Europe Finds Cheap, Effective Answer to Emissions Testing

Inventors trying to solve the problem of pollution from cars have come up with some effective, inexpensive devices to test particle filters’ effectiveness. This would allow unsafe vehicles off the road meanwhile not resorting to unfair blanket bans for vehicles.

Cities in Europe are struggling to figure out how to meet new clean air rules and not invest billions in the infrastructure it would take to replace current vehicles with electric vehicles, they also do not want to ban diesel outright. The best-case scenario would be an inexpensive way to measure the actual output emissions of individual vehicles, but with inexpensive, effective equipment.

Some inventors have may have made the best-case scenario a reality with some easy to use devices that are hand-held and powered by batteries. These devices, in only minutes, can measure a vehicles’ actual emissions while idling.

Costing only about $9k, these devices are something that police forces and garages could actually afford to do inspections.

These devices will start appearing on the field for use in Europe this year. The devices could also restore the reputation of diesel after the scandals with car manufacturers fudging numbers to get diesel vehicles on the road.

Fiat Chrysler in Settlement Talks Over Diesel Emissions

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will take part in settlement talks with lawyers representing vehicle owners suing the automaker over excess diesel emissions in Washington on Oct. 12, a court-appointed settlement adviser said Wednesday.

In May, the U.S. Justice Department sued Fiat Chrysler, accusing the company of illegally using software that led to excess emissions in nearly 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles sold since 2014. It also faces numerous lawsuits from owners of those vehicles.

German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which develops diesel vehicle systems, has also been sued by U.S. vehicle owners and will be part of the settlement talks next month, settlement master Ken Feinberg said in court.

In July, Fiat Chrysler won approval from federal and California regulators to sell 2017 diesel vehicles after it came under scrutiny for alleged excess emissions in older diesel models.

Fiat Chrysler lawyer Robert Giuffra said in court the company remains confident it can use updated emissions software in the 2017 vehicles as the basis of a fix to address agencies’ concerns over 2014-16 diesel vehicles.

Regulators have said Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles had undisclosed emissions controls that allowed vehicles to emit excess pollution during normal driving. The company has denied wrongdoing, saying there was never an attempt to create software to cheat emissions rules. Fiat Chrysler’s emissions case came after Volkswagen’s diesel emissions violations prompted increased industry scrutiny.

Zero Motorcycles

It seems that the world of electronic vehicles has traded in two of its wheels to ride on only two. A company called Zero Motorcycles (presumably meaning zero emissions) has rolled up to the line, ready to take off under electronic-only motors.

The first prototypes appeared in 2006, but today their motorcycles are regular production vehicles available for purchase by the public. The motorcycles are currently assembled completely in California.

One special caveat of these motorcycles is a lightweight design enhanced by the use of aircraft grade aluminum. Zero currently offers four models of motorcycle to choose from. All their models feature a an almost zero maintenance power-train that uses direct drive technology. This systems sends power directly from the motor to the wheel via a silent constant tension belt. This minimizes friction loss by completely eliminating clutches and gears. This system also produces such a reduced amount of heat under regular operation that the whole system is air-cooled. This reduces weight and increases efficiency. Not only this, but logically if there are less parts there are lest mechanical problems to worry about.

Its great to see a new, innovative American company making responsible, but attractive and hip product.

Joe Victor