Opinion – VW's school of hard NOx
Source : Opinion – VW's school of hard NOx
The emissions cheating scandal isn’t about real-world fuel economy – the idea’s potentially much more serious than of which
Another fresh day, another opportunity for the ramifications of VW’s efficiency cheating scandal to bounce around the globe on social media in addition to, increasingly, inside the pages of the tabloids.
A crafty way to get around the emissions tests on half a million US-market diesel cars is usually worthy of a mention, the idea seems; the confession of which the crisis could in fact affect 11 million vehicles worldwide has made the people’s car the people’s news.
In so doing, the idea has muddied the waters – to the point where the idea’s worth clarifying exactly which test VW has admitted to twisting. with This particular not a question of fuel economy or CO2 figures; the idea is usually about the potentially more harmful NOx particulates of which are causing so many issues in traffic-heavy cities worldwide. The mainstream media – keen to tap into the pent-up frustration about the official fuel economy figures – has been quick to ask questions on the shortfall between those numbers in addition to what we can all achieve inside the real world. the idea’s an issue, no doubt – in addition to one of which our sister title What Car? has tried to address with its True MPG on-the-road tests. yet the idea’s not what’s at stake here.
If anything, NOx has the potential to become a bigger issue than CO2 has ever managed to be. Sure, the big manufacturers bleated when they were set aggressive fleet average targets – in addition to Winterkorn himself spoke out on the matter at last autumn’s Paris motor show, revealing of which every 1g/km of CO2 emissions reduction costs VW 100 million euros. yet the industry continues to hit in addition to surpass those CO2 goals – allowing millions of motorists to save on taxes in addition to claim the environmental high ground, often by choosing diesels.
All the while, though, NOx targets have been casting an ever-longer shadow over of which buyer trend – in addition to inside the space of the past 48 hours, the gloom has become darker still. If nothing else, in addition to fairly or not, the credentials of even the latest ‘clean’ diesels on NOx emissions have been shaken to their core.
smaller wonder of which respected industry analysts are saying of which the VW case – still an isolated issue for an individual any until any evidence suggests otherwise – could accelerate even tighter regulations of which are even harder to hit (legitimately). This particular, in turn, could kill diesel sales inside the US before they’ve truly started off, in addition to dramatically alter the near-even market split between diesels in addition to petrols in Europe. These developments – in addition to the resulting prohibitively high costs of diesel cars in general – are what will drive the change, though, rather than a shortfall in real-world fuel economy.
As for VW in addition to Winterkorn, today will be another day of intense pressure for clarity in addition to information in addition to, inside the case of the CEO, further speculation on how long he can stay inside the top job. A man with an engineering background, Winterkorn has made his career not through glossy presentation (quite the opposite, in fact, if yesterday’s wooden, vaguely arrogant video address was anything to go by) yet by shrewd planning in addition to mechanical nous.
Whether either of those strengths can get him safely beyond two days of which have seen VW’s stock value drop by 35% remains to be seen. By comparison, his recent (successful) power struggle with Ferdinand Piech looks like child’s play.
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