In the European auto market green cars are on the road. However, after intense testing of various models by the European Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, the CO2 levels of new vehicles in all categories had differing levels of CO2 output.
Ricardo, a global provider of various, engineering solutions, clean technologies and consulting produced a report on the testing of various vehicles for CO2 levels. The vehicles were tested in the laboratory and on the road.
According to the Ricardo report the gases that can create the greenhouse effect:
- CO2 – 1 Degree change in 100 years
- CH4 (Methane) – 21 Degree change in 100 years
- N2O (Nitrous Oxide) – 310 Degree change in 100 years
The testing done on various vehicles indicated a higher output of CO2 levels between the road test and a laboratory environment. Real world tailpipe CO2 levels could be 15-40% higher depending on fuel type, technology and usage pattern of the driver.
The nagging question: Is it worth the money and hassle to buy and own such a vehicle with a 1 degree change in temperature over a 100 year period? The 2012 Honda Insight, gasoline hybrid has an MSRP range from $19,120 – $24,310. The downside to this vehicle is you cannot accelerate under electric power alone stealing gas mileage.
The following are two sample vehicles in the upper-medium category that was tested in the laboratory for CO2 output over 93.750 miles and on the road. The complete in-depth study can be found at the above slideshow link (Ricardo). Based on 150,000 Kilometers (93,750 miles):
TEST VEHICLE CO2 LAB CO2 ROAD
Honda Insight – Gas Hybrid 110.4 170.4
BMW 3-series – Diesel 151.1 188.2
In the upper medium category of vehicles, the Honda Insight had a difference of 35% from the laboratory test and the road test for CO2 levels. The BMW 3-series had a difference of 20% in CO2 levels between laboratory testing versus road testing. The laboratory test occurred in a controlled laboratory environment, using rolling road dynamometers. Pure gasoline and diesel models tested higher for CO2 levels during the study.
Comparing all technologies tested the following is an indicator of the difference between some of them for CO2 Levels (see report for a complete listing of tested vehicles):
The following types of examples had varying levels of posted CO2 level accumulations from production through life cycle:
- Mid-Size Gas – 23% Production, 73% Fossil Fuel
- Mid-Size Gas Full Hybrid – 31% Production, 66% Fossil Fuel
- Mid-Size Gas & Plug-in Hybrid – 35% Production, 39% Fossil Fuel, 23% Electric
- Mid-Size Electric Vehicle – 46% Production, 52% Electric
All vehicles were tested in Europe with road testing done in the Netherlands. The real world use found by Ricardo was approximately 20% urban, 35% extra-urban, and 40 % motorway driving. The laboratory testing is split from the road test with 35% urban and 65% extra urban driving. Ricardo concluded that the differences between published and real world CO2 can be partially attributed to a greater share of motorway driving in the real world.
Hillsborough County Florida bought 17 Hybrid vehicles to use when conducting government business in the county. The Obama administration has been pushing green technology jobs since they took office, hyping how green jobs are going to save the economy. Solyndra blew half a billion dollars on a failed green project for solar panels and went bankrupt. Is this economy and more pointedly is this technology viable given the cost and dismal effect on greenhouse gas via CO2? Not forgetting it will take fossil fuel to send electricity through the grid to charge up the batteries in these vehicles.
There are those that are buying these vehicles and that may perpetuate companies long enough whereby improvements will be made over time. Maybe in about 30 or so years more of these vehicles will be on our nation’s highways. Then we can be happy we will help chip away at a 1 degree increase in global temperature every 100 years. Reducing CO2, that deadly gas we all expel and the plants live off of, so oxygen can be produced by plants we all breathe in! I’m out of breath.