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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General Motors Begins Building $470 Million EV Factory In China

General Motors Begins Building $470 Million EV Factory In China Building on its current momentum within the region, General Motors announced it will be part of a new venture to construct an electrified vehicle factory in China.
GM is joining SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and Wuling Motors to build the $470 million plant. A GM representative said the factory will be dedicated to producing only “new energy vehicles,” China’s term for battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles. Annual room is expected to be 200,000 vehicles per year, according to Reuters, and no completion date was released.
This new factory expands on a collaboration already in place between GM and SAIC Motors. Last month, GM announced that it is making a new vehicle family from the ground up, which will replace several existing models. SAIC Motors is working alongside GM to develop the powertrain architecture and engine for this new line.
“This new vehicle family will feature advanced customer-facing technologies focused on connectivity, safety and fuel efficiency delivered at a compelling value,” said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It will be a amalgamation of content and value not existing previously by any automaker in these markets that are balanced for progression.”
GM noted that this product line will be manufactured and sold in China, Mexico and India, among other regions.
“There are no plans to export the vehicles to mature markets such as the United States,” said GM.
SEE ALSO: Chevy Bolt is Astute End of the Spear For GM’s Push Toward Electrification
If BEVs and PHEVs are included in this vehicle family, it’s likely that they will be built at the new Guangxi factory, though the automaker has not yet confirmed it.
Disparate some automakers, which are struggling in China’s market, GM has been posting healthy earnings recently for the region. Much of the strong margins are attributable to sales of luxury vehicles and SUVs, but, not electrified cars.
“GM performed well ahead of the overall diligence in China, which was up an estimated 7.5 percent last year. We experienced especially strong progression in demand in the luxury segment as well as in the SUV and MPV segments,” said GM Executive Vice President and President of GM China Matt Tsien in January.
“GM expects diligence demand to rise once again this year in China, our leading global market,” he added. “We will continue to take advantage of the progression opportunities by expanding our unmatched lineup of vehicles and air force as well as all areas of our business to ensure we remain a leader.”

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Top 5 Best Selling Electric Cars

Top 5 Best Selling Electric Cars There are an even dozen electric vehicles (EVs) existing in the U.S. and their sales range from quite respectable to so modest as to give fodder to critics.
As a type of vehicle, EVs are a slim minority of the U.S. sales total at 0.40 percent but they have an outsized reputation and more EVs are pending, including the next generation of higher-range-for-the-buck models in a couple years.
The current crop has grown over the past four years and been the topic of many news reports, features, and while lots of public have heard of them, there remains not a modest confusion over them as well in some quarters.
A lot of talk is made over their comparatively limited range and “range anxiety” but a substantial number of anecdotes attest to the truth that once some public dive in, the range doubts take care of themselves and they adjust to live within limitations.
SEE ALSO: Is a 200-Mile EV the Next Automotive Benchmark?
Even so, automakers themselves have not all been as gung ho as Tesla in proliferating this new kind of vehicle that could in time fully compete with their primary products.
Around half of the EVs sold are what are pejoratively called “compliance cars” to comply with California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) rules under which automakers may accrue credits. This helps clarify aforementioned very low sales, such as 253 units this year for the otherwise outstanding but limited-market Kia Soul EV – which to Kia’s credit is branching to new markets as we speak – but our list really contains two compliance cars.
The status of Top 5 Best Selling Electric Cars has also shifted from 2014 to the period of January 2015 through April 2015. Following is the latter, most-updated ordering with commentary. All prices are rough starting points and all cars are eligible for federal tax credits and state or other credits where applicable.
5. Chevrolet Spark EV – 1,276 Sold Read more

