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Posts tagged “Volkswagen”

By Russ Finley on Sep 27, 2015 with 13 responses

Thoughts on the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal


Photo Credit The Environmental Blog

Volkswagen was just caught cheating on emissions tests for some of its diesel-powered cars. As a result, their stock price has plummeted. I no longer have to deal with emissions tests because we own a 2006 Prius and a 2011 Leaf, neither of which require testing because one has a SULE (Super Ultra Low Emissions) rating and the the other doesn’t have a tail pipe.

You can’t fake acceleration or gas mileage, but apparently you can fake out emissions tests by installing software capable of detecting when an emissions test is being conducted (via the diagnostic plug in your dash board) that will lean out the fuel mixture and alter the timing (among other things) so the car will pass the test, returning it to normal when the test ends.

I was fooled. Following is a comment I made last year on this subject:

These are all valid points but controlling pollution is mostly a matter of innovation and engineering. You are not necessarily limited by thermodynamics. For example, compare the mileage of the very dirty 2006 diesel Jetta to the very clean 2014 diesel Jetta.


By Robert Rapier on Jul 28, 2011 with 101 responses

The Return of the American Diesel Car

The following guest essay is by Paul Nash, a regular reader here at R-Squared. Paul is an Australian who now lives near Vancouver, Canada. He is an environmental engineer who specializes in doing municipal water and energy efficiency projects, and has had experience in managing small town water and energy utilities. He is also developing small renewable electricity projects – micro hydro and wood biomass – neither of which is in short supply in his part of the world. Paul is also a strong proponent of high efficiency automotive engines and alternative fuels, and takes particular interest in the efficiency and multi-fuel capabilities of diesel engines, which is what prompted this essay. ———————————– There hasn’t been an American made, diesel… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 4, 2011 with 23 responses

The World’s Most Fuel Efficient Car

This likely blows previous fuel efficiency records out of the water: VW to roll out 313mpg car in Germany and UK Last week at the Qatar Motor Show saw the world debut of Volkswagen’s XL1, a diesel-electric hybrid two-seater that can do 313mpg (0.9 l/100 km) and an announcement that the vehicle will enter limited production for the UK and German markets in 2013. If it proves popular, VW says it plans to increase production and sell in other countries. More coverage from Auto Express: Volkswagen XL1 With rear wheel covers, an F1-style carbon fibre monocoque, and other ultra-lightweight materials such as magnesium wheels, it’s meant to show how economical cars can be, boasting 300mpg-capability. But what’s it like to… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 10, 2008 with no responses

Diesel or Gasoline?

I hear a lot of questions about the economics of a diesel engine versus a gasoline engine, given the fact that diesel prices are now much higher than gasoline (and likely to remain that way). Diesels have two things going for them. First, a gallon of diesel contains more energy than a gallon of gasoline. Second, a diesel engine achieves a higher compression ratio, and gets more useful work out of the engine. Diesels are estimated to be around 30% more efficient than combustion engines. I checked the EPA’s site on fuel efficiency – – and compared a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta on diesel versus gasoline. Comparing identical cars – 2-L, 4-cylinder, 6-speed manual transmission shows that the diesel version… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 6, 2008 with 1 response

70 MPG Volkswagen Golf Hybrid

Thanks to a reader for calling this story to my attention. I will be spending most of my time in the U.S. by summer, and I think I am going to have to get a car. Right now, I don’t own a car, and am happily biking to work. While biking is the national pastime in the Netherlands, I fear this is not a good option for Dallas. The New VW Golf Diesel Hybrid I had just about decided on a Toyota Prius – because it gives me the best possible compromise between something I can haul the family in, and something that gets great gas mileage (EPA-estimated 46 mpg). I really couldn’t find anything else that came close. (Suggestions… Continue»