to get to the bottom of it. Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Central R&D Labs have developed a simulator able to predict tropospheric ozone concentrations across the whole of South and East Asia. The project was carried out in collaboration with Tsinghua University in China, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. The simulator is expected to help in the reduction of energy consumption and limit emissions that cause atmospheric pollution — one factor in global warming.

The ozone layer in the stratosphere (starting at a height of approximately 10 km) is fairly well known. It protects the earth’s ecosystem by absorbing ultraviolet rays.  Less known is the ozone in the troposphere, which extends to approximately 10 km above the earth’s surface. The tropospheric ozone is said to be the main cause of photochemical smog, an atmospheric pollutant harmful to human health and plant growth.

Predicting tropospheric ozone concentrations is difficult. And that’s where Toyota’s simulator comes in. It takes as inputs the current and projected energy consumption, along with CO2, NOx, and VOC emissions and meteorological conditions. It then builds a three-dimensional air quality model that predicts tropospheric ozone concentrations.

According to Toyota, “the main benefit of the simulator is the ability to comprehensively investigate policies needed for tropospheric ozone reduction, CO2 reduction scenarios and atmospheric improvement scenarios.”

We have smuggled a 2D demo out of the secret Toyota labs. It’s a PowerPoint. It uses old data. At the top, it says something like “Example of Ozone Concentration Prediction.” Set it in motion by “View Slideshow” (or F5) and you’ll see why I am having qualms about going back to Beijing in two weeks. But hey, it’s 2005 data.

The real thing will be demonstrated on May 26 and 27 at a workshop at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. Let’s hope there will be less red in the clouds moving around in the troposphere.


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Because Polars Bears Are Cuter Than Market Failure… Thu, 09 Sep 2010 21:43:07 +0000

To hype its forthcoming Leaf electric car, Nissan has reached for the most manipulative imagery in the green marketing playbook: the Polar Bear. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and because their icy habitat is being destroyed by regular cars, they will hug you if you buy an EV. Meanwhile, the causes, trajectory, and impacts of global climate change (not to mention its possible solutions) remain extremely abstract and far-away when compared to the political and economic ramifications of global oil undersupply. Too bad market failures and geopolitical instability aren’t as emotionally manipulative as those fuzzy bear guys…

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15m Or More Cars In China. How It Affects Peak Oil And Global Warming Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:50:27 +0000

It’s definitely official now. The last word in Chinese vehicle sales has the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM,) and the CAAM has spoken. Vehicle sales in China last year rose 46.2 percent to 13.64m units. This is not surprising, but it is nonetheless reassuring that the 13.6m number TTAC had reported last week was only 40,000 short. It is equally official that China is the world’s largest auto market, ahead of the U.S.A. by 3m units, more or less.

Vehicle sales in December alone rose 91.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.41m units in China, the CAAM said. Passenger car sales jumped 88.7 percent in the last month to 1.1m units. Full-year 2009 China passenger car sales are up 52.9 percent in 2009 to 10.3m. If passenger cars alone would count, then the truck and SUV happy USA would look like a 3rd world country: According to Automotive News [sub], only 5.7m new “passenger cars” drove off U.S. dealers’ lots in 2009, slightly more than half of what the Chinese bought.

Will the sales boom continue in 2010? Not as mad as in 2009, expects the CAAM. The manufacturers association expects growth to continue at a more moderate pace of 10 percent. This would mean 1.36m units in additional sales, or a total of a little less than 15m. Merrill Lynch is a little more bullish and thinks that the Chinese market will grow to 15.5 million vehicles this year, the Nikkei [sub] reports. A horrific thought to those who are scared that Chinese will use all our oil, and that melting polar caps will destroy the value of our waterfront properties. Wait, it’s getting worse.

China is known for low-balling their projections. By the end of 2008, the CAAM had projected a moderate rise of 5 percent for 2009. A little later, the target was revised to 10m cars for the year. Double, sometimes triple digit growth rates put that target in the round file.

Dong Yang, executive vice president and secretary general of the China CAAM pointed out that auto sales in China over the past 15 years have grown an average 16.7 percent annually. In the worst times of carmageddon, 2008 sales were still up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. Previously, Rao Da, general secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, had said that auto sales in 2010 could grow by another 20 percent so long as China’s economic recovery continues and oil prices stay stable. The CAAM plays it safe and projects 10 percent.

Anyway you slice it, China should close out 2010 with 15m, 16m, or more cars sold.

Since comments about peak oil and pollution are being cued up as I type this, some items to remember:

Air quality: The faster smoke belching vehicles are replaced by modern cars, the better for the environment. Beijing doesn’t allow anything less than Euro 4 into the city, with amazing results for the air quality. China-wide, Euro 4 will go into effect this year. To get the polluters off the road, China is stepping up its Cash for Clunkers program in 2010, and offers between US$733 and $2635 to those who retire their old cars. Increasingly, high polluters will be banned from big cities. Before Beijing was declared off-limits to high-emission vehicles (brand marked by a yellow tag,) they were responsible for 50 percent of the pollution.

Peak oil: According to Edmunds, China is targeting a fleetwide average of 42.2 mpg by 2015. Edmunds: “That’s almost 19 percent more than the 35.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy by 2016 that President Obama announced for the U.S.” Fuel economy for China’s new-car fleet (including SUVs and minivans) already averages 36.8 miles per gallon. In the U.S., the present CAFE standard is 27.5 mpg for cars, 23.1 mpg for trucks.

Now who’s the biggest oinker of ‘em all?

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Cash for Clunkers “Green” Goal a Flop Mon, 09 Nov 2009 14:09:44 +0000 If you want it, you already got it. (courtesy

Some politicians who supported the Cash for Clunkers program didn’t want to be seen promoting a billion dollar (or three) bailout for car dealers, what with car dealers rating just above sex offenders as “people who I’d like to support with my taxes.” So, not surprisingly, the C4C bill was wrapped in a mantle of green; structured to reward buyers who traded gas guzzlers for [marginally] more fuel efficient vehicles. In practice, the “program mostly involved swaps of old Ford or Chevrolet pickups for new ones that got only marginally better gas mileage, according to an analysis of new federal data by The Associated Press. The single most common swap — which occurred more than 8,200 times — involved Ford F150 pickup owners who took advantage of a government rebate to trade their old trucks for new Ford F150s. They were 17 times more likely to buy a new F150 than, say, a Toyota Prius. The fuel economy for the new trucks ranged from 15 mpg to 17 mpg based on engine size and other factors, an improvement of just 1 mpg to 3 mpg over the clunkers.” It gets worse . . .

In scores of deals, the government reported spending a total of $562,500 in rebates for new cars and trucks that got worse or the same mileage as the trade-ins — in apparent violation of the program’s requirements. The government said it is investigating those reports and said in some cases they were probably entered incorrectly by dealers or based on outdated fuel economy figures.

So a $24K per car government subsidy and all I got is this lousy “Global Warming is a Crock of Shit” T-shirt? Oh wait; here it comes, THE HUMMER ANGLE!

In at least 145 cases, mostly involving trucks, the government reported consumers traded old vehicles that got better than or the same mileage as the new vehicle they purchased. The government said it was continuing to investigate. “It’s possible some quirky deal slipped through the cracks,” Anwyl said.

In at least 15 deals in nine states, owners of large pickups cashed in old trucks for between $3,500 and $4,500 toward new Hummer H3 SUVs that got only 16 mpg.

Bottom line: the Cash for Clunkers program certainly helped the domestics, whose largest profits come from sales of pickups and SUVs. Shall we call that a win, then?

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