By on March 27, 2014


A study issued earlier this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has concluded that modern diesel engines in the United Kingdom are 21 percent cleaner than that were a decade earlier.

Hybrid Cars reports the group’s New Car CO2 Report also found modern diesels to be 27 percent more economical than in 2003, greatly aided by technologies — including stop-start and common-rail systems — in reducing emissions and running costs.

Average UK vehicle CO2 output fell 29.1 percent over the past 14 years to just 128.3g/km, achieving the 130g/km target set by the European Union for 2015.

For their part, Bosch — one of the manufacturers at the forefront of advancing diesel technology — says it will continue to move diesels forward in the march toward further cleanliness and efficiency, going so far as to include hybrids — such as the Bosch-augmented Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 — in order to meet the 2020 standard of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.


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19 Comments on “UK Diesels 21 Percent Cleaner Than A Decade Ago...”

  • avatar
    Tom Szechy

    Since when are lower CO2 emissions translate straight to being more “clean”?
    What about microparticles? What about NOx?

    • 0 avatar

      Ever since the greenbeans realized that the traditional definition of pollutants, poisons, could be scrubbed down to a trivial level and thus limits on same were no longer a suitable proxy for their real goal of reducing inequality by tearing down western civilization.

      Accordingly, they redefined pollution to mean harmless (but more importantly unscrubbable) soda bubbles in the air instead.

    • 0 avatar

      The Green dream is reduction of CO2 and that is the EU measurement gold standard. Grams per mile I believe. Lower CO2 emissions means better MPG. HC, CO and NoX are never referred to in newspaper environmental articles.
      I’ve seen few USA auto emissions articles structured in the same way.
      Because HC, CO and NoX are miniscule emissions in OBDII vehicles with upstream and downstream Oxy sensors.
      In Ca. when the Progressives speak of auto emissions and the environment in general, they mean CO2.

    • 0 avatar

      It stands to reason that the less CO2 an engine produces, the less fuel it uses and therefore less of the other pollutants. Also consider the ultra refined diesel available these days. Many of the pollutants are removed before the tank is even filled.

  • avatar

    After having had a quick look through the article I’m saddened to say that the numbers are based on the self-reported and widely gamed European fuel economy testings. The advancements made in the past 10 years have largely been achieved by finding ways to game this test rather than finding ways to produce vehicles that are cleaner during normal day-to-day driving.

  • avatar

    Good for them, saves more fuel for less corrupted nations.

  • avatar
    Tom Szechy

    Problem is we end up with cars like the BMW 316d, 520d (518d?), MB E220CDI and such. The sounds these abominations make creep me out, while the army of product marketing people, plus their good friends, the diesel lobbyists in Brussels all cheer because it’s all “cleaner”.

    • 0 avatar

      They make the right sound. Executive cars should be diesel. I say that a European which means i’m used to diesels in big cars and gas engine sound weird in those cars. And yes, i know it is just conditioning that i find gas engines weird sounding.

      Diesel and cleaner? That they don’t even believe in Brussels. What they do believe is
      a) Oil is imported, using less is good for the current account deficit.
      b) Importing less oil is good in itself as it makes you more independent
      c) European car makers make the best diesel engines in the world so diesel use is a competitive advantages

      • 0 avatar
        Tom Szechy

        They sound like tractors. I’m not sure if executives want to be sitting in tractors, but then again I’m not one.
        Honestly they sound like an empty oil barrel with bunch of steel balls shaken inside them (especially anything with less than 5 cylinders). Not to mention that as the common rail pressures are being kept pumped up, they sound even worse.

        Apart from that, your points are valid IMO, except for point c): European car makers make the only diesel engines (used in passenger vehicles) in the world, so they are actually _interested_ in pushing these powerplants to the market and so differentiating themselves from everyone else.
        In other words, they keep the battle on the homefront, and make sure that noone else will be genuinely interested in investing into diesel tech as this is their home turf.

        My guess is that they will keep doing this as long as Toyota (and other) hybrid tech patents are valid, and then “suddenly” they will make the transition to a less-polluting way of making cars go.

  • avatar

    Apart from the brilliantly stated arguments above about the re-definition of pollutants to suit the current agenda, we are already (I’m in the UK) starting to see the first wave of new-ish cars with all these technologies ending up in scrapyards because they’re uneconomical to fix after a few years.

    The emission standards in the MOT can’t be met when some obscure component fails but if the car already has the failure at year three (the first MOT is at three years old) I wonder if it ever actually worked?

    • 0 avatar
      Tom Szechy

      I guess we all need to learn a “new” phrase, one that used to be more frequent characterising IT equipment rather than cars: beyond economical repair.

      Plus, everyone Google “DPF removal”, just for fun.

      • 0 avatar

        Another phrase, quite old but absent for years, that’s making a come back is “Italian engine tune up”.

        You present your <2 year old diesel hatchback to the dealer with a DPF or Check Engine light on and they may suggest an Italian tune up or they may take your car from you and carry out an Italian tune up but bill you for four hours of workshop time.

        The Italian tune up is, of course, ripping the arse off the car for a half hour to get the cobwebs cleared out.

        I know a few people who, after two or three warranty repaired DPFs, were told to drive at motorway speeds (70mph) in fourth gear for thirty or forty miles every few weeks to keep the soot deposits under control. It's not a single brand or engine model, either, just an issue with the technology.

        • 0 avatar

          This explains why I’ve never seen one in my TDi. I have always gotten things up to temp, and run them out.

          I had two of the primitive clatterwagons, and now drive a clean diesel. In 45k, the inside of the tailpipe is still clean.

          Since I drive distances, a hybrid or electric would not have the range. I also think the overall impact of the diesel is less than producing batteries, etc for a hybrid.

          German cars need to be run hard. I am sure this is why my 300k BMW runs well. I have had cat issues with one truck which only does 3 mile runs for child pickups…..

        • 0 avatar

          I live in Chile, working for a certain italian carmaker, and I second this comment.
          Newish diesel engines, complian with Euro V emmision requirements and up are very prone to the above stated failure, specially while working in areas at 2000 or so meters above sea level.
          It happens not only in small diesel delivery vans (what we sell) but in big pickup trucks (Nissan Navara/Frontier).
          Some manufacturers are even offering models with a sort of choke, that facillitates the “Italian tune-up” you describe!!

  • avatar

    21% cleaner per mile or per gallon? Because if the engine is 21% less pollutant and 27% more efficient than it is obviously more pollutant per gallon if both number are in gallons.

  • avatar

    Chart 17 in the CO2 report explains why you see so few pick-ups outside the US

    • 0 avatar

      Vans are 3/4s to 4/5ths are high compared to light 4x4s in the chart, yet from what I’ve seen they seem to be as common as 4x4s here depending on region.

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