Idaho National Lab Shows Chevy Volts Go Nearly As Far on Electricity As Pure EVs

Idaho National Lab Shows Chevy Volts Go Nearly As Far on Electricity As Pure EVs In the Chevy Volt’s ahead of schedule days, GM caught flak for declaring it an “extended-range electric vehicle” and not simply a plug-in hybrid, but this week the Idaho National Labortory verified real-world drivers annually traveled 94-percent as far gas-free as did Nissan Leaf drivers.
The data was presented by INL engineers Matt Shirk and Barney Carlson to the The upper classes of Automotive Engineers World Congress.
Shirk and Carlson showed electric Vehicle Miles Traveled (eVMT) by the Volt effectively place it in the company with the Leaf as well as Ford Focus Electric, and Honda Fit EV, while returning double or triple the eVMT of plug-in hybrids.
This was documented despite the gas-electric Volt’s potential electric range being just around four miles for each ten of the EVs according to the U.S. EPA.
Documentation
The INL is no ordinary source, but leads the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity for light duty vehicles. Its on-road data collection and analysis was based on data from 158,468,000 total vehicle miles by 21,600 vehicles.
In all, study looked at eight mainstream priced plug-in cars comprised of pure battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and the extended-range Chevy Volt.
Volt drivers: 9,112 miles compared to 9,697 for Leaf. Volts did burn gas too, as the VMT results show.
Volt drivers, it was determined, drove 94 percent as many all-electric miles as the leading EV – the Leaf – as well as the Fit EV. It also was driven over 95 percent the e-miles of the Ford Focus Electric.
SEE ALSO: Study Shows Chevy Volt Can Burn Less Gas Than Any Other PHEV
Compared to plug-in hybrids, the Volt was driven more than double the miles in EV mode than the Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, 2.7 times more than the Honda Treaty PHEV, and 3.7-times more electric miles than the Toyota Prius PHEV.
Source: INL.
On a monthly average basis, the Volt traveled on battery power alone 759.3 miles, just 48.8 miles less than the leading Nissan Leaf.
The Leaf has 84 miles EV range and the 2011-2013 Volt just 35-38 depending on model year.
Range Anxiety An Apparent Reality
How can the Volt with 41 percent the EV range of the Leaf drive 94 percent as many miles?
Source: INL.
According to GM’s Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles, this INL study fits with other data Matt Shirk presented previously indicating drivers need not worry in this area the Volt in succession out of power and stranding them.
With a battery electric car, she said, drivers cannot run it to the most e-range but with a Volt they can. Thus, the driver’s comfort zone and familiarity with local charging and logistics and other factors determine how far they’ll push they’re EV.
The thought with the Volt is no “range anxiety,” she said.
Source: INL.
This concept of “range anxiety” has been also been poo-poohed by critics as marketing verbiage but INL’s study suggests it is a real concern.
Unaccounted for in the study is the determination of individual first adopter types who have often bought the Volt on a veritable mission just to save gas, avoid emissions, and in other words, maximize its potential as a part-time pure EV.
Then again, EV drivers have been reported as resourceful as well, so perhaps that to a degree clarifies why INL would not wade into speculation over anecdotal evidence.
More certain is plug-in hybrids, like the Volt, also present no range anxiety as long as there’s gas in the tank but the Volt’s larger battery lets it travel much additional without burininng gas.
The plug-in hybrids ranged from 2,484 electric miles in one year for the Toyota Prius plug-in to 4,337 miles for the Fusion Energi. The EVs all scored in the 9,000-something annual mile range as did the Volt.
New Volt Pending
The 2016 Volt due September or October will exceed the present Volt’s rated all-electric range by 30-percent, or 50 miles, which could mean it stands to save more gas than any EV on the road, save Tesla models.
Beyond the Tesla Model S and Roadster, the longest-range EVs sold in the U.S. is the now-discontinued, limited-market 104-mile Toyota RAV 4 EV, followed by the 93-mile Kia Soul EV which is expanding to more markets this year. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric when pushed with as much as 15-percent extra room beyond its rated 87 miles also is above the three EVs INL studied.
These limited-market EVs have incrementally more range than the Leaf, Focus Electric and Fit EV but they too have no gas backup. Read more

301 EVs Get Together

301 EVs Get Together On Saturday, April 18, 148 owners of the all-electric Nissan Leaf met-up at the third annual Branchez-Vous event, marking one of the leading gathering of Nissan Leaf vehicles in Canada.
Branchez-Vous 2015 also saw a significant number of 100 percent electric vehicles gathered in one place in Canada: 301.
SEE ALSO: What Do We Know In this area the 2017 Nissan Leaf? Read more

