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  1. #111

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    ex EV1,

    The reason I believe what I do about battery size and efficiency is based on personal experience with all sorts of cutting edge battery technology over the last 5 years in the US Military.

    The people who continue to ramble on about European air quality and all sorts of studies about their "clean" air, I have one thing to say.


    Those studies and websites everyone always refers to are based on data from the EU's environmental spin control agencies. When you go to the official studies done by independent groups in Europe who are not trying to push the "US is the death of the world" mantra, you find the truth is the United States has done a much better job cleaning up and taking care of our environment than the Europeans.
    The Black Forest of Germany has been devastated by the so-called higher European environmental regs. 40% of the forest has been "damaged" by pollution from "clean" European autos and industry. Source: "Pollution means dark future for Germany's Black Forest" AFP - 12/23/04.
    Just paste the following for a google search of Europe's air quality: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

    Here is another open question. How many people do you know are purposefully bypassing the emissions equipment on their car? In the US the vast majority don't diconnect the factory equipment. I have been living in Italy for 3 years and can tell you that that is not the case here.

    Why is it so hard to accept that the US is actually doing better than Europe at cleaning up the environment? Or that our air is better than is was 10 years ago and as we continue to replace those old cars from the 70s, 80s and 90s with new vehicles (even the new SUVs) that our air quality will get even better?

    I know we want to focus on oil consumption when we debate Hybrid vs. Diesel, BUT that's not the most important issue. Economics and politics would eventually push technology to find a replacement without any help from anyone on this website. I mean, come on. George "Oilman" Bush talking about switchgrass and cellulosic ethanol? The United States IS coming around. The REAL issue that we need to push is the environmental impact. Diesels pollute and always will be dirtier than their gasoline and E85 fuel counterparts.

    Also, everyone should really consider sending an encouraging note to GM (also Ford) for their support of alternative fuels. Imagine, almost 5 million of those SUVs out there could in fact cut their consumption of oil by 60% and emissions by 50% if we would just give them a pump!

    We also should send some hate mail to the oil companies for the news in USA Today today. The oil companies have been buying up ethanol in bulk and storing it while at the same time, flooding the markets with gasoline. The result, gas is down 6% in one week, while E85 is up 15%. 30 cents in one week! Of course their blaming enivronmental rules saying its because of MTBE!

    Give us a break!

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  3. #112

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    First, ex EV-1, I noticed my last post looked like the whole rant was directed at you which is not what I intended. Only the first paragragh about my experience with electric propulsion systems was meant as an answer to your question. I happen to know that there is some exciting electric tech coming online in the next 10 years, however we have an opportunity now with current technology (some 5 million already on the road) to make a big differnce right now. The rest was directed to others further up the thread. So, if I offended I am sorry.
    Now to response to another post about air quality LA compared to European cities?



    You can also check the 2006 World Almanac that lists these same numbers from the World Health Organization. An important thing to note is the particulate matter which is extremely high in Milan, Rome, Madrid, Netherlands, all of Eastern Europe and Industrial Germany. Diesel particulate is made up of sulfur compounds and contains benzene and is much more dangerous than NOx or CO2.
    And anyone who believes that the particles are too big to get in your lungs, have you ever asked a coal miner about "Black Lung?" Coal dust falls in the PM 10-20 range (10-20 micrometers diameter) and diesel particulate is PM 2.5 (2.5 micrometers diameter.) That means in a 3 dimensional world that diesel particulate anywhere from 64 to 512 times smaller by volume than coal dust. Anyone want to try again and tell everyone that diesel soot isn't as much of a health risk? I guess second-hand smoke must also be safe since it is just particulate matter as well?

  4. #113

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Scott – with all due respect (and I do have great respect for anyone in the U.S. military – my son is an Officer in the USAF), I still strongly disagree with your assertion that “Diesels pollute and always will be dirtier than their gasoline and E85 fuel counterparts”. I agree the U.S. has made great strides in improving air quality, but I disagree that diesels will somehow reverse these advances we’ve made in air quality. And I remain unconvinced that my Jetta TDI has any greater impact on air quality than any equivalent non-hybrid gas vehicle, especially since I run B20 biodiesel.

    I’m an air quality meteorologist and have been working in the field of air quality for almost 25 years, so I have more than just passing interest in this topic. First of all, this is where I got the idea that the EU has more stringent ambient air quality standards for PM:

    “…the Swiss and EU 24-hour PM10 limit is 50 µg/m3, compared to 150 µg/m3 in the USA…” (http://www.dieselnet.com/news/2006/01swiss.php). Is this not correct?

