What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats

What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats As the tale of Volkswagen’s emission defeat devices continues to unfold, details on how the diesel engines were rigged and which cars are affected are slowly coming to light.
But executives within the carmaker – along with others involved with the investigation – have said very modest on what motivated Volkswagen Assemble to install these cheats on more than 11 million cars worldwide. Like many scandals that have come before, the trigger of Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” appears to be rooted in money.
Over the last decade, Volkswagen had been struggling to gain a solid footing in the U.S. diesel market. The perception that diesel emitted more pollution than gasoline engines, tumultuous diesel fuel prices and the cost of diesel technology proved challenging to overcome.
This ad for Volkswagen proudly describes the TDI engine as “clean diesel.” Promise not kept.
To help boost sales, Volkswagen started a marketing campgain labeling its powertrain as “clean diesel.” The ads seemed effective.
“In 2012, Volkswagen’s U.S. sales volume rose to the highest level since 1973,” noted Timothy Cain, an analyst that tracks vehicle sales for GoodCarBadCar.net.
Sales numbers refused to solidify for the company, as Business Insider noted just two years later:
“Volkswagen recently announced that its U.S. auto sales dropped by a staggering 22 percent in June,” Business Insider reported in June 2014. “This will mark the fourth time in the last six months that the brand has experienced a double-digit fall in sales.”
Volkswagen’s share of the U.S. diesel market was quick ground, though. Last year, Car and Driver noted that 75 percent of all diesels cars sold in 2013 were a Volkswagen.
But at the same time Volkswagen was working to maintain its market share, the cost of efficient diesel engines was chipping away at its profits.
“The problem for VW was that cutting NOx [nitrogen oxides] is expensive,” said Automotive News‘ Nick Gibbs. “Analysts from Exane BNP Paribas estimate that reduction technologies have risen from around 700 euros ($790) per vehicle to meet Europe’s Euro5 emissions targets to 1,300 euros for Euro6, which has just come into force this month.”
SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Was Warned in 2007 By Bosch In this area Illegal Software
When comparing markets, Alberto Pisoni, a director with Genera Motors Powertrain in Europe, said lower unit sales and more stringent emissions regulations make the U.S. the “most challenging” diesel market.
“When you have a larger scale for your product then for sure there is a benefit,” commented Pisoni.
For other auto manufacturers trying to mix together low-emission technology in an appealing, competitive vehicle, the reality of Volkswagen’s pressure to use a defeat device could become a warning against using diesel. Gibbs clarifies why:
“The knowledge that arguably the world’s technology leader in diesels can’t make the U.S market work without cheating could now repel other makers.”

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What’s So Bad About the Extra NOx VWs Emitted?

What’s So Bad About the Extra NOx VWs Emitted? In getting caught in a cheating scandal, Volkswagen was called out for emitting 10-40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides, or NOx.
In small, nitrogen oxides are toxic gases produced under high pressure in the engine by combining nitrogen and oxygen.
SEE ALSO: What Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ Is, and Why it Matters
NOx may cause myriad adverse effects to the environment and human health, and derivatives of the family of nitrogen oxides include nitrogen dioxide, nitric acid, nitrous oxide, nitrates, and nitric oxide.
Environment
NOx has been linked to smog and acid rain which harm plant and animal life; the land and the water.
Acid in the environment may also come down not just as “rain” but as fog, snow, or dry particles.
It can travel hundreds of miles on the winds, and acid hurt surfaces it comes in contact with, including to buildings, cars, monuments, and more.
Ahead of schedule morning emissions in London. © Simon Birkett 2014.
As for smog, this is not desirable anywhere, but California has long raised a flag against any threat to its air quality. Its Air Resources Board once got its charter in generous part because of dense blankets of smog that characterized its regions.
Authorities in the U.S. and Europe are still combating NOx which comes predominantly from human technologies such as the engines that drive vehicles and equipment.
In the air, NOx may form nitric acid and related particles by reacting with ammonia, moisture, or other compounds.
SEE ALSO: How Volkswagen Tricked the EPA’s Emissions Test
It can sully and deteriorate water quality in lakes and streams and mass by nitrogen loading.
The Chesapeake Bay is now under siege by nitrogen pollution, as one example. A condition leading to oxygen reduction called eutrophication can diminish the population of fish and shelfish.
Last but not least, NOx is a greenhouse gas, leading to global warming and climate change.
Human Health
NOx is made up of nitric oxide (NO) and poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in less vital quantities.
In the atmosphere, NOx reacts with organic compounds and ozone. Read more

