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World's Cleanest Cars

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  • ""(I'm from Europe). Diesel is so amazingly dirty, it kills millions of people around the world every year. The small particles which come from diesel exhaust are particularly dangerous...""

    .

    And yet for a European surrounded by HALF of your cars powered by diesel, you seem amazingly healthy.

    Your article about particulates was accurate, but omitted important information about *gasoline* particulates which also dangerous. (Or Carbon Monoxide which suffocates.)

    The article also omitted information about Ford's new particulate filters to clean up the exhaust & bring it to SULEV standards.

    troy
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    And yet for a European surrounded by HALF of your cars powered by diesel, you seem amazingly healthy.

    I would say a lot more people in the USA and EU die from smoking and second hand smoke than from diesel car exhaust. CNN just announced that as much as 95% of ALL cancer is smoking related.
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    I am still amazingly healthy, but I am noticing more and more cases of lung cancer in my environment. Lately my brother in law was diagnosed with it. He never smoked in his life, but he spent a lot of time on the road.

    Gasoline particles do not compare to diesel particules. Diesels without filters produce more than 1000 times as much fine particles as gasoline cars and they are coated with toxic substances.

    I agree that particle filters MIGHT be a solution. I still would like to see proof that these filters are effective over 100,000 miles. Furthermore it is a mayor problem that these filters simply aren't there. None of the old cars and only a few of the newer cars have them. Does your diesel have a filter?
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    CNN just announced that as much as 95% of ALL cancer is smoking related.

    Of course, smoking is very bad for you, but I can choose not to smoke and to avoid rooms where many people are smoking. I cannot choose to avoid diesels.

    I wish it was true that 95% of all cancer is smoking related. Weren't they talking about lung cancer only? Indeed, in the past most lung cancers were smoke related. My brother in law is an example of a person who never smoked and still got lung cancer. According to his physician these cases are on the rise, as are diesel cars.

    By the way, diesel doesn't only cause lung cancer: http://patient.cancerconsultants.com/news.aspx?id=31194
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    My question is with all this science condemning diesel use, why is it on the rise in the EU? It would seem that hybrids would be embraced there. From all I can tell hybrids are not in demand.

    I questioned the CNN source that said 95% of ALL cancers are smoking and second hand smoke related. I will do more research as that seems odd.
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    Diesel became popular in Europe because gas is far more expensive here, so the better MPG is more of an argument here than it is in the USA. Still till 10 years ago diesel couldn't compete with gasoline because diesel engines were too heavy and too slow. This has been solved with the modern turbo diesels. That's why diesels are on the rise lately.

    However, till a few years ago, nobody realized how dangerous the fine diesel particles are. Lately many studies have show the horrible negative effects, but now there is not turning back. Too much money has been invested in diesel and politicians don't like to impose rules that will hurt their own industry. Luckily it seems that a lot can be done with filters. The problem is that filters (and low sulfur fuel) need to be pushed by the public and/or the government. This takes (too much) time, however.

    Hybrids are also becoming popular here in Europe. The new Prius was voted European car of the year 2005. I think hybrids could be the future, also in Europe, but it will depend on how fast the "diesel maffia" can bring a reliable filter technology to the market. If they can, Europe might stay with diesel. If they can't diesel will loose, because more and more people are concerned about the negative health effects.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    Hybrids are also becoming popular here in Europe. The new Prius was voted European car of the year 2005.

    Do people really drive fast over there like you hear about? If so that would negate any mileage gain you would get with the Hybrids. I would be surprised if the Prius would go 100 mph for any real distance. That is another plus for the modern diesel cars that shine at higher speeds.
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    In most European countries there are speed limits of 120 or 130 km/h (75 to 80 mph). In practice most people do obey these limits as the fines can be quite heavy. Furthermore many European highways are congested, so real speeds are lower.

    The only exception is Germany where there is no general speed limit on the highways. However, many times you will encounter road signs that limit speed on certain stretches. And then again, the intensity of the traffic often doesn't allow you to go that fast.

    I agree that hybrid cars do not shine at high speeds. The Prius will not even be able to do more than 100 mph for a long time, especially if the highway is going up and down a little. But then again in practice 99% of the Europeans will never be able to practice these speeds for any period of time. So I think that even in Europe the hybrid approach is attractive.

    Yes, modern diesels can reach very high speeds. But that doesn't take away the fine particle problem. It is this problem that makes me a little bit of a "crusader" against diesels. It's only since a few years that fine particles show up in the public debate and many people still are not even aware of it. We all should be, it's a real problem.

    I assure you that, once you know about it, you will read about it everywhere. The diesel lobby sticks their head in the sand. We shouldn't, as it seems possible to solve the problem with filters. These filters should be perfected a.s.a.p. and it should not be allowed to sell a new diesel (any new diesel, also lorries, etc.) without an effective filter.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote Gagrice-"Do people really drive fast over there like you hear about?"-end quote

    In Europe, mostly smaller countries, with the population well packed, they have smaller streets, fewer huge highways...MANY Europeans do most of their driving on small city streets or city streets of some kind.