    Again, diesels tend to be higher in some emissions, and gasoline vehicles higher in other emissions. As stated, diesels tend to be higher in NOx and PM. However, as another poster stated, PM emissions are regulated by mass, so extremely small particles (nanoparticles) have virtually no mass. Gassers actually equal or exceed particle numbers of uncontrolled diesel trucks under some common driving conditions (Gasoline Vehicle Exhaust Particle Sampling Study, David Kittelson, et al, http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2003/ki...esentation.pdf), it’s just that they tend to be very tiny and have trivial mass. Gasser PM is more toxic than diesel PM per unit mass (In Vitro Genotoxicity of Gasoline and Diesel Engine Vehicle Exhaust Particulate and Semi-Volatile Organic Compound Materials, L Liu, et al; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and that’s currently being supported by field tests (Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute) the preliminary results of which are showing that locations impacted primary by light-duty emissions (mostly gassers in the U.S.) are more toxic than locations primarily impacted by heavy-duty emissions (mostly diesel vehicles). Plus, gasoline engine PM emissions are “enriched” in PAHs (poly-aromatic hydrocarbons - DOE’s Gasoline/Diesel PM Split Study, http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2003/fu...esentation.pdf). Many PAHs are considered carcinogenic.

    Benzene, formaldehyde, and 1,3-butadiene emissions are actually higher from cat-equipped gas vehicles than diesel engine-out (Environmental and Health Impact From Modern Cars, Ecotraffic; The Diesel Paradox: Why Dieselization Will Lead to Cleaner Air, James J. Eberhardt, U.S. Department of Energy; http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2000/eberharpa.pdf). Furthermore, as I stated in my previous post, evaporative gasoline vapors decompose into more formaldehyde, a stable intermediate in the decomposition process.

    Gassers have higher emissions of acutely toxic carbon monoxide (CO), and one study show extremely high CO emissions in more aggressive driving cycles while diesel CO emissions were essentially zero (Environmental and Health Impact From Modern Cars, Ecotraffic). CO is also an ozone precursor (http://www.ethanol-gec.org/sum99/easum9902.htm, http://egov.oregon.gov/ENERGY/RENEW/...hitten2004.pdf). The Ecotraffic study also shows that NMHC emissions from diesels are about an order of magnitude lower than an equivalent gasser, and that doesn’t include evaporative emissions from refueling and distribution of highly volatile gasoline.

    As far as NOx emissions are concerned, the “weekend ozone effect” studies have shown that dramatic decreases (as much as 80%) in diesel truck traffic (and thus NOx emissions) on weekends not only do not reduce ambient ozone levels, but often INCREASE them (http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2002/lawson.pdf, http://www.osti.gov/fcvt/deer2005/lawson.pdf). LA’s actually having more “bad” ozone days now (ozone is by far the biggest problem in LA – something that’s not addressed in those links you provided), and a disproportionate number is occurring on weekends (http://climateark.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=32049, http://www.aei.org/publications/pubI...pub_detail.asp). Since no areas in the U.S. are in nonattainment with the NO2 NAAQS (http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/nindex.html), the current regulatory emphasis on NOx is unwarranted, especially in light of the weekend ozone effect studies. However, there are areas in the Southwestern CONUS that are still in serious nonattainment with the CO NAAQS (http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/mapco.html), something that an increase in light-duty diesels could help.

    I’m not here to bash hybrids. As a matter of fact, I think that diesel hybrids (using bio-based fuels) are the best option for the foreseeable future (better than fuel cells).

  5. #114

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    You know, Europe has had strict environmental standards for longer than the US has, but the problem is they aren't meeting them. The countries with the worst air quality also just so happen to have a higher percentage of diesel vehicles. Italy has extremely poor air quality. Many days, I can't see to the end of the block. I don't for sure that it comes from all the diesel taxis
    or transit buses, but then again, no one does. Italy does very little testing and even less enforcement. As far as the content of gas vs diesel exhaust, you should point out the following,

    Partial List of Chemicals Associated with Diesel Exhaust
    The following list identifies chemicals commonly associated with exhaust emitted by diesel engines. Each chemical name links to the corresponding entry in the OSHA Chemical Sampling Guide. For more specific information on sampling and analysis see the Sampling and Analysis Safety and Health Topics Page or refer to the appropriate OSHA Analytical Method.