VW CEO Winterkorn Again Apologizes, VW Denies Report of His Firing

VW CEO Winterkorn Again Apologizes, VW Denies Report of His Firing Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has once again apologized for his company’s betrayal of the public trust by cheating diesel emissions testing.
In a new record statement, the CEO said that he is “endlessly wretched that we betrayed the trust” of millions of public, though he did not address the reports of him being fired. German publication The Tagesspiegel reported that Winterkorn would be replaced by the head of Porsche, Matthias Mueller. A VW spokesman said that the reports were “ridiculous.”
“Swift and comprehensive clarification has now utmost priority,” the CEO said. “To make it very clear: management at VW must by no means happen again.” Read more

Is Apple Developing An All-Electric iCar?

Is Apple Developing An All-Electric iCar? This week automotive diligence watchers are trying to determine why Apple is “poaching” top-level auto executives and other automakers’ employees, and the speculation has it Apple may want to build its own all-electric minivan.
Although Apple Inc has not answered requests for comment, the dots are connecting to add up to this possibility.
Today the Financial Times reported hundreds of technology and design experts so far have been recruited from the car diligence for a “top-secret research lab” by the company known for smartphones and computers.
A certain project “Titan” may have an end goal of an Apple-branded electric vehicle – which would eventually compete with Tesla and others.
We chose a Tesla Model X as the photo for lack of suitable depiction. It’s the most suitable but because Tesla has long modeled itself on Apple, this week Elon Musk said by 2025 it could have a market cap equal to Apple, and Tesla itself has poached Apple employees.
But has Apple taken a bright to electric vehicles? Or, as speculators wonder, is it working on in-car electronics to sell to other automakers, and no vehicle is in store?
Is Apple’s huge push only something as benign as trying to develop its in-car entertainment and software service CarPlay which it revealed last year?
Those quicker to the tale told the Financial Times they reckon it’s a car.
“Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” the Financial Times quoted a person who has closely worked with Apple for many years. “Today I reckon it’s a car.”
Among talent Apple has hired is the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley research and development, Johann Jungwirth.
His LinkedIn profile says so, and his title is now Head of Mac Systems Engineering.
A tale by Automotive News leaves open what Jungwirth’s actual role and responsibilities might be, Reuters is saying other auto diligence folks at this level are also being sought by Apple.
Google’s driverless prototype. EVs lend themselves to other tech products.
Even if Apple is devoted to building a car, it could later abandon the thought, say observers including the Journal.
It would take years to get an electric car finalized and through federal safety and other regulatory certifications. Lots of bumps in the road would have to be overcome.
But, if Apple is set on building an electric vehicle, as Google also is working towards with its autonomous technology, what would it mean? It would at least have genuine Apple infotainment, that’s for sure. Your iPhone would surely be compatible. It might even have a massive Web-capable touchscreen to rival a Model S.
Kidding aside, an Apple EV could become a platform for the tech company to launch and integrate a host of technologies. Do you reckon they’d like franchised dealers either? …
Disparate internal combustion vehicles, an all-electric car is more akin to a solid state device. It also is seen as a future technology, no matter how many naysayers and skeptics are ready to inquiry it, or cast doubt on its leading protagonists, such as Tesla.
If Apple is testing the waters, it will apply its focus on the thought, and who knows what new implications it could have?
We shall see.
Automotive News

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VW’s New Diesel Engine Coming

VW’s New Diesel Engine Coming A new diesel engine is coming under the hood of various 2015 model-year Volkswagens.
Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Assemble of America confirmed the timing of the company’s newest, most fuel-efficient, TDI Clean Diesel engine, designated EA288.
During a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Schmidt announced that the new engine will power the 2015 Golf, Insect, Passat, and Jetta, which are set to hit dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014.
Year-to-date the Volkswagen Assemble of America has sold more than 47,000 clean diesel vehicles, including more than 10,000 in the month of July alone. This represents nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year.
“The Volkswagen Assemble is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is long-lasting to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful. “
The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models.
The EA288 engine is a turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 horsepower over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation.
Volkswagen said a number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR); integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst.
The engine also has a number of modifications to help lessen friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation.

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Dealerships dropping the Chevrolet Volt over increased costs

Dealerships dropping the Chevrolet Volt over increased costs
While the Chevrolet Volt has quickly become the bestselling electric vehicle in America, some Chevrolet dealerships plot to stop selling the Volt over an increase in the cost of required tools needed to service the high tech sedan – claiming that with their low volume sales of the GM electric vehicle it just doesn’t make excellent business sense to make the hefty investment in new tools. Read more