Volkswagen on Diesels: Where is the Love?
August 22, 2013 10:26 AM
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VW wants more incentives
Volkswagen AG (VW) wants diesel vehicles to get federal and state incentives similar to those for electric vehicles (EVs). Instead, the automaker feels diesels are "penalized."
“We’re not feeling the love,” said Anna Schneider, vice president for industry and government relations at VW Group of America. “This is one of the greenest choices... It’s time the U.S. government included clean diesel in its ‘all of the above’ strategy’ for greening U.S. roads. Putting these vehicles on the road should be incentivized and not penalized, and that’s our goal.”
Diesels are about 30 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline vehicles, but the problem is that diesels have a higher carbon content than the gasoline-powered cars. For that reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that diesels only cut carbon emissions by 7 to 20 percent.
Hence, diesels don't get the same treatment as EVs. EVs receive many advantages, such as federal and state tax credits, access to carpool lanes, etc. This is because EVs are seen as key contributors to "greening" the auto industry, and that's especially important right now with the new
54.5 MPG CAFE standards
in place for 2017-2025 model years.
In fact, these new standards don't give diesels additional credits the way it does other vehicles. The EPA said it doesn’t believe diesel vehicles push the commercialization of technologies that will help autos reach zero (or even near-zero) emissions. In addition, the EPA doesn't seem to think that diesels have an issue with "consumer acceptance."
Further hurting the cause of diesels is that 15 U.S. states place additional taxes on diesel, and federal taxes for diesels are 6 cents higher than those of gasoline-powered autos.
EVs, on the other hand, are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
VW is a known promoter of diesel vehicles. For instance, the company confirmed
its XL1 hybrid
for production earlier this year. The two-seat Volkswagen XL1 has a plug-in diesel hybrid system that allows it to achieve 314 MPG and 31 miles on electric power alone. The CO2 emissions sits at 21 g/km, and it is considered the most aerodynamic car with a Cd figure of 0.189. It's also very light at just 1,752 pounds.
The Detroit News
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RE: Gas vs. Diesel
8/22/2013 5:08:51 PM
My understanding is Petrol and diesel don't eat the same part of the cake, they eat different parts. Petrol eats near the top of the cake, while diesel eats near the bottom of the cake.
Ok, the correct term is "distillates" or such like, but, as I understand it, diesel is a byproduct of the extraction of petrol from crude oil. Mr Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, was asked to make his diesel engines run on a petrol distillation byproduct that was difficult for the manufacturers to get rid of ... voila! Diesel fuel for diesel engines.
The crude oil petrol is extracted from isn't a pure substance, like water or meths, it's the left over of rotted plants and animals buried in the major mass extinction event eons ago, so its a mixture of a large range of hyrdrocarbons and other stuff whose composition is governed by what it came from and the depth it was extracted from, so while some of those chemicals can be used to make petrol, not every chemical can be used for that, or at least not efficiently.
So using your 19 gallons of petrol and 10 gallons of diesel, my understanding is this isn't an "either-or" situation, i.e. the petroleum plant manager doesn't have a choice as to whether to make either 19 gallons of petrol or 10 gallons of diesel per barrel of crude; it is more of an "that and that" situation, so she (or he) gets 10 gallons of diesel AND 19 gallons of petrol from a barrel of crude.
RE: Gas vs. Diesel
8/22/2013 7:28:24 PM
You are correct. A barrel of crude is 42 US gallons.
When the barrel is processed, you may get something like 15 gallons of gasoline, 9 gal. of fuel oil (i.e. Diesel & heating oil) and 10 gal. of jet fuel (Kerosene) and 4 gal of other "heavy" products such as lubricants, grease, asphalt / bitumene and plastics and 4 gallons of lighter condensates/naphtha.
RE: Gas vs. Diesel
8/23/2013 2:19:29 PM
With some limits, the heavier products can be converted into lighter ones. You're basically breaking bonds in long molecules to create shorter ones. Diesel and gasoline are very close to each other in terms of density, so it's common practice to tweak the refining to produce more gasoline/less diesel if that's what's needed to meet demand.
The opposite (creating heavier products from lighters) is possible too, but much more difficult. Consequently from an oil processing standpoint, you're better off if demand is heavier for the lighter products - gasoline instead of diesel.
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