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Technology Technical Modern cars and pollutants emission

Modern cars and pollutants emission Is hybrid technology the solution? Can diesel give answers to a decades old problem?

Editor: Giannis Zacharakis Photographs: Internet, The history of motor car begins around 150 years ago with two poles developing with approximately equal paces; the invention of internal combustion engine on one hand and the development of electric motors on the other. So, for many years and until 1920 the number of cars using these two technologies was almost From that critical point in time of the discovery of oil reservoirs in Texas and further, the internal Τhomas Edison with an electric car (1912) combustion engine dominates. The electric car was forgotten until the technology of electric motors was discovered again the last years in the form of hybrid cars. Modern societies have demanded cleaner cars, which pollute much less the atmosphere of cities and that new technology seems the ultimate solution. For many manufacturers the combined use of smaller, more economic and hence cleaner petrol engines and the de facto zero emitting electric motors is the only way. The next step being what they call Plug – in Hybrids, hybrids that could be charged from the network at home. Of course, this would mean that the electric motors would no longer emit zero pollutants since the pollution from the power plants should be taken



Technology Technical Modern cars and pollutants emission

into account. In an ideal world where energy is produced from renewable sources zero emissions could be achieved, but in the present situation unfortunately it seems utopic. On the other side of this technology there is a traditional and for many outdated mechanical solution, diesel power. The technology of modern engines has improved so much that The first diesel car of history made by emissions from diesel powered cars are Karl Benz (1885) very close those of hybrids, as shown these four cars can show us that ther is a great margin for pollution decrease without necessarily the use of exotic and hence expensive technologies. The diesel powered cars of the table have common internal combustion engines properly adjusted, improvements for lower aerodynamic drag, low friction tires and start/stop systems for shutting down the engine at traffic lights or traffic jams. And the efficiency of these easily adapted and applied solutions is impressive. Of course the biggest problem of diesel VW Polo 1.2 TDi Bluemotion engines is the emission of particles and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), which can be successfully dealt with last generation filters in the exhaust system. The final result is lower consumption and fewer emissions compared to petrol powered cars. This is the reason why in the rest of Europe account for even 70% of the total sales. Unfortunately, in Greece we have followed a different route, clearly wrong, for an issue that concerns our quality of life and health. One more time our political aders have the ban of diesel powered cars in Athens and Thessaloniki (for 60% of the population), instead of dealing the matter with responsibility and based on scientific facts. Imprisoned by the interests of the domestic oil companies since the profit margin of petrol is much higher than low Volvo c30 1.6 Drive 17-5-2010


Technology Technical Modern cars and pollutants emission

sulfur concentration diesel, which is necessary for modern diesel engines to operate properly. The result? Cars like those in the table and others are not even imported in our country. The bottom of line is that we need to reject complexes and theories from past decades. The smoke cloud from diesel trucks and taxis do not characterize modern cars while the fuel economy that they offer could not be more modern after the unbelievable increase in fuel prices during the last days. Model Consumption (lt/100 Km) Emission CO2 (gr/Km)


Toyota Prius 1.8, 136 HP 3.9 89

Honda Insight 1.3, 98 HP 4.4 101

VW Polo Bluemotion 1.2, 75 HP 3.3 87

Volvo c30 Drive 1.6, 105 HP 4.1 99


Modern Cars and Pollutants Emission  

Is hybrid technology the solution? Can diesel give answers to a decades old problem?

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