Wireless Charging Qualcomm Invests In UK Chargemaster

Wireless Charging Qualcomm Invests In UK Chargemaster California-based global mobile and wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. is investing in the UK to help spread its wireless EV charging technology.
Qualcomm is investing in Chargemaster Plc, the UK’s leading manufacturer and operator of electric vehicle charging points.
The go, which is seen as an acceleration of the plotted UK development, production and deployment of Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology, will help bring in this area a significant step-change in the practical everyday operation of electric vehicles, said Chargemaster.
Chargemaster, based in Luton, designs, develops, manufactures and operates charging points for electric vehicles. It said it has produced over 27,000 charging points for use in public, workplace and domestic locations and operates POLAR, tconsidered he UKs leading arrangement of public charging points.
SEE ALSO: Drayson Gets Involved In Wireless Charging
Chargemaster added it sees a market for charging pads at domestic, workplace and public locations and the new points will supplement the company’s existing EV charging arrangement. The company stated it has already installed more than 10,000 ‘wireless ready’ public and workplace charging points in the UK and Europe, which can be easily adapted to include Qualcomm’s new WEVC systems.
Qualcomm clarified its Halo WEVC technology utilizes resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy from a ground-based pad to a pad integrated into the vehicle. The base pad and vehicle pad are coupled magnetically and energy is transferred wirelessly into the vehicle and used to charge the vehicle’s batteries. The base pad may be mounted on a garage or road surface or buried below the ground. This technology is, said Qualcomm, highly efficient and is designed to allow simple alignment when parking.
“We have been working with Qualcomm for several years now and this investment is a natural progression,” said David Martell, CEO of Chargemaster. “We are very excited in this area helping to bring the next major evolution in electric motoring to the market, making the electric pouring encounter even more enjoyable and practical for daily use.”
Wireless charging removes the need to plug a cable into a charging point whenever the car needs to be exciting. Qualcomm added many car manufacturers are plotting to incorporate wireless charging into their electric and plug in hybrid cars as original equipment in the near future, but did not specify who are these manufacturers.
“Qualcomm Halo WEVC is viewed as the future of EV charging by many EV manufacturers,” said Dr Anthony Thomson, Vice President of Business Development & Marketing, Qualcomm Europe. “Chargemaster is a leader in the deployment of charging infrastructure and by making this investment we are taking another step towards deployment of a convenient and simple to use WEVC arrangement. The goal being to improve the user encounter and drive the uptake of electric vehicles.”

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Nissan’s e-NV200 Launched In Europe

Nissan’s e-NV200 Launched In Europe You know Nissan’s Leaf; you also likely know of Nissan’s NV200 commercial vehicle. Nissan is now launching an electric version of the NV200, called e-NV200, which combines the electric drivetrain architecture of the Leaf to its commercial vehicle.
The e-NV200 thus becomes the company’s second 100 percent electric vehicle.
Nissan stated as a commercial vehicle the e-NV200 promises to take on an even superior role in reducing emissions and humanizing air quality as it operates day and night with van and taxi fleets in city centers.
The company insists the e-NV200 is far more than a simple conversion of an existing conventionally powered vehicle as the company said it has significantly re-engineered and re-styled NV200 for its new role. And although it does use a number of key elements from LEAF and NV200, some 30 percent of its components are unique to e-NV200. There are styling changes, a re-engineered chassis, interior revision, a new battery pack and a higher room regenerative braking system.
When European sales start later this month, the e-NV200 will be available as a compact but capacious and practical van or as a five-seat passenger vehicle in Combi or more lush Evalia versions, depending on the market, said Nissan.
Nissan said it recognizes in succession costs are the number one priority for most fleet operators and stated the e-NV200 has been developed to help the business equation. Plotted maintenance costs are 40 percent lower and without engine oil, belts, gearbox or clasp there are fewer parts to be tartan or replaced. Fuel costs are also significantly lower, with diesel costing three or four times as much as electricity for 100 km (62 miles) of pouring.
There will also be dedicated taxi versions of e-NV200 on the market, a vehicle built to comply with specific, and customarily different, regulations in capital cities. The first European city to adopt e-NV200 as part of its taxi fleet will be the vehicle’s home city of Barcelona, Spain.
In fact, Nissan also stated the e-NV200 is built exclusively in Barcelona for global sale. It will be produced in Spain alongside the NV200, using lithium-ion battery cells produced at Nissan’s battery plant in Sunderland, UK. The battery packs themselves are made in Barcelona to a unique design for the e-NV200.
“The engineering changes we have made have produced much more than a excellent electric van… it is a fantastic van by any standards. Drivers will want to get behind the wheel of e-NV200 not just because it produces no emissions, but also because it is so excellent to drive – the ride comfort, the acceleration, the refinement and the ease of use are all far ahead of what they are used to,” said Guillaume Carter, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing for Nissan Europe.
Nissan clarified the e-NV200 has a homologated NEDC range of 106 miles – considerably more than the average 100 km (62 miles) daily pouring distance of 70 percent of the fleets using compact vans in their businesses. In Europe 35 percent of this category of van by no means travel more than 120 km (75 miles) per day in the life of the van. Also, the cargo area is identical to the diesel-powered NV200 and the payload room is even superior than its diesel cousin with up to 770 kg possible. Read more