    Major Components.
    Carbon dioxide, ID-172
    Carbon monoxide, ID-210
    Nitrogen dioxide, ID-182, NIOSH 6014
    Nitric oxide, ID-190, NIOSH 6014
    Particulates, NIOSH 5040 (new method for Diesel Exhaust Particulates), NIOSH 0500 (*.zip file in WordPerfect format)
    Sulfur dioxide, ID-200
    Minor Components
    Acrolein, OSHA 52, NIOSH 2539
    Benzene, OSHA 12, NIOSH
    Formaldehyde, OSHA 52, NIOSH 2541 (*.zip file in WordPerfect format), NIOSH 2539
    Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, OSHA 58, NIOSH 5506, NIOSH 5515
    Naphthalene, OSHA 35
    Yes, gasoline also has some bad components, but the list of scientists in the world (and those of us with advanced nuclear engineering degrees) who would rather breathe the fumes from a diesel (even if it only runs part of the time) over a gasoline / E85 flex-fuel vehicle is extremely small.
    I'll put the tailpipe of my 1.3 liter i-VTEC Tier 2 Bin 2 up against any diesel and we'll see who starts choking first.

    Of course, this would be all in good fun. ;-)

  6. #115

  7. #116

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate


    I spent the majority of last year in Europe as well and agree that they've turned cheating into an art form. Italy is the most blatant where so many have modified their cars to optimize gas mileage to the detriment of emissions but even the "pure, ethical" Germans have taken greenwashing to a new level.

    I suspect, however, that the majority of the pollution problems in Italy (which are much worse than Germany) are due not only to the diesels but also to the 2-stroke scooters, most of which have been modified at back alley 'garages'.

    As a former Electronic Materials officer in the Navy and current electrical engineer, I also can assure you that the latest battery technology is not in the military. The active duty military is about 30 years behind the commercial world.

    Unfortunately, the "exciting electric tech" actually came out 10 years ago but was successfully squashed by the auto manufacturers. That is why I'm an *EX* EV1 driver, not a *CURRENT* EV1 driver since my exciting pure electric sports car was taken from me my GM and crushed. THAT was exciting technology (0-60 mph in 7 sec, over 100 mpg effective, 130 miles between charging, ~US$1 per charge, . . . I could go on all day).

    Now, we've got to try to pick up where that left off. While diesels have their problems (I won't argue with any of you on emissions), in a hybrid configuration, they have a whole lot to offer so I don't like to see either hybrids or diesels get bashed until their technology is fully fleshed out.

  8. #117

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    You also have to keep in mind that diesels have been around Europe in large quantities for quite some times; they've never been more than a niche market here. That means, particularly in a lot of less wealthy areas, many older diesels with mechanical injection pumps will still be on the road. There's no question these don't stack up. My first trip to Europe was in '85, my last in '05. I can say there was a big improvement in air quality between those two trips, yet the percentage of diesel cars has gone up.

    You really need to compare the emissions of a modern diesel with a modern gasser, to be fair; saying that the air quality is bad because of diesels is one thing but if there are still many 10+ y.o. diesels on the road in Italy (and I know there are, I was in Rome last Sept.), that will have a bias on the results especially since in N. America, 10+ y.o. diesels represents a very tiny percentage of the traffic on the roads.

    Modern direct-injection diesels with computer control of the engine/injection process, plus emission controls, are really not that bad emissions-wise.

  9. #118

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    It's amazing how long the Hybrid concept has been around and only now it's really beginning to take off. Technology Review published an article about European manufactuer Peugeot-Citroen unveiling two new cars debuting in 2010 that combine efficent diesel engines with hybrid technologies. Could this make it in the US with tighter standards and pollution control? It could be a tough call.


  10. #119

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    well it is excellent that everyone thinks that a hybrid is good well there not. they suck the money out of your poket. they may say that they are energy afficiant but they actully are the same as any other car. all they do is suck gas and not use the battery. they say that when you stop they recharge when infact it is a little battery that refills but it dosent do any thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this just personal oppinon but what if another blizzard comes in the future than you have a hybrid truck you wont get enogh energy to the tires so you will need to stick with the old fashoned trucks.!!!.!!! it will be afficant so the hybrids water will freaze so look in the long run.

    ryan turner

  11. #120

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Ryan what are you talking about? Can you provide references to whatever you are saying?

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