    Most long distance travel is done by train. You rarely have families of seven loading up the ESSUVEE and hitting the road for a 3,000 mile trek.

    The Prius is NOT the best car for the AutoBahn, so if you commute on that road every day, don't buy a Prius.

    But if you are in the VAST MAJORITY of European cities you use a smaller car for commuting, and Prius will SHINE for you !! PERFECT FOR YOU !! Cleaner too !!
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    True. The little smart cars would have no place on the Autobahn, yet I saw tons of them in Paris.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "The only exception is Germany where there is no general speed limit on the highways. "

    The maximum speed limit in Germany on all highways is 100 kmph, except for the Autobahns, unless a lower speed limit is posted. As I recall, the speed limit in town is 60 Kmph, but I never saw a town that didn't actually post their individual speed limit.
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    Thanks for correcting me, stevedebi. I didn't use the word "highway" correctly. I guess I should have used "freeway" (US) or "motorway" (UK)? On the German highways the limit is indeed 100 km/h (some 60 mph). I am not a native speaker and I live in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

    Still the argument doesn't change. The fact that a Prius can only sustain a maximum speed of 100 mph or so is not a problem, even in Europe. Only if you are an "Autobahn" adept AND you choose the right place AND you choose the right time, only then will you find your Prius to be too slow. In all other cases (>99% of the time) the Prius is fast enough.
  • GET SURPRISED GARY! I've had my Prius well over 100MPH but of course that is not sustained for long 'cause I frown on Speed'g tickets. The standard tires on my Prius are not rated for performance hi speeds. I've driven 75-80 for over an hour several times and sustained 46 mpg's on level terrain. You really should try one Gary. They are Inspiring!
    Culliganman(my next set of rubber will definitly be performance rated)
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    Hi railroadjames. I'm surprised to read that the standard tires on your Prius are not rated for performance hi speeds. In Europe your get your Prius on tires that would easily do 140 mph for an infinite amount of time (Michelin Pilot Premacy). What kind of tires do you get in the USA? (Sorry Sylvia, do you allow me to ask this question on the "World's Cleanest Cars" forum, or should I move on? <):-) )
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    Probably better to discuss how the Prius is equipped in the main Prius topic:

    railroadjames, "Toyota Prius 2004+" #4122, 12 Mar 2005 7:16 pm

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    OK. Thanks pf_flyer! The question about the forum was a little bit cynical, because Sylvia kicked me out in another thread for not sticking to the topic. Railroadjames, I moved the question to the Prius 2004+ forum. Would you be so kind as to post your answer there?
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    It's always a good idea to stay on the right side of things!

    PFFlyer@Edmunds

    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    Toyota claims to be building the cleanest diesels in the world for sale in the EU.

    http://www.carpages.co.uk/toyota/toyota-avensis-part-1-02-03-05.asp
  • joebeattjoebeatt Posts: 50
    Hi gagrice. Yep, I believe them. The Dutch highway patrol did an investigation on the negative effects of cars on the environment. The results for gasoline cars:

    http://www.anwb.nl/published/anwbcms/content/binaire-bestanden/pdfs/auto/tests/filename339- - - - - - - - - - - - 54_126571.pdf

    The results for diesel cars:

    http://www.anwb.nl/published/anwbcms/content/binaire-bestanden/pdfs/auto/tests/filename339- - - - - - - - - - - - 48_126581.pdf

    Indeed, Toyota rated very well in these tests.

    All this explains why I'm a little bit of a "crusader" against diesels. The standard diesels are VERY dirty, because of the PM emissions, which are lethal. Still it seems that with filters and other new techniques you could solve the PM problem. It's now up to the customer and the politicians to make sure that, from now on, only near-zero PM diesels are allowed to be sold. This should also apply to lorries, construction equipment, etc. For the moment almost all diesels sold are still dirty.

    The only reserve I make is that I would like to see proof that these new filters will continue to be effective over more than 100,000 miles. Once I have this proof, and all diesels sold are "clean", you won't hear me anymore on "diesel kills".

    By the way: I just heard that for the moment VW will stop selling the Touareg V10 TDI in the USA:

    http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/d/78743

    They are not able to deliver the necessary proof about environment impact to the EPA. Didn't I tell you that, once you aware that "diesel kills", you will news relating to that everywhere? This is what I call good news, because the V10 TDI is the dirtiest car in the world. Things seem to be moving a bit.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Only if you are an "Autobahn" adept AND you choose the right place AND you choose the right time, only then will you find your Prius to be too slow."

    Unless things have changed since I lived in Germany, there is almost more construction on the autobahns that here is clear unlimited-speed portions. So the Prius would do just fine for many stretches of the autobahn... about 60 km/hr!
This discussion has been closed.