How To Reach Ambitious CO2 Targets Without Really Trying

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
how to reach ambitious co2 targets without really trying

The EU has ambitious CO2 targets: Less than 130g/km by 2012, less than 95g/km by 2020. Carmakers are shaking their heads: No way! Even the most electro-agnostic firms tinker with EVs (even if they are from Japan) to bring their average down. “No problem,” says a new study. The targets are a cinch to reach. What’s more, no heavy and expensive batteries to lug around. use the existing engine! No range anxiety. What is that miracle technology?

CNG, or Compressed Natural Gas. Using it instead of gasoline, the 2012 target could already be reached this year, says the study. The extremely ambitious 2020 target could be reached by 2015, if people would just put CNG in their tank. That message probably puts grins on the usually grim faces of the Russians. They supply most of Europe’s natural gas. And they are prone to turning off the tap if someone disagrees with them. That is not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that the study was conducted by Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer’s CAR institute at the Essen University in Germany, says Automobilwoche [sub]. Dudenhöffer is the most quoted motormouth in Germany, and his predictions are usually wrong. Also, the car cannot run on CNG alone. To reach these goals in Dudenhöffer’s model, it needs 25 percent bio methane gas. That’s a lot of cow farts. The only thing that separates us from CNG nirvana? “Stricter rules. The stricter the rules, the more competitive becomes CNG,” says the often quoted professor.

Come on, EU: 130g CO2/km this year. 95g/hm by 2015 – and all of Europe would be driving with – Russian – gas.

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4 of 33 comments
  • Fusion Fusion on Oct 12, 2010

    The logic behind using bio-fuels is that they are basically Carbon-Neutral, since the CO2 they release back into the atmosphere has just recently been bound by the plants that are used for creating said fuels. With oil and normal CNG/LPG/whatever, you are releasing CO2 that has been taken out of the atmospheric "cycle" millions of years ago and was never "supposed" to be re-released...

  • Darth Lefty Darth Lefty on Oct 12, 2010

    You'd be remiss not to mention the subsidy program that nearly bankrupted the state of Arizona in 2000. 40% off any car capable of running on CNG as well as gas... supposed to be spent on a little Suzuki with a big CNG tank, total cost to the state $10 million. But actually it created a sudden and thriving market for giant SUV's with a token CNG tank, running up a $800 mil tab before it was caught and fixed back to $140 mil, retroactively.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Oct 12, 2010

    Re: rail. Rail is a binary issue. Freight or people. They cannot coexist. If you want an efficient passenger service, you'll need to recreate dedicated raillines to run it on. Not going to happen in NA. It's been optimised for freight and it's going to stay that way. Re: CO2. These "standards" are a knee jerk reaction to the AGW panic. As the years have ground down the hysteria you'll see that all the supposed fixes put into place will slowly disappear or just be ignored. It will become political suicide to admit being stampeded into making them up in the first place. C'est la vie.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 12, 2010

    I achieved low emissions targets 20 years ago by rigging the air pump in my 82 LTD to run constantly, thereby diluting the exhaust. I can't get worried about 350 ppm of CO2, which has varied in cycles over time, without any help from people: