5 things we learned from the diesel thanks to the Case #Dieselgate


Engine 3.0 V6 diesel from Renault

Volkswagen made unfair competition by investing less money in the production of clean diesel engines. For the diesel contaminated there is little to invest a lot of money, and employ more sophisticated systems, such as the injection of urea (AdBlue) or selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Diesel engines the cleanest in the world are expensive and reward the little people, as they take longer to amortize. Volkswagen made traps, and they caught him.

We have been discovering the little things that only they knew the engineers and circles very closed of experts. In the end the public opinion is realizing that diesel engines, when they involve a large number, are a threat to the public health much more serious than illegal drugs, even traffic accidents. We do a review of what has been known in the past 12 months:

1) Pollute much more than we thought

from the date of installation of the first particulate filters (DPF/FAP), take the consciousness of one of the great problems of the diesel engine, but it was just one of the problems. Oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which was supposed to be very at bay thanks to the regulations Euro, have proved to be virtually out of control. These gases kill more people than road traffic accidents in developed countries.


from laboratories to the reality, the NOx limits have been violated
systematically in the last 15 years, according to independent tests
the ICCT and Carslaw

NOx emissions have barely gone down from the effect of Euro 3, even though they have gone down a lot in the labs. These gases are related to the smog photochemical (berets of contamination visible), generation of ozone at low altitude (it is poisonous), increased public health problems, etc, is largely a problem generated by the diesel engines.

2) Euro 6 is wet paper

The limit of 80 mg/km of NOx has been verified as being almost impossible to fulfill in real conditions, so that the european authorities have agreed to pull back and allow manufacturers to pollute more, so yes, changing the rules of approval, and considering what they run the cars in the real world. In practice it will lead to a reduction of emissions in new cars.

Of a limit of 80 mg/km will go to 168 mg/km for the phase in Euro 6c (2017), that is to say, 110% more than now. From the year 2020, the target will be at 120 mg/km in real conditions, or 0.12 g/km if you Look at the chart, it will mean a reduction rather than substantial with respect to the first Euro 6 engines. manufacturers lied to us, have not brought out engines that meet Euro 6 in real life, a minority who have succeeded.


All of this is necessary to clean the exhaust gases of a diesel engine modern: particle filter, catalytic converter NOx emissions, standard catalyst, by injection of urea, etc

3) Reliability and ecology are poorly

The TDI engines from Volkswagen (family EA189) are designed to be ecological when you do testing of gases, but on the road it was relegated to a second plane for reasons of reliability. The other manufacturers -so you know – temporarily disconnected systems anti-pollution for the same reason: to encourage the reliability. When a diesel is forced to contaminate little by little, the mechanical organs are stressing them out.

we Already knew that the EGR valves, the flowmeters or the particle filters were very problematic with time. The problem would have been even greater if all the manufacturers would require the engines to comply with the regulations for which it is designed during all of the time. To avoid that, in specific conditions of temperature, speed, effort of the engine… cars pollute the most for no damage before. Oops, instead we’ve done!

4) Circular in the future will be more difficult with a diesel

To the fact that diesel engines are plants pollution, street vendors, even if they comply with the european standards of today, several european cities are planning or restrictions apply to the movement of vehicles with conventional engines, especially the diesel and older gasoline. Paris, Madrid, London, Amsterdam… the list is growing.


Paris has already applied restrictions to the vehicles prior to Euro-2, may not move in the working days from 08 to 20 hours – Photography by Moyan Brenn (Flickr) CC BY

The helmets of the historical blindarĂ¡n to a greater extent, the areas inside the ring road (as the M-30) depending on the episodes of high pollution. The drivers who have opted for cleaner technologies will have more ease to move around. The rest will have to choose between risking a penalty, not to walk, or use public transport. There will be exceptions, obviously.

5) The diesel will be more expensive and in short supply before 2020

The manufacturers have begun to withdraw from some segments where the diesel engine had gotten a lot of sales. In the segment (urban) have almost disappeared, in the B (subcompact) is reducing the supply, and in the C (compact) gasoline recovered ground quickly. The engines which meet Euro 6c are more expensive to develop, and many of them will be worth it to buy them, or the manufacturer to produce them for a low rate.

on the other hand, the universalization of the ranges makes the manufacturers to worry less in the diesel (european phenomenon, and, to a lesser extent in India, or South Korea) and to bet more for the gasoline and alternative technologies. Little by little, diesels are iran going back to people who once used them: professionals, carriers, and large jogger, for the common mortals, accounts will come out later.