Dieselgate: The opportunity to reduce air pollution by cars within weeks

Scoop: the successor of dieselgate and how to fix it

Let’s start off with a positive example of EU politics for a change. In 2016, as a reaction to dieselgate, a commission headed by Kathleen Van Brempt was formed to investigate if the EU should have acted more quickly to address the issue. The real goal: reinstate confidence of the EU citizens in the EU institutions.

And, exactly as promised, one year later the results were published. In short: every country was very busy protecting its own car industry. This resulted in both car brands as well as politicians not reaaaaly wanting to react to the increasing deviation between the official and real world fuel consumption of cars. Honestly, I do not want to feed everybody who murmured “Of course” after reading the previous sentence.

But let’s look at the real question here: What was the effect here and now on reducing air pollution?

Well, not much, I’m afraid. The final report was a recommendation and even more, it only investigated what happened in the past.

Luckily there is exhibit 2 of positive EU politics: An alternative commission which is developing a new and much more realistic way of measuring air pollution for cars: Real Driving Emissions or RDE.

Discussions on this new standard can be traced back to 2014 and implementation is foreseen in the time frame 2017–2020.

Now, I can understand that standardizing a whole industry in several countries takes time. But you could also argue that developing this new standard with the very same dieselgate stakeholders is perhaps not ideal for fast action.

But hey! It’s a step!

But what if we go for a run?

Not a step looking at the past.

Not step by step developing RDE.

But a real RUN with immediate clarity and consequences which could reduce emissions within weeks!

Too good to be true?

Even more, the solution already exists for those who want to see.

The key: The website spritmonitor.de. This is a website on which everybody can keep track of his fuel consumption by entering the fuel used and distance covered by his car.

The solution: Take a snapshot of all this vast amount of data, take out the extreme values and you immediately have the average real world fuel consumption of every car. Next you categorize all cars into most and least fuel efficient based upon this data.

As a last step: use tax incentives to promote the real fuel savers. Just as countries are doing right now, only based upon wrong data so sometimes they support the wrong cars.

What? Wait! You want to use a public site to evaluate something this important?

Do not underestimate the renowned Deutsche Gründlichkeit. There are more than 500 000 registered cars in there with real fuel consumption data of millions of kilometres. More than enough to make this data statistically relevant.

Here is another cool fact: It will immediately reveal the successor of dieselgate: hybridgate

Basically it’s the same recipe as dieselgate but then for hybrid cars. It also originates from a discrepancy between actual fuel consumption and a measuring system that was judged non-realistic by just about every instance on this planet years ago.

Another similarity to dieselgate: already several people have pointed it out but neither politicians nor car manufacturer have reacted.

Even worse, it’s not only accepted, in many countries hybrid cars even enjoy additional tax incentives!

Not convinced? Ok, let’s do this test. How many of you really believe a 462 BHP 2,2 ton Porsche hybrid consumes about half of what a Citroen C1 with a 82 BHP 3 cylinder engine consumes? Neither would I put my money on a huge BMW 7 series hybrid being more economical then a Smart 2 seater. Doesn’t it seem plain logical that small cars, or small hybrid cars with engines which are carried over from a scooter are more frugal than a complete living room on 4 wheels?

“But your solution is both naive and impossible”, I hear you say! “The industry lobby and political job defenders would never accept such a change!”

Although I take being naive as a complement, I beg to differ on the non-acceptance.

There would still be the same need for cars and transport in general then before. It’s not the size of the pie that would change; it’s just the shape that changes. If it then still remains a pie needs to be confirmed by a linguistic pastry cook, of course.

Just look at the consequences: Within a matter of weeks the buying landscape would make a shift. Small cars with the thirst of a humming bird would be financially promoted by governments resulting in immediate lower emissions.

The more you think about it, the more logical it seems.

That’s what happens when you use your eyes and some brain cells. When you combine these 2 ingredients you can make…. sense.

Enjoy your cooking!