Diesels and Hybrids In, EVs and Fuel Cells Out

diesels and hybrids in evs and fuel cells out

So there's this big deal panel of "independent experts" from the National Research Council that advises the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) re: federal mpg standards. The last time the Council got together, they deemed diesel engines too dirty and hybrids as "too niche" for inclusion in their final report. Flash forward seven years and the Council finds that diesels could deliver 30 to 40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over comparable gas engines. This time 'round, full-electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles didn't make the cut; "the committee does not expect commercialization of fuel cell vehicles or widespread marketing of all-electric vehicles before 2020." Although Congress insists that regulations must focus on gas engines– as these represent the vast majority of vehicles on the road– the inclusion of diesels in the new report may presage regulations allowing a new era of European-sourced high-efficiency oil burners in the U.S. Provided, that is, California doesn't trump the feds again and tighten their particulate standards, again…

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 14 comments
  • Jthorner Jthorner on Feb 23, 2008

    "Does a wide spread switch to diesel really solve the problems we are facing?" No, but it sure can be a big help. Efficiency matters. If everyone who didn't need to be commuting in big honking sub-15 mpg vehicles switched tomorrow to efficient over 40 mpg vehicles the consumption of fuel would drop massively. Perhaps that Billion Dollars Per Day the US is spending to import crude oil and fuel would drop to 1/2 Billion Dollars per day. It wouldn't fix all the problems, but it sure would help.

  • Wolffman Wolffman on Feb 24, 2008

    Uh I wouldn't be so quick to replicate the diesels that are in Europe. I was in London for a week prior to Christmas and at the end of the day you would be covered in diesel particulates. No joke, if you blew your nose it was black. Luckily California will force diesels to be a little cleaner here in the US.

  • Malcolmmacaulay Malcolmmacaulay on Feb 24, 2008
    # wolffman : I was in London for a week prior to Christmas and at the end of the day you would be covered in diesel particulates. No joke, if you blew your nose it was black. That's "tube dust" = mostly human skin and brake dust. I live in central London (Wapping) and while we get soot on the windows, you only get proper black snot if you go on the tube :-) New particulate regs come into force soon which is apparently going to make a big difference. Older diesels need to be reto-fitted with particulate traps etc. . cheers Malcolm

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Feb 25, 2008

    how about a hybrid diesel? Shouldn't that get about eleventybillion MPG ?

Next